NORTH PORT, FL – While Hurricane Ian may be fading into memory for some, for other people, organizations and businesses, the devastation has had a longer-term impact. Goodwill Manasota’s North Port location was extensively damaged during the storm, including wind and water damage to the roof and flooding inside of the building, which led to a mold problem and the total loss of the inventory that was in the store at that time.
While the store and Bargain Barn reopened in November and December of 2022, respectively, the organization finally celebrated the reopening of its North Port Community Resource Center (14879 Tamiami Trail) on May 12. The Job Connection office in North Port closed due to COVID in March 2020 and Goodwill has not provided social or career services at this location since that time.
The current services available in North Port include a retail store and Bargain Barn, the Community Resource Center – which provides information and referrals, free Job Connection career services, veterans services – and a community room that Goodwill’s partners use for classes, including ESOL (English to Speakers of Other Languages), AHEC Smoking Cessation classes, North Port Chamber of Commerce meetings, and more. CareerSource Suncoast is co-located there as well, providing additional career services.
The North Port store opened in February 2012. There are currently 54 team members employed at the retail store and another 14 at the Bargain Barn; after the storm, employees were offered the opportunity to be assigned to nearby stores that were not damaged.
“While there are many who suffered much worse, and Goodwill Manasota is fortunate that most of our facilities weathered the storm well, the closing of any location means a loss of revenue in support of our Mission Services,” said president and CEO Donn Githens. “We are thrilled to be fully back in business in North Port and look forward to the return of all of our wonderful shoppers and donors as well as those seeking services at the Community Resource Center.”
Revenue from Goodwill’s retail stores help fund its Mission Services programs, such as: free Job Connection career services and job placement; the American Veterans and Their Families program, which helps veterans to reintegrate into their communities, families and the workplace; the GoodPartner Coach program, which helps those with barriers to employment through skills training and case management services; and the Supported JobsPlus program, which targets employment for individuals with significant disabilities. Goodwill’s Mission Services helps those with barriers to self-sufficiency on the path to career and life success and the opportunity for a better life.
For more information, including a listing of locations, visit experiencegoodwill.org.
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With philanthropic donations and revenue generated by the sales of donated goods, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities, veterans, seniors, and those with other barriers to employment by providing jobs, job skills training, and free career services. For more information or for a listing of locations, visit experiencegoodwill.org or call 941-355-2721.