I have worked with Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries Rehabilitation Center for the past 15 years servicing the needs of the homeless, particularly veterans. In that time I have come to know the professionalism, attention to detail and can do attitude of the Goodwill employees. The OVGI offers a broad range of services from job coaching to housing. OVGI has collaborated with other social service agencies, local, state and federal government agencies in a timely and efficient fashion, meeting the needs of developmental disabled, homeless families and veterans. OVGI is an asset to the community, and a cornerstone of the homeless Veteran assistance collective
As a professional who has spent 22 years educating high school students with multiple disabilities, Goodwill Industries has provided excellent supports and services to many of my graduating students. Goodwill Industries has provided consistent supports and services in such a manner that they have become an essential agency for persons with disabilities. This is evident in the success of my former students. Throughout my long-term relationship with Goodwill Industries they have readily provided tours of the facility for my students and parents, three week assessments and transitional visits for students. Furthermore, they have accepted them with a warm welcome into their Goodwill family. I have seen Ohio Valley Goodwill Industries expand their servitude over the years in terms of the support and services they provide for individuals with disabilities. This growth has included the development and implementation of the CARE program, in which several of my former students attend daily. My former students can attest to their personal happiness as they express their feelings without saying a word. Many of them being non-verbal, all you have to do is observe the smiles on their faces. In speaking with Dan, a former graduate of mine, I could hear the pride in his voice as he explained his job at Goodwill. Dan proudly admits that he loves his job, he is good at his job, and he has seldom missed any days of work since he has been employed there. Dan is 37 years old now and independently gets himself to work (including a transfer in downtown Cincinnati) on the public transportation system. I look forward to sustaining my positive relationship with Goodwill, so that we can continue to work together towards successful transitions for my students. The supports and services they provide for persons with disabilities are essential for the success of each individual.
As a Service Facilitator for the Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services, I know that our agency prides itself on providing the highest quality services that optimizes choice and control for the individuals served. This type of service can only be achieved when the professionals providing services to individuals approach their job with humility, respect, and a sense of equality and justice. While I have witnessed many impressive achievements by staff, providers and individuals over the years, I have found none more impressive than those of Matt Byrum, a job coach for Ohio Valley Goodwill. Matt is the support staff for an individual that has been employed by Hamilton County for many years. Throughout the work day you can observe Matt fully engaged with the individual he serves. There is business being conducted amidst the laughter and talk of sports. The conversation is conversation of peers and equals. It is not only the content of the conversation that is impressive, but the tone is one of gentleness and engagement. When the individual served is traveling throughout the building, Matt accompanies him from a distance. The individual is always engaged with staff and Matt waits for cues to provide support. Because of Matt, the individual is able to be a productive employee at the Hamilton County Developmental Disability Services, where socialization is achieved, self esteem expanded and a paycheck is earned. I applaud Matt and Ohio Valley Goodwill for providing job coaching support in a truly exceptional manner.
As the Community Government Liaison for Hamilton County Developmental Disabilities Services, I have worked with Ohio Valley Goodwill for the past 5 years. As a contract service provider for Hamilton County DDS, Ohio Valley Goodwill has been a remarkable partner. The organization has been a leader in the community with the inclusion of advocates in all aspects of their many employment and training programs. Through our partnership, Ohio Valley Goodwill serves almost 500 individuals annually in work skill training programs as well as personal development opportunities, such as its award-winning CARE program (Center for Advocacy, Recreation and Education). In addition to the day to day operations of programs for individuals with disabilities, Ohio Valley Goodwill was an amazing partner in the People for MR/DD Services Levy Campaign. Being an active member of the Community Ambassadors Resource Alliance, a non-profit supported by Hamilton County DD Services, Goodwill set the standard for partner participation in the campaign. In summary, I have been very impressed with the quality of programs and services provided to individuals with DD served by Ohio Valley Goodwill and endorse our on-going collaborative partnership.