Goodwill Manasota awarded third-year grant to help homeless veterans

Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program making a positive and lasting impact on homeless veterans and their families

Published Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Goodwill Manasota’s director of the Veterans Services Program C.J. Bannister (center) with members of the HVRP team (from l-r) Natasha Burten, Mike Marzella, Nkosi Bell and Edwin Robinson; all are veteransSARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – Goodwill has received a grant of $225,000 from the U.S. Department of Labor to fund the Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program, which operates under the auspices of Goodwill’s Veterans Services Program. This grant will help to expand the available service offerings provided by Goodwill to assist our returning heroes.  

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. These funds allow Goodwill Manasota 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 will address the complex problems facing homeless veterans and their families.

“Since our Veterans Services Program launched in 2013, we have served more than 1,200 veterans,” said Bob Rosinsky, Goodwill Manasota president and CEO. “As we have observed and evaluated our efforts, we have recognized the growing need for assistance for the homeless veterans in our community. With the partnership of local individuals and organizations, and the financial support from the U.S. Department of Labor, we are proud to work to ensure we can meet the needs of all veterans in our service area.” 

Goodwill received the first grant from the Department of Labor to fund the HVRP in 2015; this is the third year of funding. This is a pay for performance grant, meaning funding is dependent on successful outcomes; it allows Goodwill to draw down financing of up to $255,000. The focus of this grant is to help more than 125 homeless veterans annually by reducing or removing barriers to employment and help them to reintegrate back into society.

“All too often, we find that many veterans returning from combat experience challenges in finding jobs or gaining access to services, and many return with no secured housing,” said CJ Bannister, director of the Veterans Services Program. “We believe that our veterans deserve more – they deserve access to services they have earned, employment and housing. This grant is assisting people with critical needs and serving as a meaningful way to thank veterans for their service.”

 

PHOTO ID: Goodwill Manasota’s director of the Veterans Services Program C.J. Bannister (center) with members of the HVRP team (from l-r) Natasha Burten, Mike Marzella, Nkosi Bell and Edwin Robinson; all are veterans 

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.