#MissionMonday - Cindi

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.

CindiCindi moved to Florida from another state after getting into a bit of legal trouble.  She was embarrassed, ashamed, and felt as if her life was over.  The crime she had repeatedly committed had become a game and she was addicted to the thrill of getting away with it. Eventually she was caught and when she went before the judge, she was honest with him. The judge did not send her to prison but instead recognized that she had a problem, an addition, and ordered mandatory counseling.

Cindi says that was the best thing that ever happened to her.  After six months, she requested permission to relocate to Florida, saying that she felt it would be best to start her life over in new surroundings. Both the judge and her counselor agreed and the request was granted under the condition that she fulfill the terms of her probation and continue counseling  

Once Cindi got to Florida, she needed to find a job. Unfortunately, her previous career was off the table due to her probation. She accepted this fact quickly and began searching for an employer willing to give her a chance. Cindi ended up being hired by Goodwill and was thrilled to have a job. She didn’t care what she was doing because no matter what she knew it was a fresh start. She also found a new local therapist and had her records sent from her previous state. She still had payments to make toward her restitution plan but was determined to successfully complete all the requirements of her probation.

Now that Cindi had a job she needed to find a place to live as soon as possible.  When she was hired, her new manager suggested she meet with her GoodPartner Coach (GPC) who would be able to help her find temporary housing. Cindi met with her GPC before she even worked her first day at Goodwill. Together they went over Cindi’s financial situation – she had just $600 to her name until she started receiving paychecks. After making several calls, the GPC found a room for rent for $250 a month. After meeting with Cindi, the landlord agreed to let her move in with only the first month’s rent as long as she made payments toward the security deposit over the next few months.

Now Cindi had housing and a job.  She went to her counseling sessions twice a week and felt like things were really falling into place. Her GPC suggested a budget just to make sure she stayed on track and together they created a spreadsheet, which Cindi kept on her refrigerator.  With her new budget, she was able to pay her rent, restitution payments, counseling bills, and still have a few dollars left over after each check. With the extra, she opened a savings account and decided that as soon as she paid off her restitution she would replace her old car, which already had over 200k miles on it. She ended up paying her restitution in full two months before her repayment plan required.

One of the last requirements of Cindi’s probation was to return to her former state and appear in front of the judge who had given her a break. She was nervous but the judge told her he was proud of her and that being able to make a difference with people like her was the reason he had wanted to be a judge in the first place.  He dismissed and closed her case.

Now - two years later - Cindi has an apartment, a new car, and a job with people who she feels understand her and are ready to help if she needs it.  Last year, Cindi had planned to start looking for a new job but found herself not yet ready to leave Goodwill.  When her GPC asked her if she still wanted to return to her former career, Cindi decided that she should at least try. She started filling out applications and went on a few interviews, but was not in a hurry and wanted to make sure that if she was going to leave Goodwill she found her perfect fit. Eventually she received an offer from one of the employers that she decided to accept.

Just last week Cindi went into her GPC’s office and told her that she was going to return to work in her old field—the field she thought she would never work in again.  Before accepting the job offer, she asked if she could start part-time and the employer agreed that she could.  When her GPC asked, “Why part –time?” Cindi said she wanted to ease into it to make sure she was ready. She said, “I love what Goodwill has done for me and I am not ready to leave just yet, but I will be.”  Cindi thanks Goodwill for being her support system when she needed it the most.  It’s what we do...