My Story: Toni Meador

When the COVID-19 pandemic shut down much of the United States early in 2020, Toni Meador found herself among the millions who were suddenly without work.

Like many, a pandemic-related layoff was not the only challenge she was facing. Toni was working to recover from identity theft and leaving an abusive marriage. She did not have transportation and lacked other supports, such as housing to keep herself and her son safe.

Toni knew she would need a new job to get back on her feet and move forward. Having previously found employment using Goodwill Houston’s career and veteran services in 2012 and 2014, she knew she could turn to them again for assistance.

Goodwill Houston provided Toni with both in-person and virtual job search and career navigation services. To support her journey to self-sufficiency, Goodwill Houston provided financial coaching, transportation and housing assistance, as well assistance finding professional clothing.

With Goodwill’s help, she and her son were able to move to a safe place and to secure transportation. With those basic needs met, Toni used the tools she learned through Goodwill’s Workboost financial strengthening platform to save money to start her own business. Just six months after connecting with Goodwill this year, she is now a self-employed contractor, earning three times the income she earned in her job prior to the pandemic.

Toni has achieved her goals with determination and the continued support of Goodwill. Looking back on the eight years since she first walked into Goodwill Houston, Toni says, “It seems  that the times in my life when I cannot see my way,