Roger had been in prison for five years. Upon his release he was jobless, homeless, estranged from his family and was faced with a big “now what?” Roger made a commitment to himself that no matter what, he would not return to prison. He picked up some day labor jobs and with his cousin’s assistance, he lived in a local motel. A motel room provided shelter, but Roger was not comfortable because it just did not feel “normal” to him. The day labor jobs did not feel “normal” either. He was just was not making enough money to sustain himself. So, he began to look for employment elsewhere but got turned down everywhere due to his criminal record. Then, Roger walked into the local Goodwill store and applied. What he found out was that Goodwill was a second chance employer-- and Roger knew that he really, really needed a second chance. Roger was hired.
Roger immediately met with his Good Partner Coach, a free life coach offered to all Goodwill Manasota Team Members, who questioned him about his housing, food needs, his self-esteem, clothing and just generally everything that he was seeing differently now since being out of prison. Roger’s coach asked a lot of other questions too, like “what will you do differently so that you don’t get in trouble again? Do you want a career? What kind of relationships do you want with your family now? What are your long term goals?” Some of these questions Roger was not yet ready to answer. His coach said that was okay because she knew he would be ready to answer those questions in time. She also told him that she did not necessarily need the answers, but he needed the answers for himself. Roger says those questions made him start thinking, prioritizing and figuring things out.
Roger has now been with Goodwill for over a year. He says his manager has worked with him to not only learn his job but also how to deal with his peers when things at work get tough. Roger admits he can be strong-headed and stubborn, but working at Goodwill and having supportive management and a Good Partner Coach that asked the right questions has made his transition doable. Roger says his life is starting to look “normal” again to him. He has a nice house that he rents and shares with a great roommate, he is working on buying a car and he has re-established relationships with much of his family.
As much as Roger loves his current job, he says it is now time for him to make his next transition to looking at going to trade school and getting a career in a technical field. He is glad that he found an employer who would give him a second chance at “normal” and who would ask him the questions that helped him move in the direction he wanted to go. It’s what we do...