Employment Services

Group Supported Employment

Desert Survivors was incorporated in 1981 with the purpose of creating meaningful dignified employment for adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD).  We have gone through many changes in our 40 years but the original message remains.

Currently Desert Survivors offers Group Supported Employment to individuals with I/DD through our qualified vendor contract with the Arizona Department of Economic Security Division of Developmental Disabilities.

We employ upwards of forty-three adults with I/DD in fully integrated work environments pursuing the goal of assisting each person reach their full potential in employment readiness, and move on to competitive employment within our community. 


Mentor Crew

A diverse and skilled staff of mentors and horticulturists work directly with our trainee employees teaching, guiding and encouraging our members in a myriad of tasks and jobs on a daily basis.

Santa Cruz River Mobile Crew

We are proud to be partnered with Pima County Dept. of Natural Resources, Parks and Recreation, We have two crews that maintain the Santa Cruz River Park, Chuck Huckleberry Loop from Irvington to Ina Road.

Downtown Tucson Partnership Team​

We are proud to work with the Downtown Tucson Partnership team. Our two crews help keep Downtown beautiful by picking up trash, cleaning grates, watering the planters and adding plants to keep the streets of our city looking good for everyone to enjoy.

On-site Nursery teams​

We have up to 25 members with I/DD who are on site at our nursery. These individuals help maintain over 40,000 plants! Weeding, transplanting, moving, organizing and learning new skills enables them to meet their full potential. Each small group has a mentor to guide, care for, teach and encourage, with respect for each persons unique abilities.

Employment Program

Supported Employment Director Brian Rodriguez
Open: 7:30 AM – 3:15 PM
1020 W. Starr Pass,
Tucson, AZ 85713

Send an email to
for more information.

Play Video about Desert Survivors Plants

Our east entrance gate is located along Santa Cruz Lane at the junction of 21st Street. Employees are dropped off and picked up from this location.

Disability Information & Resources

Arizona Department of Economic Security, Division of Developmental Disabilities
Welcome to the Arizona Department of Economic Security (DES). DES works with families, community organizations, advocates and state and federal partners to realize our collective vision that every child, adult, and family in Arizona will be safe and economically secure.
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