Timothy (read Timothy’s story)
“They (HGI) helped me establish my housing, they helped me establish work — I worked for Horizon in a temporary position. It felt good because it was the first time I worked in a long time, and I made sure I was a very dedicated worker,” he said. “So, it’s been very beneficial for me because it opened a lot of doors and stood beside me with my guidance and sometimes listened to me moan and groan about things, but they wanted to hear it. They were very interested in what I had to say. They’ve always been there for me, even still today. I can contact them if I’m dealing with something, and they’ll come to talk to me and help me get through it or maybe even come up with resources that are available in my community to help me maneuver through.”
Rhonda (read Rhonda’s story)
As part of the Goodwill Shelter Program, Rhonda started working for Goodwill at the corporate location in the north-end warehouse before moving to the Burhans Boulevard location. Now she’s at the brand-new North Pointe store in Hagerstown. While there were times she admitted she wanted to give up, Rhonda sees her journey as training – preparing her for her opportunity to help others in the future.
“It’s just part of my sacrifice. I’ve always wanted to help people on the street. And He taught me through this experience to help people more. My dream was to have my own mission,” she explains. “So, I feel like coming here and going through this experience, it was also a learning experience to get me ready to help other people that need help.”
“I felt like this was part of my ministry to help people and to evangelize the best way I know how,” she continues. “I don’t know where I will be, but I think I will have my own mission and have that recreation room where we come in for fellowship, and the ones that don’t know the Lord will come to the Lord and just love him – because a lot of those people don’t have love.”
Jennifer (read Jennifer’s story)
“I worked a training period at the La Vale Goodwill location. The work helped me get back on my feet, including giving me the ability to move into my own place.
“It was a fantastic experience. I’m grateful for the opportunity, it got me back into the workforce,” she said, something she couldn’t find elsewhere. “Because honestly, through all of that, I had charges, so I couldn’t get nobody to hire me whatsoever because of that open case. Finding employment was really hard for me.”
Those charges were later dismissed and thrown out, she explained, but “that didn’t take away from a year I couldn’t get a job because of it.”
Her training at Goodwill gave her a foundation to build on. Now she is an inspector at Berry Global, a local plastics fabrication firm.
All this might not have been possible If I hadn’t the strength to recognize the pattern of addiction and seek the treatment that introduced her to her case managers at Horizon Goodwill.
“I’m just thankful and grateful for Horizon Goodwill for giving me the opportunity to start proving myself again,” she said.
Mary (read Mary’s story)
When I learned about Horizon Goodwill, I thought they would have you work in the store. I had been told that some of the circumstances for going through the program were people that don’t have job experience or have gotten into some trouble, and now they’re getting back on their feet,” she said. “I was like, I’m none of those things. But I’ve been disadvantaged in a whole other level, so I’m not gonna take it offensively and just go ahead with the program and see what benefits it could help me with.”
My caseworker asked me about my experience and situation to better match her up with opportunities that fit her needs. She chose Blue Ridge Community and Technical College because of the flexibility it gave her regarding her kids. Within six weeks, Blue Ridge took her on full-time.
“Christmas break, I get all eleven days off like my kids, so it works out great,” she said. “When I came in through Horizon Goodwill, they were willing to work with my hours and my times — that really helped. Now that I am on full-time, I could get the kids into childcare and get my full-time hours. I got benefits from day one.”
Getting a full-time job and being able to pay for daycare was just what she needed to get her back on her feet. Most important, her caseworker was able to provide her with a ride to and from work during her first week when her car wasn’t running. Otherwise, she would have never been able to start.
James (read James’ story)
A friend of mine used to work for Goodwill and suggested that I might find a good fit.
“I was hired at the warehouse. From there, I started working for the janitorial crew. I’ve been with Goodwill ever since,” he said. “I love what I’m doing. It gets hectic sometimes, but I’m in a good spot. I have stability now, which I didn’t have before.”
“I guess they liked my initiative and how I worked. Whatever they asked me to do, I would do it,” he continued. “So, a supervisor position came up, and they made me supervisor, and I’ve been a supervisor ever since.”
I see my life as a long journey, and he has learned something every step of the way. That helps him appreciate the opportunity Horizon Goodwill has provided. He enjoys the work, and now, with a 401k, he sees a time when he can stop, enjoy his retirement and catch up with old friends.
“I’m 62. I’ve been working basically all my life, and I’m looking forward to four years when I can stop working because I’m feeling my age,” he said. “I like working, don’t get me wrong, but comes a time when you just want to sit back for the rest of your life that you have on this earth. Just enjoy life.”
Matthew (read Matthew’s story)
I worked a series of odd jobs around his neighborhood and worked with his father as a roofer. Ultimately, thanks to an uncle who worked at a Goodwill warehouse, I reached out for an opportunity.
“I started out scanning books there. Then they had me go into sorting through stuff they sent out to the stores,” he explains. “Or they had me going through clothes, to make sure they are good to send out.”
I was learning valuable skills, that he could use at the Cumberland store. My first week of employment has seen him in processing but chipping in as needed.
“I’m processing, but if they have short staff out here to put things out, they have me do it,” he said