#MissionMonday - Stephanie

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.


Stephanie has weathered quite a few storms in her life, including surgery for severe scoliosis at the age of 12, making it necessary for her to learn how to walk all over again. Because of the surgery, she fell behind in school and had to work very hard for a long time to catch up.

More recently, Stephanie made it through the COVID-19 furlough with no issue. Now, however, the problem that she encountered
seemed insurmountable. Stephanie is a cashier at Goodwill. She was excited to return from furlough to see her co-workers and to begin earning a paycheck again. However, shortly after her return, Stephanie seemed depressed and sad. She would cry easily and kept to herself a lot.

Stephanie decided to share what was going on with her supervisor and her GoodPartner Coach, hoping for some guidance. Stephanies’s boyfriend was being abusive, both verbally and physically. She needed stitches on the front and back of her arm. She had bruises covering the backs of her legs. Stephanie’s boyfriend had encouraged his dog to bite her and then he locked her out of the apartment they shared. She explained that the abuse had nothing to do with the lockdown because it had been happening on and off for a long time.  

She needed to move out but she had no family in the area and no close friends to turn to. She had used the little bit of money that she had managed to saved to rent a motel room for a few nights. She did not know what she was going to do when her money ran out and she had nowhere else to go.

Stephanie’s coach knew what to do. Her Coach gave her the telephone number for Safe Place and Rape Crisis Center (SPARCC) and encouraged her to make the call immediately. Patrice made the call. The SPARCC staff scheduled an appointment that day for a shelter interview. Her manager made a schedule accommodation so Patrice could get to the appointment. Stephanie participated in a screening interview and entered the SPARCC shelter that same day.

Everything is different for Stephanie now. She finally has a safe place to live. She can access free counseling services whenever she needs them. Stephanie has set some new goals for this year and she knows with the help of her coach, her manager and SPARCC, she is going to achieve them all. One of those goals was to become a Certified Role Model worker; Stephanie accomplished that goal last month. Things are definitely looking up.

Stephanie knows that many victims of domestic are unable to keep their jobs because of the turmoil and disruption in their lives. She is grateful that her coach and her manager knew what to do and were there when she needed them. She feels fortunate that she works at Goodwill, a place where people with all different types of barriers to self-sufficiency can achieve success. It’s what we do …