SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – Chris Landis, a team member with Goodwill Manasota’s Veterans Services Program, was recently honored with the “Hero of the Month Award” by Homes for Heroes. Janine Morris, an affiliate realtor with Homes for Heroes, visited with the Veterans Services Program team and presented Landis with his award, recognizing his extraordinary service on behalf of veterans. A colleague nominated Landis for the honor.
Homes for Heroes, Inc. is the largest nationwide network of affiliate real estate, mortgage, and local business specialists committed to providing easy ways for heroes to save on a home. Shortly after 9/11, Homes for Heroes was established to give back to firefighters, EMS, law enforcement, military (active, reserves and veterans), healthcare professionals, and teachers in recognition of all they do.
Landis, who has been working with Goodwill since 2017, joined the Army National Guard after graduating from high school. After his military retirement, he received his degree from the University of South Florida and his Master’s degree in Criminal Justice Administration. He was honored with the outstanding graduate award for his research on veterans with PTSD, discussing how social supports can reduce the likelihood they will wind up in the criminal justice system. He then worked with Veterans Treatment Court, helping veterans get through the criminal justice system, get connected with social services, and get back on their feet.
It was during Landis’ time with Veterans Treatment Court that he first came to the attention of Morris. “I remember him getting upset at a [Sarasota County Veterans Commission] meeting because they had lost the funding for that program. It had nothing to do with him losing his job – it was that they would no longer be able to provide those services,” Morris said. “I’m so glad that Chris landed at Goodwill’s Veteran Services Program so that he could continue to do great things for local veterans.”
Launched in 2013, Goodwill Manasota’s Veterans Services Program was created to help eliminate barriers to employment, provide opportunities for higher-paying positions for veterans and their families, and connect veterans with needed social services. The HVRP, which is funded through grants from the U.S. Department of Labor, helps to reintegrate 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.
“Goodwill Manasota is committed to honoring and contributing to the lives of the men and women who serve and have served our country,” Margie Genter, vice president of mission services. “We are so proud of Chris for his well-deserved recognition and offer our gratitude to Homes for Heroes for the important work they do in helping American heroes enjoy the dream of home ownership.”
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 2017, Goodwill Manasota served 11,672 people, placed 555 people in jobs, assisted 360 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce, and provided 19,540 hours of on-the-clock training for its employees. 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 41 million pounds out of the landfill. 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.