#MissionMonday - Harry

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.


#MissionMonday - HarryWhen times get tough, the tough getting going – sometimes.  We think of ourselves as being tough and independent, but what if life keeps beating you down at every turn and you lose everything, including your family, friends, home, dignity, confidence and self-esteem?

Harry had a troubled childhood, and after years of living with an alcoholic father, he decided that enough was enough. It was time to hit the road, even though Harry had no particular direction in mind. He ended up being homeless. Drugs and other illegal temptations were everywhere. Harry was so tired and he needed help, so he decided to go back to the only home he knew, to his alcoholic father. Harry stayed with his father until he was 18.

When he turned 18, street life beckoned once again. Harry learned how to hustle drugs with the best of them. Years on the street with occasional time in jail on drug charges made Harry look and feel like an old man even though he was in his 30’s.

Harry had maintained a somewhat amiable relationship with his mother and younger brother throughout the years. His mom told Harry he could stay with her and she would help him purchase a car if he would come to Florida. Once in Florida and staying with his mother, they worked to repair their tattered relationship after being apart for years. Things in Florida were different. Harry’s mother was tough and she expected him to toe the line.   

Harry needed to find a job. He was now clean and sober and determined not to go back to his old ways.  But Harry had a number of barriers to overcome: his criminal background, no recent work history and few marketable skills. Harry was not deterred and was determined to find a job. 

Goodwill’s Job Connection was Harry’s key to a second chance. The Career Development Facilitator helped Harry develop a resume and practice his interviewing skills, then sent him on several interviews. He was delighted to land a job as a wares pricer with Goodwill!  Soon he was working with his GoodPartner Coach (a free life coach assigned to all Goodwill Manasota Team Members) to work on his goals: coming up with a realistic budget, working on his relationship with his mother and trying to be a good son. The GoodPartner Coach gave Harry some assessments and he began taking the classes he needed.

Harry is well liked by his co-workers and he’s always willing to lend a helping hand wherever he is needed.  Life has changed for the better for Harry and he wants to keep it that way. He is glad that Goodwill was there when he was ready to make some changes. It’s what we do…