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Oct 30, 2012
David has been a part of Goodwill Industries since 1979. Mildly intellectually impaired, he has worked in various departments throughout the years: industrial services, groundskeeping, textile baling, etc. After his wife Susie (who also worked at Goodwill) died in 2005, he developed a problem with alcohol and depression, and was evicted from his apartment.
David lived with friends on a temporary basis, but eventually he had nowhere to go. Goodwill staff learned that David was living underneath a bridge, with not much more than the clothes on his back and his bicycle. David’s belongings were in storage. He was continually behind on his storage rental payment and each payday would make enough payment so that he would not lose his belongings.
During this time, David’s Goodwill staff began working with local substance abuse treatment organization, West Michigan Therapy, for assistance in finding David a place to live and address his alcohol abuse. His case manager also took him to Sacred Suds, a free laundry and shower facility provided by local human service organization, Community enCompass, so that he could wash his clothes and take a shower. Clothing vouchers allowed him to select some new clothes at a Goodwill store. Meanwhile, emergency housing services through West Michigan Therapy were denied because his income was too high. Goodwill staff were able to get David into a local homeless shelter, the Rescue Mission, for a short time while he waited for admission into an inpatient alcohol rehabilitation program in Holland. David successfully completed the program from January to April.
David returned to the Rescue Mission and went back to work at Goodwill. With the help of the mission staff, he saved a portion of each paycheck. Once he saved enough for one month’s rent and deposit, Goodwill helped him secure an apartment at the Amazon Apartments and helped arrange for his utilities.
Goodwill also assisted David with financial literacy training; helping him with banking and budgeting. Goodwill was also able to secure a guardian for David, so he would have some help in his independent living situation. David is once again functioning at his former level of production, has stabilized his living arrangements, and continues to work on his road to recovery.