Every Monday, we'll be posting a new story of how our mission has assisted people in the community. Be sure to check back each week for a new and inspirational story of someone who was helped by Goodwill Manasota. Changing lives through the power of work...it's what we do.

During his 15-year stay in jail, Angelo kept busy. He worked in the motor pool, taking care of the prison’s fleet of cars. He worked with police dogs, caring for 23 “hounds” the last five years of his stay. 

When he was released, Angelo went to the Salvation Army shelter in Sarasota because the only family member he had in the area – his mother – had died a few years ago. Angelo had a mat and a spot on the floor in the kitchen, paying $12 per night for that spot. Angelo knew he had to get out of the shelter and the only way to do that was to find a job. 

Angelo saw a poster about Goodwill’s Job Connection. He knew he would have difficulty finding work so he decided to visit the Job Connection at the Corporate Campus in Bradenton to get some help. 

Angelo met with Morgan and, together, they came up with an employment plan. Morgan knew that Angelo was going to need to apply for work with a “second chance” employer so he called Randy in Goodwill’s human resources department. Randy was looking for applicants for pricers at Goodwill retail stores. Since Angelo had neither a driver license nor a car, Morgan wanted to make sure that transportation was not an issue. He asked Angelo where he would be living once he left the Salvation Army shelter and he answered, “Wherever you find me a job is where I will find an apartment.”

Randy scheduled an interview for Angelo with the store manager at one of the Goodwill stores in Sarasota. Prior to the interview, Morgan practiced interviewing skills with Angelo since it had been a very long time since he had had looked for work. Angelo knew he wanted to find a job and stay there long-term. When the store manager asked Angelo if he was there for the pricer position, Angelo responded, "I'm here for your job but I’m interviewing for the pricer position.” The manager offered Angelo the job on the spot.

With Angelo’s first check, he rented an apartment within walking distance of the store. Then he went to a different Goodwill store and, with his employee discount, he bought furniture and a brand-new bed. Angelo was thrilled with the difference between his new living situation and his mat on the kitchen floor in a shelter just a few weeks prior.

 Recently, Angelo celebrated 90 days of employment at Goodwill. He is very grateful for Goodwill and the services available at the Job Connection. He said, “If it wasn’t for Goodwill, I would be doing day labor and still living in the shelter.” Angelo is glad that Goodwill was there when he was ready for a fresh start. It’s what we do …