#MissionMonday - Ken

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.

Ken is a young Air Force veteran. He stopped in at the Goodwill Manasota Veterans Services Program office back in December when he was not sure where else to turn.

Ken was having a spate of bad luck. He had been in a car accident that resulted in a serious back injury. Then he lost his job as a firefighter/emergency medical technician because his back injury made it impossible for him to handle the rigorous physical demands of the job. Without any income to pay rent, he lost his home and now he and his 8-year-old daughter were homeless.


The Goodwill Veterans Services Program team knew where Ken could get the help he needed. They turned to partners at Turning Points for help with housing.  The Yellow Ribbon program at Turning Points had grant funds available and they were able to help Ken and his daughter find a new place to move into right away. Streets of Paradise, another valuable partner for the veterans’ services team, furnished the family’s new apartment at no charge.


Now that Ken’s housing issue was resolved, the Goodwill team hit the ground running looking for employment for Ken that would be in line with his physical restrictions. Within a few weeks, Ken landed a job at a local hospital as a patient care technician. It was a great job, offering $20/hour. But, then, more bad luck: Ken’s car broke down a week before he was supposed to start work.


The Goodwill team knew exactly where to turn to help with transportation. Another partner, SRQ Vets, donated a car to Ken that a donor had given to the organization to help a veteran in need. Ken became the proud owner of a nice Monte Carlo. SRQ Vets covered the cost of the tag and registration; the veterans’ services team helped Ken purchase car insurance through Goodwill’s Special Emergency Resources for Veterans (SERV) Fund.


There was just one more matter that worried Ken. It was December and his job would not begin until the New Year. Christmas was coming and there would be no presents for his young daughter. The Goodwill veterans team reached out to partners at American Legion Post 24 and, suddenly, Christmas was looking a great deal brighter for both Ken and his daughter.


Ken had always heard that our community supports veterans. He was glad that the Goodwill Veterans Services Program team knew how to access those supports when he needed them most.


It’s what we do …