Moss Enterprises was founded as the result of the hard work and dedication of a
very special lady, Marian Moss. As the parent of a child with a
disability, Marian knew well the problems the disabled face, and the obstacles
they must overcome. She realized that the existing services did not fully
meet the needs of people with disabilities. With tireless energy she
pursued her goal to provide vocational and housing services to people with
disabilities in Lubbock. Undaunted by the many reasons nothing could
be done, she refused to accept "NO" as an answer. She lobbied locally and
in Austin, and in 1977, she brought together six agencies that formed Lubbock
Area Extended Rehabilitation Services (LAERS). These agencies were:
Lubbock Independent School District
Lubbock State School
Mental Health/Mental Retardation Center
Southwest Lighthouse for the Blind
Goodwill Industries of Lubbock, Inc.
Research and Training Center in
Mental Retardation at Texas Tech University.
Texas citizens with disabilities then had access to employment and residential services through LAERS.
LAERS acted as a coordinator between the various agencies and developed
contracts for their workshops, as well as created a housing program. The
funding for this endeavor came from the Texas Rehabilitation Commission (TRC),
through the Extended Rehabilitation Services program. LAERS became a
not-for-profit tax-exempt corporation under the State of Texas Charter in 1976.
The housing program
began in 1978 with only three residents. This program, which served up to
fifteen residents, was funded through TRC and the Texas Department of Human
Services. In each home, a houseparent provided training and assistance to
the residents. Many of these people had lived in institutions before
coming to Marian Moss Enterprises. With the needed supports, they
experienced the freedom and independence of community living.
In November, 1983, the
Board of directors of LAERS made a decision to purchase Tannery Mattress Company
(Direct Mattress) for a price of $89,300 and
Lubbock Broom and Mop Company for $25,000 plus cost of inventory. A
decision was made for LAERS to put $10,500 of their money and borrow $110, 000
from SBA for the purchase of the mattress, broom and mop company. The
decision to purchase the manufacturing company was made in an effort to create
funding for the vocational rehabilitations program and to provide employment
opportunities for people with all types of disabilities.
In may of 1986, LAERS
had grown to the point where TRC felt that the other workshops in Lubbock could
procure their own contracts and thus state funds could be redirected to the
individual agencies. Then a decision was made to cease funding and LAERS
dissolve to become Marian Moss Enterprises, Inc., named after the lady whose
vision had enhanced the lives of so many individuals with significant needs.
Marian's dream of a
workshop to serve people with disabilities had been fulfilled. By 1988,
the Industrial Division of Marian Moss Enterprises employed eighty (80)
workers. The employees, who had disabilities ranging from
cerebral palsy to mental retardation, worked on a variety of projects. The
Lubbock Mop and Broom Company made mops used in the roofing industry, and Direct
mattress Company manufactured new and renovated mattresses for institutions and
the public. They produced shipping pallets, paper sleeves for the floral
industry, collated door to door advertising flyers, and other miscellaneous
in-house contracts. Marian Moss Enterprises had at this time, a service
contract with the Texas Department of Highways and Public transportation for
litter pickup and a landscaping contract with the District Highway facility on
the Slaton Highway. Other contracts included janitorial work and silk
screening. Revenue came from these contracts and from TRC funding.
The everlasting need for
funding sources led the Board to make a decision to participate in Bingo.
In 1988 Marian Moss Enterprises applied for licenses to conduct bingo, and began
conducting bingo at Gold Star 1 at 224 Buddy Holly Avenue in Lubbock Monday, Wednesday and
Thursday evenings. Gross revenue from the early bingo operations was
approximately $225,000 to $260,000. Marian Moss Enterprises receives
between 3 and 7 percent of the gross revenue as contribution. The
remaining goes for operation and prize money.
Marian Moss Enterprises
began to experience administrative and financial difficulties in the 1990's.
Many management and organizational changes were made. In October 1991,
Marian Moss Enterprises closed its housing program and dissolved the Lubbock
Broom and Mop Division. Referrals for services and programs services decreased.
By the end of 1992, forty-nine (49) workers remained in the program.
In September of 1992,
Marian Moss Enterprises moved to 501 East 42nd in an effort to house all the
programs in one facility and to upgrade the programs and services, allowing for
future growth. A ten (10) year lease was signed with Wilkerson Properties
for the property. At the present time, the workshop continues to offer
extended rehabilitation services, work adjustment training, support ed
employment, community integrated employment, job coaching services, transitional
services for high school students, and work skills training thorough in-house
contract work, assembly and sub-assembly work, construction of pallets and
manufacturing or renovation of mattresses.
As of September of 2001
Marian Moss Enterprises employs ten (10) full-time and five (5) part-time administrative and support
staff members. Marian Moss Enterprises provides services to approximately 80 individuals with
a variety of disabilities at any given time and serves approximately 120
individuals per year. Services has expanded to include clients from
Rehabilitation Commission, Texas Commission
for the Blind, nine different group
home organizations, local school districts and private referrals. Contract
work has increased during the last year to include sorting parts for
Products, various packaging projects for the
Med Group, sorting hangers for
Unifirst and construction of pallets for Industrial Molding, stacking
ball-bearing cages for Industrial Molding, drilling irrigation polyweights for
Equipment Supply Co., Inc. and
folding bundling shop towels for
Two enclaves currently
operate each day at Caprock Manufacturing (injection molding) and
Fire Products (sprinkler systems). Each group consists of approximately
workers and a working supervisor. A litter pick-up crew was added this
year, which will employ five workers for an average of three weeks out of
each month. Six workers currently work independently in jobs in the
community and also receive service through our workshop. In recent years
several workers have been placed in independent jobs in the community and have
experienced tremendous strides toward total independence.