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Goodwill Mission Stories

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Goodwill Partnership Creates Sense of Community

Home Delivered Meals Drivers Deliver Meaningful Connection

Regenia Thomas-Love, Goodwill Home Delivered Meals Driver, using Beautiful Questions to engage meal recipient Loyal R. on their daily route. Photo Credit: TimeSlips Creative

Nearly one-fourth of adults aged 65 and older are considered socially isolated from their community and natural social structures like family and friends. Isolation can result in an increased risk of loneliness and serious medical conditions, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

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“Fantastic” is the word Justin used to describe his Greenhouse Staff position with BGC Growers. Justin, who has a learning disability, explained that his passion for horticulture began when he was attending Shepherd’s College. He loved being able to work outside with plants and soil and said that working behind a desk was not for him. Upon his graduation from Shepherd’s College in May 2022, Justin took the first step in achieving his dream job by connecting with his Department of Workforce Development Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) Counselor.

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Johanna had entered Milwaukee County’s Comprehensive Community Services (CCS) program, employed at a job that was jeopardizing her health and recovery. After being in the CCS program for 2 months, she began to speak with her Care Coordinator about wanting a new job. She wanted a job that would not be as stressful as her current job, and one that would allow her some accommodations while working, such as being able to sit and stand on occasion. In February of 2022, Johanna began working with Employment Specialist, Saprina Johnson, with Goodwill’s Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Program.

Johanna was working part time as an activity assistant with a nursing home. At first this job excited her, but as time went on, it began to tax her recovery. Johanna was feeling overworked and in need of a new job to protect her mental health and recovery.

Once Saprina began meeting with Johanna, she knew right away that the motivation factor was high, but Johanna needed some guidance and support for her to reach her job goal. Saprina and Johanna started with updating her resume. Johanna was serious about wanting a new job, and she was willing to stay at her current job until her new opportunity arrived. Saprina helped Johanna understand the ways in which one can be professional while still sticking up for oneself and also helped Johanna with presenting her best self on applications and during interviews. Saprina and Johanna would continue to meet each week to update resumes and cover letters and apply to jobs together.

Johanna began to talk with Saprina about a past job in security that she had liked. Saprina had a connection with a security company called, Par Mar Security, where she knew one of the managers. Because of this connection, Johanna was able to apply and interview for a security guard position for the company. They offered her a position that she began on March 8, 2022 and were accommodating with Johanna on completing their onboarding procedures After successfully working 90 days, Johanna notified Saprina that she no longer needed IPS services Saprina was proud of Johanna and the growth she had shown since they began working together. Saprina let Johanna know that IPS would be available if she ever needed employment help again. Johanna was successfully discharged from Goodwill’s IPS Program on April 25th, 2022, employed as a Security Guard.

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A Roadmap to Independence Through Goodwill’s IPS Program

When Goodwill's Individual Placement and Support (IPS) employment specialist, Julie Loth, began working with Michelle in late January 2021, Michelle was eager to return to working in the food service industry. She also wanted to renew her state approved ServSafe certification, which verifies food safety knowledge that protects the public from foodborne illness.

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Goodwill’s IPS Program Leads to New Job Opportunities for Anquenette

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Goodwill Mental Health Program Provides Support Needed to Gain Meaningful Employment

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During the summer of 2019, Sam expressed an interest in getting back to work after joining the Goodwill Day Services Clubhouse program. Goodwill's Community Access (CA) staff stepped in, and by August, Sam began working with the CA group.

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When Markisha first came to Goodwill, she needed help finding work and decided to seek assistance from the Goodwill Workforce Connection Center (WCC) on Richards Street. Markisha used virtual recruitment sessions, remote resume assistance, remote job leads, and onsite recruitment events to help her get started on her employment journey.

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When Theodore started using Goodwill’s services, he worked two part-time jobs and would have to drop off his time sheets at two separate locations. Since it was a lot of travel time and gas, he started visiting the Goodwill Workforce Connection Center (WCC) on Richard Street to fax off his time sheets since it was convenient and saved him time and money. Theodore also used the WCC's computers and picked up monthly employment flyers so that he would not miss other career opportunities.

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When Rei first began working with Individual Placement and Support (IPS) Employment Specialist, Erika Eykmans, she struggled academically and felt she had no direction at a UW system school a few hours outside of Milwaukee. Rei thought obtaining her bachelor’s degree was the only way to break the cycle of reliance on government services. Erika took her to the Milwaukee Area Technical College (MATC) to pull program cards for every program offered. Rei looked through the options and narrowed it down to a few that brought her joy, with her first choice being website design. Erika then assisted her with transferring schools and notifying financial aid for the 2020 fall semester. They then set up an informational interview with the website designer at Goodwill, and at that moment, Rei was sold on her future career plans. “I found a purpose in design, and it has motivated me to continue working towards my long-term goals.” Through hard work, Rei increased her grade point average from 1.8 to 3.4 over her first year at MATC.

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Mission Support Center
Tel: (414) 847-4200

James O. Wright Center forWork & Training
Tel: (414) 353-6400

Metropolitan Chicago -
Tel: (312) 994-1440