Lameeka McClellan-Breland 
Member since Feb 13, 2019


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Re: “With some paid less than $1 per hour, SLO County seeks to improve job options for adults with disabilities

Dear New Times Editor,
My sister has been a person seved at NCI Affiliates for the past seven years. She and my mother moved to California from Tulsa Oklahoma to live with me. While living in Oklahoma she was not afforded the oportunity to have sustainable employment, and worked at a little resturaunt down the street bussing tables for $20.00 total for the entire week. Her friends consisted of a few people on the block she lived on and her family and she did not have much of a social life.
Since the move and her becoming a part of the group at NCI Affiliates, I have watched my sister blossom. She makes her own money under sub-minimum wage, and has made several close friends. She goes to the movies and the different activities like BBQs, dances, festivials, and Christmas floats that the NCI group puts on for the individuals. My sister is a part of NCIs Client Advisory, and even sat on the Board of Directors for two years. She has become an advocate for the things she wants and believes in and is not afraid to speak out for herself.
We are a close family, and we do everything together. We all contribute to family dinners and holiday celebrations. My sister loves the fact that she can contribute when we go shoping for holiday dinners and when she can buy a special gift for my mother on Christmas or for her birthday.
I believe in my heart if not for the work opportunities at NCI Affiliates she would not find a place that she could work and be a contributing member of the community she lives in. My sister has a mental disability and with age has taken on some physical disabilites, she takes a while to complete certain things. My fear is that if sub-minimum wage is taken away she would not have the financial or social outlets that have been made availible to her through this agency that clearly has her best interest at heart.
This article was told on behalf of a family that for some reason is unhappy with NCI and does not see what a difference sub-minimum wage can make in a persons life. I am happy their family member was able to find a place she could be happy at, but that does not mean that the hundreds of other families including mine would like to see sub-minimum wage go away. Nor does it mean that we would like to see an article smearing the agency that has brought new life to our family member. There are always two sides to a story, and I do not believe for one moment that NCI Affiliates would do anything to hurt one of the individuals they serve. They have always treated my sister and our family with respect and have been very kind and understanding.
I am sending this to you in hopes that others do not make a decision regarding this agency based on one families story, and understand that there are several other families who do not want to see their family member go without this opportunity.

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Posted by Lameeka McClellan-Breland on 02/13/2019 at 7:54 PM

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