Here are a few examples of Individual Placement & Support (IPS) in action across North Carolina:
An individual has maintained stable full-time employment in the banking industry. She is making more than her expected salary. She is also taking online Accounting and Finance classes to elevate herself towards moving into a lead position within the bank.
The EPM has been supporting her in finding stable housing. She had been living in a homeless shelter and was moved to a hotel because of the high risk of COVID-19. She has been approved for Section 8 Housing, and the EPM is assisting her in looking for housing. She remains focused on her career goals, and all of this has been accomplished in less than a year of being in the IPS program.
An individual was referred from Vocational Rehabilitation in Feb 2019. He was living in a group home and was connected with the TCLI program.
About two months later, he was able to move into his apartment. In February of this year, he obtained a job as a front desk clerk at a local inn. He is happy and has remained at this job throughout COVID when other hotel employees experienced unemployment.
An individual received her Certified Medical Assistant certification in 2015. After receiving her certificate, she had difficulty finding a job because she did not have any experience, and transportation was a barrier.
She started with IPS in June 2018. The team helped her find a few short-term entry-level jobs. Vocational Rehabilitation sponsored an internship where she gained four months of experience as a CMA at a local pediatric clinic. She utilized her income tax and stimulus check to purchase a vehicle. In August, she has obtained full-time employment with a major hospital as a CMA.
An individual has been employed as a delivery driver since April 2020. He was previously a resident at a homeless shelter. Since finding employment, he was able to mend relationships with natural supports.
He is now living with a family member in hopes of finding his own housing soon. When the individual first received IPS services, he had supervised visitation with his two daughters. He has now regained full custody of his children and prepared a room where he is currently living for his children. He is working with the EPM to actively search for safe and affordable housing in the community for him and his children.
An individual recently completed chef school. During his schooling, he was required to do a work-study, which started on campus, but due to COVID-19, he needed to find employment off-campus to count towards his work-study.
He began working for a camp. He loved this job and got along well with his coworkers. After he completed his work-study and graduated from chef school, his employers asked him to stay at his job because they consider him an asset to their team. He has continued working at this job and is very happy there.
An individual who receives IPS and also attends PSR has not worked in over 20 years. He was eager to find a job and worked with the ESP to apply for available positions.
There was a new restaurant opening, and they were conducting interviews. He decided he wanted to go. The ESP accompanied him to the restaurant, but he interviewed on his own and was offered a job as a prep cook.
He only worked a few shifts before COVID-19 hit, and the restaurant had to close. Upon reopening a few months later, they reached out to him and asked him to come back. He has maintained this job for months and is very happy working there.
An individual experienced several challenges when she first started receiving IPS services. She was going through a divorce, living in unsafe housing, was assaulted, and had to move into a women’s shelter.
With the IPS team’s support, she was able to apply for HUD and got stable housing. During COVID-19, she lost touch with the IPS team after her phone was stolen.
She recently reconnected with the IPS team and is doing very well. She is still living on her own and recently got a job at a retail store. She was able to purchase a car for herself and now has her own transportation. She is also expecting her first grandchild and is very excited.
An IPS team is serving an individual that has difficulty maintaining employment. The team started working with him before COVID-19, and he started going to interviews. He was unsure of the risks of COVID-19.
As things began to improve, he found a job he did not like to bring in income, so the ESP started assisting him with looking for jobs that met his long term needs. He found a job working outside, which he wanted, and he really likes his job and coworkers.
An individual started receiving IPS services in October 2018. He was experiencing depression, anxiety, and using substances daily. He started working with his employment specialist to find a job. He had a few challenges to overcome: lack of transportation, having an eighth-grade education, and English as a Second Language.
However, he had a very strong support system and was very motivated to find employment. In January of this year, he obtained work as a janitor at a big box store. In May, he was named Employee of the Month. A few weeks later, he was transferred to a different department where he received a $4 an hour pay increase.
Since he has been working, he is reporting fewer depressive symptoms and minimal anxiety. He stated he is “so happy to have a job.” He arrives to work ahead of schedule and is usually the last person to leave. His supervisor reports that he is dependable, hardworking, and always on time. His supervisor said, “he is an absolute joy to work with.”
An IPS team has been working with an individual for three and a half years. The individual worked at a temporary job at a city landfill for two years. Last week, he had a third interview with the City and was offered a permanent position with benefits!
He will be interacting with individuals who are dropping off their trash, accepting payments, and balancing his drawer every night. This is his dream job. He gets along well with his co-workers, and it is a relaxed environment for him. He met his employment goal of finding permanent employment with benefits.
An individual had been engaging with the IPS team prior to COVID-19. When the pandemic hit, she immediately stopped applying for jobs and pursuing employment. She wanted to wait until she knew more about it because she lives with her mother and grandmother.
During the month of May, she stopped engaging entirely with the team and blocked the team members’ phone numbers. The team reached out to her mother with prior consent, who helped her to see that the IPS Team genuinely cares about her.
She said that any other service would have discharged her daughter, and not have thought twice about it, but she saw that the IPS team does not give up on people and she admires that about the service. Since this conversation, the individual began reengaging with the team. She has had one Zoom interview, one phone interview, and a job offer for a housekeeper at a local hospital.
An individual was experiencing some negative feedback and bullying at work, which cause him to turn in his uniform and quit. The manager reached out to the employment specialist because the manager wanted to encourage him to stay. She offered to make accommodations to schedule him for shifts when she is there, “until he gets a little stronger.”
The individual would not answer his phone and was not home when the employment specialist tried to meet with him. She saw him walking down the street, stopped, and talked to him awhile. She asked questions about repeating patterns of quitting jobs impulsively and how to change that pattern.
She also let him know that his supervisor did not want him to quit and valued his work. He then agreed to speak with his supervisor on the phone with the employment specialist facilitating. The individual decided to go back to work and try again.
An IPS team serves a woman who is 56 and a cancer survivor, which puts her in the high-risk category for COVID-19 and causes a lot of fear and anxiety about pursuing employment safely. She was able to receive unemployment benefits to help sustain her during the pandemic while she was unable to work.
Then, last month, she was hired at a local prestigious nursing home/memory care center. Her employer values the safety of their staff. She is approaching her 30 days of working as a Life Enrichment (activities director) and has a desire to retire at the establishment.
Although she has been on a journey for the best fit since 2018, this is the happiest that she has been. She feels that she has made a great choice and has learned valuable lessons that will help her sustain employment.