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TMI Employer Spotlight: Woman Haven Thrift Store - Tim Escalante

Updated: May 14, 2019

In the two years that Timoteo “Tim” Escalante has managed the Woman Haven Thrift Store in El Centro, he has made an impact on the lives of the Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) clients with intellectual and developmental disabilities volunteering there that will last a lifetime.

Tim doesn’t just direct the volunteers and work experience program, he has taken TMI’s clients under his wing to help them find their strengths in order to be successful. Tim oversees and guides TMI’s 13 Community Integration Services (CIS) clients along with their Job Coaches at Woman Haven, which provides goods to individuals that may need to start a new life free of violence and abuse.

(Tim with TMI's clients Alberto, Kenneth and Mario)

(Tim with TMI's clients Alberto, Kenneth and Mario)

“Tim takes his time to explain things to us and does so much for us. He helps me with my Spanish and customer service,” said TMI’s client Robert. “Tim is always positive!”

Tim is much more than a supervisor to TMI’s clients. He not only teaches them basic skills, he also goes out of his way to teach them how to take the initiative on the job. Tim always seems to know what questions to ask and how to ask them if they don’t understand.

“Our clients have many life challenges, but Tim never lets those challenges get in the way of helping them to continue to grow and become active members of their community,” said TMI CIS Division Manager Aurora Chavez. “Tim has opened many doors for our clients by giving them a place to feel useful, mentoring them and preparing them for a job in the future.”

Tim demonstrates innovation and creativity when dealing with the day to day work assignments and is always encouraging TMI’s clients to learn new skills.

“Tim gave me responsibilities and mentors me on good presentation. Tim also helped me on how to be job ready for an interview,” said TMI’s client Christopher. “Tim always tells me I do a good job.”

Tim with TMI Clients Fernando and Christopher)

(Tim with TMI's clients Fernando and Christopher)

Tim is truly an inspiration and shares his talents with those who need it the most. He has made a positive change in our community, which strongly impacts our world.

“Tim gives our clients his undivided attention to help them to improve. He, at times, pushes clients out of their comfort zone to help them overcome their fears,” said TMI Job Coach Christian Catalan. “Tim helps our clients to feel empowered.”

TMI Clients Susana and Kevin Were Awarded by Tim for Their Perfect Attendance

(TMI's clients Susana and Kevin were awarded by Tim for their perfect attendance)

TMI’s CIS day program is designed to meet the employment and community integration needs of our clients. These services are funded by local Regional Centers with dollars from the State Department of Developmental Services at a 1:3 staff to client ratio. Although paid work is the desired outcome for all of our clients, many are working as volunteers at a wide variety of nonprofit organizations throughout San Diego, Riverside and Imperial counties.

Thank you to Tim and Woman Haven for partnering with TMI’s CIS program to help us transform the lives of our clients!


Toward Maximum Independence (TMI) has been transforming the lives of children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities since 1981 and those who are deaf and hard of hearing since 2000. Like all of us, our clients are born with hopes, dreams and the drive to contribute to society. TMI strives to help our clients to realize their hopes and dreams by providing Employment Solutions, Community Living Services and Family Support Services throughout San Diego, Riverside and Imperial Counties.

#ElCentro #IntegratedWork

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