Pictured above: Andrea Butler, vice president of mission advancement, Kimberley Rector, Goodwill Services Inc. associate and Mary Kay Huss, CEO, Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity
The Virginia Dept. for Aging and Rehabilitative Services referred Kimberley Rector to Goodwill in 2015 when she was struggling with severe PTSD. Rector had just moved to Richmond and was trying to navigate a new city while coping with housing struggles and illnesses.
“I had qualified to go on social security because my psychiatric issues were so severe, but the Goodwill opportunity came up and I said, ‘why not.’ Rather than rely on social security I decided I would try my best at this job,” said Rector. “I had left a really traumatic situation and I was so sick physically with pneumonia and infection when I moved to Richmond. I spent the first couple of months just coughing… I was at quite the cross-roads when this opportunity came up.”
After joining Goodwill as an AbilityOne associate, Rector qualified for one-on-one support from an employment specialist, who helped adapt her job role to her disability, and to help secure therapeutic and psychiatric support.
“I needed the services more at the beginning when I was a lot more fragile. I really needed help finding a therapist and finding my way around Richmond. Having gone from unemployed to employed I could no longer use the services available to me when I was unemployed.” said Rector. “I was asking for a lot of help and they were able to provide that to me.”
Building a New Life
Rector gained control of her life, building on a foundation of stable employment and support through Goodwill. She earned a promotion and continues to excel in her new position. With new found confidence, Rector was able to address other areas of her life and attended a Richmond Metropolitan Habitat for Humanity Event. Among qualifying factors for Humanity’s affordable housing program, was two years of stable employment. Rector credits Goodwill with helping her on her path to finding a new home.
“Goodwill really helped me get the extra help I needed. They gave me the space to work around my disability in a supportive environment,” said Rector. “Working for Goodwill has given me the opportunity to pursue home ownership, which is a big deal. That in turns inspires me to try to excel at what I do.”
After earning her 350 hours of “sweat equity” required for the housing program, Rector became invested in the organizations’ mission. In 2019, Rector donated more than 200 hours to assist other housing candidates and future neighbors in her new community.
In December Kimberley officially became a homeowner, receiving her keys at a dedication ceremony attended by volunteers, Habitat for Humanity team members and shareholders, new neighbors and her Goodwill co-workers.
Kimberley had previously lived in a chaotic and very overcrowded home. Her new home is a welcome reprieve where she can put her well-being first and enjoy a new quality of life. One of Rector’s biggest joys is her pet ferrets, she is looking forward to having a dedicated room for them in her new home, complete with toys and décor.
Goodwill associates were thrilled to celebrate Rector’s success and attend the ceremony to see her become a homeowner.
“We are proud of you, we thank you for your work and contributions,” said Andrea Butler, vice president of mission advancement. “We wish you a lifetime of happiness at work and at home.”
To learn more about how Goodwill program and services change lives in our community, visit www.goodwillvirginia.org.