I’m grateful for all of the blessings my wife and I now have in our lives. I’m also grateful for the lessons I learned when we were homeless…living wherever we could find shelter and feel safe.
We were your neighbors. We had jobs, cars, and a home, and we’re both proud U.S. Military Veterans. Over the course of one month in 2010, my wife became very ill and was unable to work. Then, without warning, I was laid off from my job. We had made our home in a small town so, during the economic recession, there just weren’t any jobs to be found. We survived on our savings until it ran out. We even sold our possessions until there was nothing left of value. When we lost our home, we got in our truck and drove to Florida. Although we had the truck, we were homeless for three years.
Knowing we needed to start a new life, we came to Austin. But coming to a new place with no address, no money, no friends, and no job made it challenging to rebuild our lives. Eventually, we met some amazing people through a church who helped us secure temporary housing, and they also referred us to Goodwill. And, together, that’s when we really got another chance. Goodwill collaboratively assisted with housing, as my wife and I each met with a Career Case Manager in Workforce Advancement. They helped us recreate our résumés and prepare for job interviews; fortunately, my wife quickly secured a job in healthcare. She was elated! I also knew I wanted to continue my career helping people improve their lives.
The Goodwill Staffing Group hired me on as an intern. It wasn’t a permanent position, but it was a start; a foot-in-the-door. I’m happy to say that today, I’m a full-time member of the team. I work in Payroll, and every day I talk to team members who are thankful to have a job because of Goodwill. Now, I am part of a mission that matters – generating lifelong connections to work.
I’m happy to say that my wife and I now have our own apartment, and we look forward to the future; pursuing our faith and personal mission to support our fellow man, and help them find the good in everything. I know I am doing my part.
“At Goodwill, I felt like I was home as soon as I walked in."