BRADENTON, FL – In collaboration with Goodwill Manasota's Veterans Service Program, the National Coalition for Homeless Veterans (NCHV) held a special two-day training event featuring Bret Anderson of h2 Communication, LLC. Anderson presented his curriculum on employment placement and retention for hard-to-serve veterans. This training, which took place at Goodwill Manasota’s Corporate Campus in Bradenton, was offered at no cost – through the U.S. Department of Labor's Veterans' Employment and Training Service (VETS) – in order to help providers to improve service delivery and better collaborate with community partners.
This intensive, hands-on workshop was attended by representatives from several Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP) grantees – including Goodwill Manasota – from throughout Florida as well as professionals from local partner organizations including Turning Points, Jewish Family & Children's Service, the Suncoast Partnership to End Homelessness, and Veterans Affairs. This class offered a wonderful opportunity for participants to learn about each other, discuss strategies for collaboration and, ultimately, improve services for veterans.
In 2015, in response to the growing needs of the homeless veteran community, Goodwill’s Veterans Services Program expanded to include three facets: the Veterans and Their Families Program (VFP), the Special Emergency Resources for Veterans (SERV) Fund, and the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program (HVRP). The focus of the latter program is solely homeless veterans and is funded directly through grants from the U.S. Department of Labor.
The focus of this grant is to help more than 125 homeless veterans annually by reducing or removing barriers to employment and helping them to reintegrate back into society. Goodwill received the first HVRP grant in 2015; this is the third year of funding. Through HVRP, Goodwill Manasota is able to provide services to assist in reintegrating homeless veterans into meaningful employment within the labor force and to stimulate the development of effective service delivery systems that address the complex problems facing homeless veterans and their families.
“We believe that our veterans deserve more – they deserve access to services they have earned, employment and housing. The HVRP is assisting people with critical needs and serving as a meaningful way to thank veterans for their service,” said CJ Bannister, director of Goodwill Manasota's Veterans Services Program. “This training provided concrete strategies on job placement and retention, enabled us to interact with community partners in a meaningful way and, ultimately, will help us to better serve a population that is most deserving of our attention.”
For more information about Goodwill's Veterans Services Program, go to experiencegoodwill.org or call (941) 355-2721, ext. 451.
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2016, Goodwill Manasota served 28,207 people, placed 755 people in jobs and assisted 240 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $92.1 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted more than 40 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota, in essence, belongs to this community and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org.