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Bridging the Employment Divide: How Leading Companies Partner with Sentry Living Solutions to Empower and Uplift

Bridging the Employment Divide: How Leading Companies Partner with Sentry Living Solutions to Empower and Uplift

Employment is one of the burning issues for people with disabilities. Societies across the globe recognize it as such, adopting specific measures to help people reach their full potential and find meaningful employment. In the United States, laws such as the Americans with Disabilities Act were implemented to stop discrimination and provide reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities.

But even with the laws and the occasional tax incentive, US Department of Labor statistics show that people with disabilities have a lower labor force participation rate and a higher unemployment rate than people without a disability. There’s a gap that needs to be filled, and Sentry Living Solutions is on the task.

“We have recently opened the Employment Program, which operates through the Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), introducing yet another different process,” says Sentry’s founder, Carlos Cienfuegos. Through this service, his organization can provide a job coach to help you learn your job and other types of support that eventually lead to increased levels of independence.

The supported employment program is only one venue in which Sentry Living Solutions is pursuing its mission — providing crucial services to people with developmental disabilities and helping them achieve better outcomes from the services they receive.

“After I graduated with my undergrad in psychology, my first job was working as a Program Coordinator at an organization that serves adults with developmental disabilities,” Cienfuegos recalls. “And I saw that the client’s progress was never really happening. Things were not happening for them.”

Cienfuegos, on the other hand, had a firm belief that his clients’ developmental disabilities shouldn’t prevent them from achieving a lot of things. It’s possible to defy expectations and achieve greatness through proper support and empowerment, such as the support they receive for employment.

Like many other non-profits, however, Sentry has faced many difficulties. Securing funding and ensuring they provide the best service possible is never easy. But while the financial stuff can sometimes get complicated, Cienfuegos always likes to point out the examples of support they’ve received.

“Partnering with Whole Foods for employment has helped us have the necessary tools in terms of equipment, transportation, and other necessary resources to assist in providing job coaching for the clients,” he says. “Other companies have also contributed to specific events that we have had.”

The list of businesses that supported Sentry’s efforts is extensive, including Trader Joe’s, Peet’s Coffee, Dude Wipes, and Chewy.com, to name just a few. As Cienfuegos and his team continue to work with those who need the type of assistance they provide, they are sure that the number of companies who recognize their effort and decide to support it will only grow.

In the meantime, Sentry Living Solutions will continue doing what it does best — even though what they do can sometimes be hard to classify.

“It’s an area where professionals, including doctors, struggle to put a specific label on the industry. It can be quite complex and difficult to define,” Cienfuegos explains. “We don’t focus on treating people’s problems in the traditional sense like healthcare does for preventive health. At the same time, we’re not solely mental health services either. I believe we should be classified as human services.”

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