Randy served 10 years in Maine State Prison and when he got out he had only the clothes on his back. Life is tough without a car or a place to call home. Add in a criminal record and a disability and life gets exceptionally difficult.
Randy connected with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR), where a counselor provided vocational counseling and helped Randy with developing an Individualized Plan for Employment. The counselor then referred Randy to one of Goodwill’s career advisors in January. When his career advisor met Randy, Randy was still in his clothes he had in prison. DVR and Goodwill worked together to help Randy buy some interview-appropriate clothing.
When Randy started applying for jobs, it felt hopeless. Through countless interviews and applications, rejection was setting in with Randy and he was in desperate need for employment as he needed to pay rent. The Covid-19 pandemic made things even worse — fewer businesses are hiring and unemployment is at an all-time high.
Then, the career advisor, Chad, saw a post on Indeed for a local food company that needed delivery drivers — an essential job during the pandemic. Chad called the business and got some details about the job and gave some information about Randy to see if he would be a good fit. The manager thought so and scheduled an interview. Chad went with Randy to the job interview in March and Randy got the job. He started the next week and makes $12 an hour for his 35 hours of work each week. It’s enough for Randy to get by and get back on his feet.
Although Randy is now working, he still needs help with transportation; DVR is helping Randy with taxi vouchers and Goodwill is helping coordinate to make sure Randy gets the taxis he needs for work when he needs them — all while Randy works on a savings/budgeting plan with his Career Advisor so that he can get his own car someday.
Randy feels good about the work he’s doing, getting food to households around New England at this time when its most needed.
This Goodwill Week, if you are able to give a financial donation to Goodwill to support those like Randy who are working to improve their lives, please visit give.goodwill.org.