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Welcome to Desert Haven Enterprises, Inc.

Welcome to Desert Haven Enterprises, Incorporated. Since 1954, we have been helping people with developmental disabilities to become as independent and productive as possible. Our program provides these very capable individuals with the opportunity to participate in a variety of paid, job training experiences and/or even find the job of their choice within the community. While all services are designed to transition consumers into the community, the decision as to whether or not they will one day work in a regular job rests with them. Those who desire to work in the community will be assisted in finding and keeping the job of their choice. All that we do depends upon the individual strengths, needs, expectations and choices of those whom we serve.

Employment Skills Training
Food Service
Modeled after an actual kitchen within a fast food restaurant, the Desert Express Grill gives consumers the opportunity to learn every aspect of food service that typically occurs within any fast food restaurant within the community. From food prep to grilling to cashiering and customer service to cleanup, the food service program, operated under the supervision of a certified trainer, equips consumers with the key skills necessary to obtain entry-level work within the food service industry.

Housekeeping Services
Members of the housekeeping crew have opportunty to learn all facets of janitorial/housekeeping service in preparation for transition into a related job within the community. Throughout the year crew members work very hard to ensure that the facilities of DHE are neat, clean and properly maintained. Typical duties include cleaning and sanitizing restrooms, dusting offices, removing trash, washing windows, and sweeping, mopping and even buffing floors. Additionally, consumers working on the crew have had opportunity to train in an actual community-based work setting, by providing janitorial services at a nearby office building located within the local business park.

Clerical Skills Training
Under the supervision of the front office receptionist, consumers referred by the Department of Rehabilitation have opportunity to learn the primary tasks associated with manning the front office/reception area of DHE. Although the curriculum is individualized in accordance with the needs and abilities of each consumer participating in the program, the course is designed to graduate consumers within a year with a basic knowledge and understanding of light clerical duties and prepare them to transition into similar employment.

Off-Site Habilitation Crews
Off-site work crews provide opportunities for consumers to train and to work within an actual community-based setting versus training and working within the center. Off-site crews have proven an excellent stepping stone for consumers desiring to eventually move into regular jobs within the community. Current off-site crew opportunites include: car wash at H.W. Hunter, Inc.; multipurpose/janitorial service at Lockheed Martin; floor buffing at Olive Garden restaurant; and plastic tote wash and sort, warehouse trim service, and security tagging at Rite Aid Distribution Center.

Job Placement and Supported Employment Programs
The services offered through DHE's Job Placement and Supported Employment Program assist consumers to secure and maintain the job of their choice within the community-based employment market. Prior to job placement, consumers participate in Employment Preparation and Job Search classes designed to assist staff in assessing each consumer's strengths, needs and vocational preferences and to prepare consumers for participating in the job search and job development process. To ensure the best possible placement, consumer preferences, abilities, and experience are carefully matched with the requirements of the job and expectations of the employer. Once hired, the employee is trained and supervised on the job by a DHE job coach.

Depending upon the needs of the employer and those of each individual consumer, Suported Employment places employees in individual jobs or in small groups. With an individual placement, the job coach will provide training and support services to the employee until he/she learns the job. When the employee is able to perform all job assignments to company standards, the job coach gradually phases out to follow-along services. If a group placement is needed, however, the job coach or trainer will provide training and supervision to employees one-hundred percent of the time, never phasing out.

Situational Assessment
Situational Assessment is one tool used within the suported employment department to determine a consumer's job readiness, by evaluating their functional capabilities, vocational skills, job preferences, strengths and limitations and work-related behaviors within a community-based work setting. A number of local employers provide varied positions within their businesses into which consumers might periodically be placed for a short-term evaluation. Program participants will typically be rotated among three work sites for a period of three days at each site and receive minimum wage during the evaluation. While performing the general duties associated with each position, the consumer will be monitored and his/her performance assessed by a job coach. Upon completion of the evaluation, a meeting will be held with each consumer to discuss the results and to determine whether or not he/she is ready for placement in a job in the community or to establish a plan of action for such.

Consumer/Employer Evaluation
A consumer/employer evaluation is yet another tool used within the supported employment department to ensure the best possible job match for consumers seeking community-based placement. The purpose of this evaluation tool is twofold. First, it gives the consumer an opportunity to work for a period of two to five days within a business that has expressed an interest in employing him or her. In this way, the consumer will determine whether or not the duties and the environment are the right fit, based upon his/her needs and preferences. Second, it provides a potential employer, who may have some questions, the opportunity to see the capability of the consumer and to interact with him or her, as well as with the job coach. In this way, the employer is better able to make an informed decision as to whether or not this is the right match and whether or not to extend an offer of employment. Many local employers have been most eager to employ our consumers following a short-term evaluation at their business sites.

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Featured Consumer
Martin Camarillo

Prior to his admission to sheltered employment, Martin Camarillo had worked independently in several competitive, community-based jobs including AV Bus and Harvest Farms. Martin began working at Desert Haven in the sheltered workshop in February 2000 and transitioned to our Edwards Air Force Base grounds service contract in March 2000, where he quickly demonstrated proficiency in the use of equipment, following instructions and producing quality work. Martin also served as a great role model for his fellow co-workers, demonstrating team work and cooperation with all staff.

Additionally, Martin proved a very reliable worker, maintaining an exceptional attendance and safety record and consistently exhibiting an exceptional work ethic. As a result, his supervisors noted that he is a "great worker, he assumes responsibility and adapts to change well." Martin has demonstrated such an incredible level of skill and competence that he not only has achieved Consumer of theYear for the second consecutive year, but has also recently been hired by Desert Haven into a regular grounds maintenance staff position on the "A Crew" at Edwards Air Force Base.

On behalf of the Board of Directors and staff, "Way to go, Martin, and welcome aboard! We are thrilled to have you on our team!"

Providing employment opportunities for persons with developmental disabilities since 1954.