#MissionMonday - Clint

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.

Clint was participating in the MAPS (Manatee Adult Pathway to Success)—a partnership between the Manatee Sheriff’s Office, Turning Points and Goodwill. He was a veteran who had served in the U.S. Air Force as a Vehicle Operator from 2009-2013. Now he was looking for assistance in finding a job following a period of incarceration.

As a teenager, Clint had gotten in trouble plenty of times. He had a high school diploma but he also had a lengthy rap sheet that continued to grow following his graduation. His convictions led to the levying of community service hours and fines. In 2009, Clint enlisted in the Air Force and was deployed to Iraq. He served his country by conducting convoy operations until his honorable discharge in 2013. 

Back in the States, Clint knew he needed to get some help with his mental health issues. He took a job as a pest control technician but the money was not enough to support his family. He became depressed and quit the job before he had another job lined up. His relationship with his family started to deteriorate. As time went on, Clint started adding to his rap sheet again with traffic infractions, criminal traffic charges and, finally, a domestic violence charge that landed him in jail. Upon his release, he went home and tried to work through his personal issues with his family. Clint saw that his anger management skills were not improving, so he moved out.

 Clint’s routine was to arrive at a day labor office each morning at 5 a.m. in hopes of getting an assignment for the day. When there was no assignment, he would go to Turning Points to use the computers and apply for jobs on his own. At Turning Points, he met Goodwill’s Career Development Facilitator, Kathy. Kathy helped Clint get a job as a window installer. Clint was grateful for the opportunity to begin catching up on his child support payments. However, Clint incurred another domestic dispute charge. He was arrested and sent to jail again.

On the day Clint received notice of his release from jail, he arrived home to find an eviction notice plastered on his efficiency unit. It was a court order requiring him to move out of the apartment. He went to the management office to inquire about his belongings and learned that his landlord had put them all out on the curb for the garbage collector. 

Now Clint had no belongings and no place to live. He needed to find a place to sleep for the night so he stopped by the first public building he came to, the Bradenton Municipal Auditorium. He went in and laid down on a bench. Almost immediately, the employees there told him that it was closing time and he needed to leave. Clint did not care. He continued to lay on the bench with his backpack as a pillow and his hat over his face. The employees called the police, who arrested Clint again. 

Kathy met Clint again while she was doing outreach at the Port Manatee Jail. Clint knew that things needed to change for him if he wanted to stay out of jail moving forward. He told Kathy that he wanted to participate in the MAPS program. Kathy gave him the information he needed and he arrived at the Turning Points Job Connection the day after his release. Kathy enrolled him in the Job Connection and, at the same time, Edwin from Turning Points worked finding Clint housing. Edwin’s plan was to refer Clint to Veteran’s Village but Clint needed to find work in order to live there.

Kathy was ready. She had a job lead from Manatee County for building trades workers to help with drywall installation. Kathy helped Clint revise his resume to highlight the skills he had that matched the job description. She faxed the new resume to the county that day and helped arrange an interview for Clint the next day. The interview went well and Clint was offered a position for 40 hours a week at more than $13 per hour. 

Clint’s employer of record was Express Personnel but he could become a county employee if he could prove he was a good fit. The county wanted to know that Clint would show up on time every day and do a good job before they would transfer him onto their payroll. The Veterans Services program at Turning Points provided Clint with the steel toe work boots that he needed and Job Connection provided clean T-shirts he could wear to work. It was time for Clint to prove himself. 

After Clint’s first two weeks of employment, Kathy got a call from his supervisor. Clint was working out well. He was now a Manatee County employee, working as a Senior Building Trades Worker. His new status bumped up Clint’s pay to $16.05/hour and included county benefits. 

Clint was glad he found a program that could give him what he needed when he was ready to make a life change. Changing lives through the power of WORK – it’s what we do …