Larry's Story

Prior to finding employment at Goodwill Southern California, Larry struggled to find work. Larry had been homeless on and off since the age of nine. He was on the wrong path, and during an armed robbery, Larry lost his forearm. He was incarcerated for 28 years for that crime. While incarcerated, Larry decided he was going to change. He tried to be as productive as possible and received three associate’s degrees, as well as a bachelor’s degree in healthcare administration.Upon his release in 2015, Larry was determined to land a job. “The odds were against me. Many times people land back in jail within 3-6 months. I wanted to break that cycle,” said Larry. He went on many interviews but had no luck. He started to wear a coat over his arm to hide it because he felt employers would not want to hire him due to his disability.Nevertheless, Larry kept going and stayed patient. One day he stopped by the Goodwill SoCal Career Resource Center at Fletcher Square and applied for a position working in the Goodwill SoCal Outlet Center. “The next thing you know, Jesse (the outlet store manager) hired me,” Larry said. “I asked Jesse if he had a problem hiring me due to my disability. He made a point to tell me what he looks at is my performance. He was a big inspiration for me.”Larry loves working at Goodwill because it helped build his motivation and confidence. He learned about teamwork and enjoys being a part of the Goodwill SoCal family. “I would love to tell more people my story,” Larry said. “I’ve been through jail and made a decision, while I was in jail, that I was going to change. Goodwill gave me that chance to get my foot in the door and show others what I could do.”
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