In your own words, tell us a little about your organization:
Employment & Community Options is a non-profit organization that educates and empowers low-income adults with intellectual disabilities with the skills and knowledge necessary to achieve their personal goals and optimum potential in life. We assist adults with intellectual disabilities to find and keep a job and to live as independently as possible.
Who is your target program demographic? (Who do you serve?):
As part of our programs adults with intellectual disabilities take part in a 100% community-based work model, in which we foster interactive and integrated participation with businesses and the general public. We serve adults who are on the autism spectrum, have Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy and/or mental retardation.
In what geographic region do you operate?:
Our profound community impact is evident in four counties throughout California including San Diego, San Bernardino, Santa Clara and Santa Cruz. Our efforts have been launched locally, but as our programs expand to a statewide scale, we realize we are part of something bigger!
How do you serve your target demographic?:
Employment & Community Options has a non-exclusionary policy. All are welcome and on an annual basis we serve as many as 1,600 individuals who contend with obstacles related to intellectual disabilities.
How long have you been operating your programs?:
Employment & Community Options is looking forward to celebrating our 30th anniversary ion 2015! We are proud to say we have been providing high-quality service to low-income adults with intellectual disabilities for 29 years!
Looking out at the next 6 – 12 months, what is the one thing that your organization needs to grow? (ex. Development staff, press coverage, new office in a new territory, etc):
Employment & Community Options, like many non-profit organizations, has been faced with a shortage of funding from local and state governmental entities for years now. As we approach our 30th year in operation we are looking forward to growing our fund Development through an exciting brand recognition initiative and innovative means of donor outreach and stewardship!
What is stopping you from making that a reality?:
Employment & Community Options deals with the reality that the population we serve cannot always act as their own advocates. In turn it can become difficult to reach the population of potential donors that are not readily aware of the struggles our participants face on a regular basis. This is why our 100% community based programs that focus on integration rather than separation and the financial support of our donors has become invaluable to the growth and recognition of Employment & Community Options. Although we have been around for almost 30 years, we do not have great name recognition throughout the broader community. We continue to work to improve our name recognition in the community.