#MissionMonday - George

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.

George is an Army veteran who used to have a great job. The pay was fantastic but he was consistently working a lot of overtime, so he left that job for an employer who was offering a 40-hour work week. The problem with the new job was that the position never really existed.

George hadn’t given two weeks’ notice so he couldn’t get his old job back. He started looking for a new job but, just like a lot of other folks he knew, he didn’t have any money saved for a rainy day. Before he could find a new job, he was evicted from his apartment because he couldn’t pay the rent. Now George was jobless AND homeless.

He was able to get some help from local agencies, like Turning Points and Joseph’s Storehouse. He ended up living in transitional housing. Then he found a job at a local restaurant making $10/hour. He was required to make small rent payments in order to keep his transitional housing at Joseph’s Storehouse. Initially, the new job gave him just enough money to make those payments. Then, when summer came along, George’s hours were cut. Now he was at risk of losing his housing again.

George went back to the Yellow Ribbon program - which serves veterans who are homeless or at risk - at Turning Points to see if he could keep himself from becoming homeless yet again. The program partners with lots of other veterans’ organizations, including Goodwill’s Veterans Services Program. His case manager at Turning Points introduced George to one of Goodwill’s veterans’ case managers, Chris, who had stopped into Turning Points to check on some of the other people he worked with.

Chris spent some time talking to George about his current situation. The two agreed that George just needed a better job. Chris invited George to come to the weekly BRAVE meeting at Goodwill’s Veteran’s Services Program office. This program focuses on putting veterans to work in jobs that pay enough to allow them to become self-sufficient. On the day that George came to visit the BRAVE program, Chris had arranged for a local veteran-friendly employer, a landscaping company, to be present for mock interviews; George interviewed with the owner of the company. It turns out that this “just for practice” interview was actually the real thing: George was offered a full-time job at $11/hour, which he gratefully accepted.

Nowadays, George is still living at Joseph’s Storehouse, paying his rent on time and saving money to move into permanent housing. He is glad that his chance meeting with the Goodwill veterans’ program put him in the right place at the right time so that he could get back on his feet. It’s what we do ...