Recyclable Materials Flow to Our Center Even During COVID; Jobs For People with a Disabiity
By rebecca trujillo - directora
COVID safety measures are still a priority for our jobs program. The virus seems to be on the city's outskirts instead of in our central location. We asked the young people with disabilities not to come to work because of the many COVID cases in their neighborhoods. We worried about everyone infecting each other, so we closed the social services until the COVID cases go down. Anthony is one young person that has been with our program since he was very young. He now works in recycling; he is autistic and has difficulty concentrating, so he does wander around the building. People accept him, but we have to make sure that he does wander into unsafe areas. We never thought that Anthony would be able to integrate into any job. His autism is extreme, and he does not speak, but he has learned to communicate with people he trusts. What has helped Anthony has been the sessions of horse therapy. They made a big difference for him as he was afraid of touching anyone, even his parents. Finally, after months of therapy, he reached out and hugged his father. This hug was a turning point for him and his family. So they began to think maybe someday he could be a part of one of our work programs. And so it is that Anthony is now a part of the recycling team, accepted at work. He improves every day because he feels safe with the staff and with all the workers. We await a better day without COVID so Anthony and others can return to work. We are in touch with his parents, and they are trying to keep him with habitual actions; of course, Anthony wants to come back to work, but his parents have learned how to work with their son, to be calm. In the meantime, we are making some significant changes to our centers. In recycle we are looking at the flow of materials. How can we become more efficient in the movements of our material? We have to store materials, even if it is temporary. It is hard to get companies to buy our recyclables unless we have substantial materials ready. How does our material flow so that we do not get backed up with recyclable materials? We want to make our center more accessible for the workers, more organized, and more hygienic. These conditions matters to us. Other improvements that we are working on include an extension in the front of Casa Dorthy so we have more room for our silk screening program. We are hoping to install solar power in Casa Dorthy. COVID is not stopping our program. We look for creative new ways to keep in touch with the young people through technology, individual visits using protection as we improve our site. We are grateful to all our donors who have believed in our young people and us. Jobs are central to gaining independence, which all people seek to improve their daily lives and livelihood.
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