Most Viewed Stories
ACHIEVE clients train for jobs, independence
The staff of ACHIEVE Human Services strives to improve the lives of those with disabilities by providing them employment opportunities, independent living skills training and low-income housing services.
“Everyone deserves the opportunity to live their lives to their greatest potential … and that includes individuals with disabilities,” said Carol A. Carr, president and CEO of ACHIEVE Human Services.
The organization serves about 100 clients in Yuma County. It also provides services in La Paz and Mohave counties in Arizona and Imperial and San Bernardino counties in California.
One of the ways the organization provides employment and training opportunities is through their BLOSSOM steam jet car wash and ASPIRE Deli. The deli, which serves sandwiches and other lunch items from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Monday through Friday, is located at 3220-C E. 40th St. just off of Avenue 3E.
Clients also work at Callahan Corner, which was established three years ago on land owned by Cathy Reeves, an ACHIEVE Human Services board member.
“This resulted in the creation of a community garden and raising chickens for eggs,” Carr said.
“Individuals being served by ACHIEVE go out and work the farm every day. They learn how to grow their own food, feed the animals and pick up the eggs laid by the chickens. It has also been a very rich environment for training and learning some basic life skills. We are proud to announce that for two consecutive years, we have been awarded a Union Pacific Grant for this program.”
The employment and training opportunities boost the clients' sense of self-worth, confidence and emotional state, Carr said.
“Just consider yourself and how you feel about having a job, being able to buy a vehicle, owning a home. Individuals with disabilities are the same as you and I. They have the same aspirations, desires, passions, dreams. It is unfair to categorize them as a separate group. We are all one of the same. We all came from the same source.”
And giving such opportunities to those who are disabled benefits the Yuma community as a whole, Carr added.
“Every community member's life has been touched by someone with a disability, whether it be a family member or close friend. When an individual with a disability becomes employed, it improves their self-esteem, they become more self-sufficient and they become contributing, taxpaying members of the community, removing their dependency on some if not all social subsidization.”
According to Carr, less than 20 percent of all individuals with disabilities are employed in the United States.
“It is ACHIEVE's intention to change that one individual at a time. It wasn't that long ago that the individuals that we served were institutionalized. This was a very expensive alternative to serving people who are perfectly capable of leading a productive life integrated within the communities where they live. This can be accomplished through employment.”
ACHIEVE Human Services recently began a day treatment program providing its disabled clients with hands-on independent living skills training.
While participating in the day program, the clients learn how to eat healthy, plan meals, exercise, do laundry, perform personal hygiene, conduct financial management, use computers and develop other skills to improve their lives so they can live more independently, Carr said.
“We have collaborated with the Yuma Union High School District in creating the day program and have utilized some of the course curriculum offered at the high school ... to provide a very rich and inspiring environment for the people we serve.”
ACHIEVE Human Services also provides work for its clients through contracts with private businesses and citizens as well as the state and federal governments.
“Our local contracts are with local community businesses and private citizens where we perform secured document destruction, bulk mailing, custodial, grounds maintenance and document archiving services,” Carr said, noting the organization provides the custodial services for the Yuma Sun offices.
“We encourage all community members to collaborate with ACHIEVE in creating on the job training opportunities or actually employing an individual with a disability. There are excellent tax incentives for business owners who employ an individual with a disability.”
Contracts from the state of Arizona are awarded by the Department of Economic Security Division for Developmental Disabilities and Rehabilitation Services Administration. As part of the contract with the state, the organization is able to provide center-based employment, group-supported employment, individual-supported employment, job coaching and situational assessment.
The organization also works with the Arizona Department of Housing and Urban Development to provide housing to clients.
Federal contracts allow ACHIEVE Human Services to perform custodial work, grounds maintenance and inventory management services for U.S. Customs and Border Protection, Bureau of Land Management, Air Operations and Yuma Proving Ground.
Achieve Human Services is located at 3220-A E. 40th St. For more information, visit www.achievehumanservices.org or call 341-0335 or 1-855-231-8385.
Chris McDaniel can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or 539-6849.