Success Story - Gigi's Story

Gigi was living on Skid Row and battling a drug addiction. She didn’t want to lose hope, but was not sure how to get back on her feet. Gigi was referred to Goodwill Southern California by a coordinator from the Project 180 program, which provides wraparound services to keep people out of prison. “When I walked through those doors, I’d never seen anything like it,” Gigi said. “I’d always thought of Goodwill as a thrift store that helps the less fortunate but didn’t know if they could help me.” She enrolled in LA:RISE, a program that builds a pathway from homelessness to employment for those who have previously been homeless or incarcerated. Gigi immediately formed a connection with Robbie Thomas, Goodwill Southern California’s LA:RISE Program Advocate. “I was inspired by how Robbie overcame her own obstacles of homelessness. It made me want to push through and gave me strength,” said Gigi. Gigi received customer service classroom training and also completed 300 hours of on-the-job customer service training in multiple Goodwill SoCal stores. Gigi has now joined the Goodwill Southern California Janitorial Program and works at the ReFresh Spot, a hygiene center on Skid Row which provides clean showers, bathrooms, and donated clothing to those in need. She is inspired to give back to her community. “Goodwill Southern California gave me an opportunity to transition back into the real world. I can pay for my rent and buy clothes. I can go and see my mother for Christmas and give her a gift after so many years of being unable to do so because of the many problems I had…it’s an awesome feeling.”
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