During the celebration of Veterans Day in November, Ohio Valley Goodwill is proud to share the stories of several of the Veterans we have served through the years.
Annually, Goodwill serves approximately 400 veterans a year and provides them with employment assistance, housing support as well as related needed services. One of the two success stories we wanted to share is for a Navy Veteran named Syria Watson.
Syria Watson came to the Cincinnati area from North Carolina with her family in 2012 and requested assistance from Goodwill homeless veterans’ program for housing and employment. Ms. Watson is a Navy veteran and served in the Persian Gulf era and was awarded a Naval Expeditionary medal. She served in the Navy for a total of 2 and a half years and was in good standing when she was discharged.
Ms. Watson began her journey with Goodwill in 2012 by requesting and receiving help with housing and child care assistance from Ohio Valley Goodwill’s Veterans Services team. The Veterans Services team was able to provide assistance with helping her to find housing while Ms. Watson at the same time worked on improving her employment prospects. She initially began working with First Student (a local transportation service) and then for the Urban League and increasing her hourly rate from $12 an hour to $15 an hour. She also secured childcare assistance from Goodwill, while setting up schooling for her children. Ms. Watson has continued to improve her job situation and currently works for the IRS and is quite successful. Ohio Valley Goodwill salutes Ms. Watson on her personal journey towards success and thanks her for her service to our county.
Another inspirational story is that of Ryan Osborne, an Army Veteran who was enrolled into the Ohio Valley Goodwill Homeless Veterans Dormitory and GPD Bridge Housing Program in November of last year. Mr. Osborne came to Goodwill after being incarcerated and presented with the barriers of having a criminal background and a low credit history.
Mr. Osborne began to immediately start searching for apartments and submitting lease applications. Mr. Osborne was not having any luck after his first month in the program, however, he continued to make his weekly parole appointments in Chillicothe; his outpatient appointments at the Veterans Hospital Medical Center and continued to search for a permanent place to call home. Mr. Osborne started working as a Warehouse associate in Ohio Valley Goodwill’s Contributed Goods Division in December of 2021 and would search for apartments after he got off of work and over the weekends.
In January, Mr. Osbourne found an apartment close to Ohio Valley Goodwill in the Tri-County area and on 1/09/22, Mr. Osborne was able to successfully secure and move into his new apartment. Mr. Osborne continues to do well and has been able to maintain his housing and employment. Thanks to Mr. Osborne’s determination and the support of the Goodwill Veteran Services team, he was able to find employment and permanent housing, all within a two month period of time.
It is these stories of personal success of our military veterans working in partnership with Goodwill’s Veteran Services team that inspire us on Veterans Day but also each and every day of the year. We say thank you to our Veterans for their service to our country and we salute your commitment and dedication toward your own success.
To find out more about Ohio Valley Goodwill’s Veterans Services, please visit our
website at www.cincinnatigoodwill.org/services or call (513) 771-4800.