After serving time in the criminal justice system, Larry struggled to figure out his next steps towards leading a happy and productive life. He knew that finding a stable job with insurance benefits would be key to moving forward and supporting himself. By working with his care coordinator at Wisconsin Community Services, Larry was introduced to Goodwill’s Individual Placement and Support program which helps people with mental illness and/or substance use disorders find and keep jobs.
Through the program he was matched with Julie Loth, an employment specialist who met with Larry to learn about his strengths, skills and interests. She learned about his experience in food service, maintenance and healthcare. Through several discussions about his employment history, Julie and Larry worked together to draft a resume and begin submitting applications for custodial positions. Julie assisted Larry in completing online applications, preparing for in-person interviews and videotaping interview answers for potential employers. She also connected him to Goodwill’s Workforce Connection Centers to learn about additional job opportunities.
A few months after connecting with Julie, Larry was hired for a part-time cleaning position with a local company. He was happy to learn that as he began his new job, the support from Goodwill did not end. Larry continued to receive help with scheduling, managing the hours he worked, analyzing his benefits and more. Soon after, he was able to learn how to independently report his wages which gave him confidence to know he would be able to succeed in his new job on his own.
Because of the assistance Goodwill provided, Larry is succeeding at work and in his personal life. Through his job, Larry has been building his work history, supporting himself and positively contributing to the health and safety of the students at the school he cleans. He recently moved into his own apartment and is enjoying connecting with family, nature and the arts. Larry is just one example of how Goodwill is transforming lives by creating jobs and career opportunities for the community.