#MissionMonday - Joe

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.

JoeJoe came into the Job Connection office looking for work after serving a 20-year sentence in the Alabama State Penitentiary. He had been arrested numerous times for a variety of charges ranging from drug possession to robbery - all due to his drug addiction.

When Joe came to the Job Connection, he met with Carlos, a Career Development Facilitator. Carlos and Joe had known each other for years because they had grown up in the same neighborhood.  Carlos noted that Joe seemed different now. During the enrollment process, Joe shared with Carlos that his father had passed away while he was in prison. Now, Joe’s primary goal was to get a job so that he could help his widowed mother with her personal and household needs. Joe gave Carlos an example.  He said that his mom had a car, but could not drive it because she could not afford the insurance. Because money was so tight, he decided to get a job as soon as possible doing whatever he could. The desire to help his mother is what led Joe to the Goodwill Job Connection program.  

Carlos knew he was going to have to find a “second chance” employer for Joe, but that was easy. He emailed Goodwill’s recruiter requesting a review of Joe’s application. The recruiter reviewed the application, Joe was interviewed, and a job offer was made. To his surprise, Joe was working at Goodwill within the week. He had been certain that his background was going to make his job search take much longer.

Now that he was working, Joe began saving money. Between what he was able to save and what his mom had already saved, they were able to get her car back on the road in no time. They were also able to take care of a few more household needs that Joe’s mom had been concerned about for a while.

After riding his bike to work for the first three months of his employment, Joe decided to focus on getting a means of transportation for himself. The first step would be to get his driver’s license reinstated.  Joe learned that reinstating his license would require paying off all his old tickets. So, his goal to buy a car was postponed as he went back to saving as much money as he could.  He was determined to do things the right way this time.

It took Joe about a month to save enough money to pay off all his tickets and get a driver’s license. Soon after, he was riding his bike home from work and saw a car for sale in his neighborhood. Joe purchased the car, which should have been the end of a happy story. Unfortunately, the car had a lien on it, which meant the purchase would be on hold until the former owner paid off the lien. Joe waited patiently and soon the former owner paid off the lien and both Joe and his mom were driving their own cars.

Joe has more goals that he wants to accomplish, but getting a job and making sure both he and his mother have independent means of transportation was a very big deal for him - especially after all those years he spent as a guest of the State of Alabama. Joe is glad that Carlos and Goodwill were there when he decided to transform himself into a responsible son who could be there for his mom. It’s what we do...