A windshield wiper shouldn’t leave anyone jobless: Families in Transition and Goodwill Partnership Aims to Employ Those Most in Need

Press contact: Heather Steeves, Goodwill NNE, 207-774-6323 or [email protected]

Michele Talwani, Families in Transition, [email protected] or (603) 641-1143 ext. 322

MANCHESTER — Sometimes a home isn’t enough. Sometimes job help isn’t enough either. Goodwill and Families in Transition (FIT) paired up to tackle New Hampshire’s toughest issues together. This month the two nonprofits launched Job Connection Services to move families into stability in a new, innovative approach: By slaying every barrier that gets in the way.

“Something as simple as $20 windshield wipers can stand in the way of someone getting to — and maybe keeping — their job. Job Connection Services will surround people with resources so something such as a late cell phone payment won’t stand in the way of a stable life,” said Kelly Paquette of Goodwill NNE.

For years Goodwill has offered free job services in Manchester, and Families in Transition offers housing and social services for families and individuals experiencing homelessness, but combining the two and adding a team of five full-time staffers will put individualized attention on each person, removing their barriers to success. A first of its kind in New Hampshire.

For instance, Laura is a Job Connection client in Maine where Goodwill started the program. Laura gained sobriety and left an unhealthy relationship. But after 10 years not working, it was hard to find a good job — or even know where to start.

Laura, like all Job Connection clients, was given a team of five people including a life navigator and a career advisor. When her team realized that Laura’s prior substance abuse issues left her teeth damaged enough that it prevented her from finding work, her team connected her to a dental program where she got free dentures, giving her a beautiful smile. When Job Connection staff realized Laura would need formal training to get a job to pay enough to support her and her young daughter, they helped her get into college with tutoring and by paying her application fee. One barrier after another stood in the way, but the team approach made it possible for Laura to get on a path to stability.

“Getting a person into a stable situation isn’t as easy as helping them polish a resume. It’s not as easy as offering them a safe place to live. A lot of times life is complicated. And, some people need help getting on track,” said Maureen Beauregard, Founder and President, Families in Transition. “That’s why we’re partnering with Goodwill NNE to combine all of the services in one place and offer individualized attention to many of our participants — for free. When people are able to find and keep jobs that sustain them, our communities prosper. We are trying to change the way these services happen in New Hampshire.”

The partnership of Families in Transition and Goodwill will enable the two to work together to serve 25 of FIT’s participants on a full-time basis and offer “light touch” help to about 125 more FIT participants.

Families in Transition is a nonprofit organization that provides safe, affordable housing and social services to individuals and families who are homeless or at risk of becoming homeless, enabling them to gain self-sufficiency and respect. FIT also owns and operates two thrift stores in Manchester and Concord, NH, both of which serve as economic engines to help pay for services that FIT provides. For more information about FIT and the stores visit www.fitnh.org or call 603-641-9441.

Goodwill Industries of Northern New England aims to move 10,000 people into stability in the next 10 years. The social enterprise operates retail stores, health care and cleaning services which fund innovative workforce programs that empower people to find stability through work. For more information visit www.GoodwillNNE.org or call 207-774-6323.

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