Stress was taking a huge toll on George. Upon release from prison, George was working hard to integrate back into society. He was eagerly seeking employment opportunities to make a living for his family, but due to restrictions from his past, job searching was very difficult. The amounting stress spilled over when George’s pancreas shut down and he was diagnosed with diabetes.  After enduring a lengthy hospital stay, George was extremely lucky to survive, but accumulated massive amounts of medical debt along the way.

Realizing he needed support to reach his goals, George heard about Goodwill Industries of Greater Grand Rapids’ employment programs and services, and reached out. George met regularly with his career coach, Debbie, who showed him everything he needed to know to get on the computer and search for jobs. She also worked with George on figuring out his interests and skill set, to determine the best job fit. Faced with a lot of rejection from employers due to his record, Debbie’s support and reassurance gave George the confidence he needed to continue his journey.

George said, “there are people here that care and they will do their best to try and help you.”

With George’s determination and encouragement from his career coach, George was able to secure a full-time with benefits janitorial position. The job was a good fit with his skill set and everything came together at the right time. His supervisor said “I never judged him on his past. He needed a job and I needed a good worker, and I just had a good feeling about him, so I did what I could to get him in there.”

George did so well with his job, that he was promoted to team lead, where he handles an account on his own. He has been excelling in this role and announced that he is finally at a point where is able to start saving to buy a home.  Not only that, but now that George has health insurance and a steady income, he has the money to pay for the medications and the treatment he needs. George’s diabetes is stable, and his health is doing well. George has a new found confidence and outlook on life and credits the support of his Goodwill career coach as well as his employer for believing in him.

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