My Story: Eulalio Martinez

Eulalio Martinez traveled 1,500 miles to move to Wisconsin, but he did not have a job lined up to sustain him when he arrived. For several weeks, he lived in his truck before moving into a local homeless shelter. One day, he walked a block away to Goodwill Industries of North Central Wisconsin’s Green Bay East Retail Store and Training Center, where he approached a career navigator named Dawn and asked for help. He said he was looking for someone to take a chance on him.

In his 70s, Eulalio lacked phone and digital skills to apply for jobs. Dawn helped him fill out an application, and he was soon hired by the Goodwill retail store, where he immediately began showing his strong work ethic and love for others.

Throughout his time at Goodwill, Eulalio has continued to work with Dawn, and she helped him to secure housing at a nearby apartment complex and reached out to a local furniture shop to ensure he had a bed to sleep in. In addition, she has been teaching him phone skills and working with local, state and federal programs, including SSI, to ensure he can continue to be successful.

Because of all the help Goodwill provided, Eulalio made an additional request beyond the Dawn’s usual scope. He wondered if she could help find his 52-year-old son, who he’d been separated from more than 45 years ago. Dawn began searching and eventually located Eulalio’s son through social media and arranged for a meeting between the two. Father and son are currently building their relationship.

As a result of the services Goodwill provided, Eulalio is no longer homeless and unemployed. As he says, he feels like he is in heaven. To pay it forward, he reached out to a couple who was living at the homeless shelter and encouraged them to seek employment at Goodwill as well. They, too, were hired and also are no longer homeless, thanks to Dawn’s work  as the career navigator. They have proven to be extremely hard workers and great mentors to other Goodwill team members.

Watch their story.