LOUISVILLE, Ky. — There’s a program in Kentucky giving those in need, a hand up. It’s Goodwill Industries of Kentucky’s Another Way program.
Another Way is a chance for anyone experiencing poverty to get a ride to work, earn some money and lunch—and be connected to Goodwill resources.
Cleaning up the community is something 47-year-old Joseph Neal enjoys. Born in Louisville and raised in Jeffersonville, Indiana, he eventually moved back. He battled drugs and alcohol and is thankful to be 11 years sober.
These days, Neal is homeless and unemployed. He lost his job as a dishwasher a month ago. Through it all, though, he has persevered.
“It’s getting better,” Neal said. “I had to get my ID again. Get my social again, my birth certificate. I had to start over pretty much.”
A couple weeks ago, Neal joined Goodwill Industries of Kentucky’s Another Way program. It’s designed to address the labor market gap.
Program officials go to high-traffic areas in the city like homeless shelters, highways and street corners. They pick up as many as 22 workers every day and take them to a worksite for 4 hours. Workers get $50, lunch and learn about ways to get back into society.
One group Neal was a part of was cleaning Louisville’s Shelby Park. It was Neal’s 3rd time taking part.
“This program, dang, it’s just helped me get back on my feet, helped me have money.” Neal explained.
Louisville City Leaders, including Mayor Craig Greenberg (D) , Metro Councilmen Phillip Baker (Dist. 6) and Metro Council President Markus Winkler (Dist. 17), recently got an intimate look at the program. Goodwill of Kentucky said since its inception, the program has received $1 million from the city of Louisville.
At the event, Greenberg expressed his full support of Another Way.
“It’s a way to address the needs of those who have or are experiencing homelessness. It’s a way to provide great services back to the city and to give people a new path in life,” Greenberg added.
Shelby Park is inside Democratic Councilman Baker’s district.
“Being able to take people off the street, being able to provide them with resources, recovery support, mental health services and be able to provide a positive impact back in our district, back in our cities to make sure we can make our city beautiful and compassionate—is what we’re all about.”
Neal said the program changed his life
“Meeting people that inspire you. To help you realize you don’t have to go out there and shoot up,” he said. “You don’t have to go out there and taker that drug to help you get on your feet and feel good about yourself.”
Neal is looking for full-time work. In the meantime, he’ll continue to do work for the Another Way program whenever he can.
Goodwill said since this started as a pilot program, they’ve served 1,312 people. They’ve connected almost 600 people to what it calls “self-sufficiency resources.” They also say they have placed 126 people into what it calls “temporary-to-permanent housing.”
Goodwill Industries of Kentucky says it has also helped 133 people find permanent employment.