The Treasure House Employment & Life Skills Training Model actively challenges stigmas and stereotypes about people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs) and removes barriers to their independence. The proof is in the pudding – our resident employment rate soars above the national average for persons with disabilities. In August 2023, 72% of Treasure House residents had secured meaningful and gainful employment. In stark contrast, 21% of all U.S. persons with disabilities were employed in 2022, with 30% in part-time roles.
“The experience of gainful employment is a universal right – an opportunity that should be available to all,” said Lauri Tanner, CEO of Treasure House. “When young adults with IDDs are prepared to contribute meaningfully to workplaces, they feel empowered, valued, and confident to lead vibrant lives as active members of society. Inclusion as productive, paid workers helps feelings of isolation, anxiety, and depression in young adults with IDD.”
For everyone, job opportunity is a key to independence. To help each resident with IDD realize their full potential for a purposeful life, the Treasure House model was built to fully support and sustain their employment desires. In this blog, learn how Treasure House facilitates resident job success, and how employed residents thrive in their roles.
During their residency, each individual meets regularly with a dedicated life coach to develop long-term and actionable employment goals that are centered around interests and abilities. Through job coaching and simulation activities, residents identify unique strengths and refine organizational skills. They are mentored through the process of crafting resumes, mastering interviews, and confidently advocating for themselves in the workplace. Throughout this empowering experience, residents learn to articulate their abilities as well as demand to be held to the same standard as neurotypical peers.
The intricacies of employment are also supported. Treasure House provides daily resources for transportation, finance management, and time management. Residents receive assistance in setting up reminders, navigating the nuances of professionalism, and effectively responding to workplace challenges. Job satisfaction is regularly assessed, and residents are encouraged to dream beyond their current achievements, continually striving for personal growth.
What makes this journey even more beautiful is the tight-knit community of peers who face these job experiences together. Nothing compares to the feeling of coming home to a supportive family and a warm dinner after a hard day’s work.
Of the 8 million individuals in the U.S. with IDDs, over 75% are in the care of family members, and more than 25% of family care providers are over the age of 60 years old. We know that in some cases, familial caregivers cannot fully support the individual’s whole-person health and long-term goals, and may not have the resources to facilitate gainful employment or ongoing transportation. Treasure House is the ideal solution for families facing this challenge.
Once a month, Treasure House’s CEO pays a visit to the nearby Popeyes. It’s not just for a quick meal; it’s a chance to witness firsthand the impact of Treasure House’s personalized approach to resident employment. Ethan works the drive-through register, and gleefully takes her order for an iced tea. His journey as a Popeyes employee beautifully illustrates the tangible benefits of our tailored support.
“[Treasure House] helped me find a job with Popeyes Louisiana Kitchen,” he said. “When I was initially hired on, they helped with the interview process. They helped me overcome those fears by talking to me, and life coaching me on how to get the job, how to keep the job.” For Ethan, independence means living autonomously, holding a steady job, and pursuing further education.
Ethan’s impact goes far beyond the register. His inclusion reaffirms that people with disabilities are more than capable of contributing, and leading a fulfilling life. “Ethan is a fantastic leader,” said Andrea Hernandez, his manager. “He cashes people out and is able to interact with any customer in any situation. He is so reliable, is such a great person, and I am so blessed to have him in my life and to have him on my team.”
Through employment opportunities that provide a sense of purpose, a substantial number of residents are also able to contribute to their monthly expenses, underlining their independence and reduced dependency on social security support. “Ethan is pulling more than half his weight. He is paying $2000 a month towards his room and board, and he’s happy to do it,” Lauri said.
If your business has a job opportunity for a Treasure House resident, please email firstname.lastname@example.org. As of August 2023, Treasure House residents are proudly employed at Amazon, Avamere Senior Living, Banner Thunderbird Hospital, Creamistry, Deer Valley Unified School District, Fry’s Marketplace, Harkins Theatres, Inspira Senior Living, L.A. Fitness, Mr. Shine, Popeyes, Sierra Winds Senior Living, Spencer’s Place, State Farm Stadium, The Thumb, Trader Joes, Treasure House, and United Cerebral Palsy Center.