More than 5 years ago at age 43, Vivienne Flanighan was homeless. Living in a shelter, Vivienne was receiving TANF [Temporary Assistance for Needy Families] funds and volunteering for Habitat for Humanity. “Everyone was talking about Goodwill’s TIE program,” said Vivienne. Determined to get into Goodwill’s Transition to Independence and Employment (TIE) program, Vivienne called Goodwill. While waiting to start in the program, Vivienne attended Goodwill’s job search workshops at Goodwill’s Community Employment Center in Portsmouth.
Vivienne started in the TIE program at Goodwill’s College Park store in Virginia Beach. She worked diligently for several weeks under the guidance of a Goodwill employment specialist to learn all aspects of the retail environment while building her stamina. She also attended weekly workshops and went on several interviews while in the program. Vivienne quickly realized that Goodwill was a place she wanted to grow her career. She made sure she shined at every task. Her job coach, Cheryl, said that Vivienne was self-directed and willing to learn. She had the desire and it showed. Her hard work paid off and Vivienne was hired before the end of her 90 days in the TIE program. “I worked hard. I wanted something out of life,” said Vivienne. “Goodwill changes lives, and it changed mine for sure.”
Today, Vivienne works full time for Goodwill. She credits Goodwill for providing the support, learning, and a job opportunity that has helped her gain independence and reach her goals. Vivienne has her own apartment and no longer depends on TANF funding, thanks to her job at Goodwill.