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2013 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Project Independence

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Developmentally Disabled Centers, Disabilities, Homeless & Housing, Human Services, Job Training, Vocational Rehabilitation

Mission: To promote civil rights for people with developmental disabilities through services which expand freedom and choice

Geographic areas served: Orange County, CA

Programs: Behavior support services - positive behavior support plans for adults with developmental disabilities. Program goal is to provide training in the areas of self-help, vocational, and community integration. Funded by the regional center of orange county. Staffing ratios 1:1, 1:2, 1:3. Approximately 63 clients served.

adult development services - consumer-driven services to support individual goals of adults with developmental disabilities. Program goal is to provide functional community training based on individual needs and choice, as well as integrated supported employment. Staffing ratios 1:4. Funded by the regional center of orange county. Approximately 112 clients served.

independent & supported living services - life quality and satisfaction assessment for adults with developmental disabilities. Program goal is to provide training and experience to enable clients to function within the community and assess the individual's satisfaction with provided services. Funded by the regional center of orange county. Approximately 178 clients served.

Community Stories

12 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I work with PI and consumer housing needs, I feel PI does an excellent job with support , care and concerns for their consumers. I believe they exceed in all areas of expected needs for their consumers and the public they serve. It has been my pleasure to be associated with such and fine organization for over 17 years. I support all of the efforts that PI shows to their consumers daily. I wish more agencies would follow them as an example.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have a sister in the Project Independence program and have been a volunteer at P.I. for the last 3 years. P.I. is an awesome organization that helps so many in our community and is a true blessing
to all of those they support! The staff puts in so many hard, loving hours to make sure their clients
are well taken care of in the areas of Housing, Jobs & Daily Support (grocery shopping/transportation/
health & personal care). It touches your heart to see the groups come in after a days work and share
their day with the job coaches & P.I. staff, the whole office lights up with excitement. My sister Anna
loves the whole P.I. gang and calls them all her best friends. I have never seen her so happy and so
fulfilled as she is now. Thank You, P.I. for all that you are and for all that you do! B. Shubin

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer at various Project Independence events and have participated in their "thank you" gatherings. I think PI is an excellent organization and have recommended it to several friends, as well as getting friends involved in their events. They are an awesome group of people and my personal favorites that belong to PI are Anna Koretoff and Bobby; Bobby is so friendly and such a joy to talk to. He has been a "friend" for several years and I am so amazed at his accomplishments.
Keep up the great work, PI; your group is one of the best around......

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have a friend whos sister has been helped by this organization. This organization has opened up so many opportunities for both her sister and my friend. There is peace for my friend knowing her sister is taken care of an in good hands. The staff is so loving, kind and accepting. What a true blessing.
I love volunteering for this organization. Seeing all the happy faces makes it all worth while.

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a parent with a daughter as a client under the umbrella of PI going on 25 years and continuing, I've had the distinct pleasure of serving as past President of the PI Board of Directors (ret) under the remarkable creative leadership of Executive Director, Debra Marsteller. It's my intrinsic belief and experience that Project Independence is the supreme agency in Orange County with a chronology that's extraordinary serving the developmentally gifted adults and those with autism .- John H. Petersen

Sharon84

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Project Independence is a group of very caring, dedicated social workers who make regular visits to developmentally disabled adults in our community who are living independent but need assistance with daily life skills. The P.I. staff helps their clients with grocery shopping, meal planning, doctors appointments, hygiene, anger management and exercise. They also offer many opportunities for varied social functions and outings. My cousin, who is 67, has been a client of PI for the last 10 years. If it wasn't for PI, he would not be able to live on his own and manage as well as he does. The staff is on call 24/7 for any emergency needs and are reliable, reputable and conscientious.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm writing as a parent of an adult client who is high-functioning autistic. Carla, the person assigned as a job developer for my son, made the effort to learn what kind of work my son would be best at and what he was looking for. Although it took a while, she came up with an ideal match. The job is part-time and requires his work only 9 months out of the year, but it's a great start and my son will get great references for a full-time job. Carla also had my son attend job skills and interview skills workshop at their location in Costa Mesa, which I thought was very helpful.

Client Served

Rating: 5

As the parent of an adult client with autism, it was frustrating dealing with another placement organization that simply put, passed the job search back to us. With Project Independence, within two weeks of meeting with my son, his job developer helped him acquired a job that suited his needs and interests. His employer had never hired a person with special needs and was impressed with the presentation and interviewed him on the spot. Project Independence continues to follow up with minimal shadowing to ensure his well being and job security. Well done!

Linda208

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

There was no category for my role. I am the parent of a client.

My son has been a client of Project Independence for about 20 years. He lives independently and it is because of the support he receives from PI. Every employee we've encountered has a great focus! They know what needs to be accomplished and how to proceed to implement or maintain goals. I've found my son's support has been ongoing and consistent.

If there is any problem a member of the team or team leader always gets back to me in support of my son.

I have no complaint about this organization and don't know what I'd do if there were not doing the ongoing support for my son's independent living status!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My brother has received services from Project Independence for over 10 years. It is an amazing organization that provides daily living assistance and social opportunities for people with challenges. Their staff is compassionate and loving and provide my brother with so much help and inspiration to live life to the very best of his abilities!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Having been in the field of vocational rehabilitation for more than 20 years, I can honestly say that Project Independence is the best agency I have ever worked for. I am the Community Work Incentives Coordinator (CWIC) for San Diego and Imperial Counties responsible for providing services to clients within the Work Incentives Planning & Assistance (WIPA) project funded through Social Security Administration. Every time I visit our main HQ in Costa Mesa, CA, I am treated as part of the P-I family, with the utmost dignity, respect and care. I could not ask for a better boss who provides excellent direction, guidance and feedback. He communicates in a manner that is not intimidating at all, but promotes a sense of cooperation and team spirit. In fact, one of the highlights of my job is that I actually look forward to his monthly visits to San Diego. How many employees in the U.S. can sincerely say THAT about their boss? If you are looking to donate to a respectable charitable organization, please seriously consider making a contribution to Project Independence. It would definitely be worth the investment.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

OK, I'm biased because now I'm the Executive Director. Before that though, for the 27 previous years when my dear friend Andrea was the ED, I loved PI. Our clients, our staff and families are simply the best. We do screw up on occasion but we try really hard not to and we work nonstop to fix any problems quickly. Write a review. Let us know if you need something or just want to say you love us too. We are here to serve.