Before becoming involved with Goodwill of North Georgia, I was living in a halfway house for addicts and alcoholics in South Atlanta. I had been living there for about 60 days and I was doing odd jobs for $5.15 an hour. This wasn’t steady work; some days you would get work and some days you wouldn’t.
At this point in my life, I was very depressed. I only had 60 days sober I had lost my career in the Marine Corps, lost my family, and I was homeless. The only thing that was keeping me sane was my weekly trip to the VA hospital for my outpatient counseling. It was there that I applied for the vocational rehabilitation program through the VA. My counselor gave me an option of working at Goodwill or the VA Hospital. I chose Goodwill.
I started the work evaluation program at Goodwill and worked in the Career Center, where I would assign computers, help with résumés and set up email accounts. About two months into the program I had reconciled with my family and moved out of the halfway house. I was transferred to the Duluth, GA, store, where I worked in the store during the morning and worked in the Career Center in the afternoon.
After six months of being in the program, I was given an opportunity to interview for the program assistant position that was available in the workforce development division at the Duluth Goodwill. A few days later, I received word that I was hired. Words can’t describe how grateful I was.
It has been a little over five years now and I am still employed with Goodwill. I am still sober and I am getting stronger mentally and spiritually every day. I enjoy my position here at Goodwill, and I look forward to helping my coworkers and the participants here at my location.
From time to time, I look back at my life five years ago. I have gone from only having days of sobriety to having years, from living in a halfway house to owning my own home, from working part time doing manual labor to having a full time job and career with an organization that specializes in helping people.
I still have my personal battles, and I am always looking for new ways to challenge myself personally and professionally. I can’t say for sure if I could have changed my life the way that I have without Goodwill, but I can say that I don’t want to go back and try.
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