At Goodwill Industries of Southern Arizona, we seek to provide jobs, training, and support to people in our community through our 12 local youth and adult programs. As part of our programs we operate five Job Connection Centers in southern Arizona and two youth centers in Tucson. These centers provide in person assistance through mentoring, access to computers, training, and job services to the general public.
With the challenges brought by Covid-19, many of our programs have had to change how we operate to keep serving our community safely. On March 30, 2020 we had to temporarily stop in person services at our Job Connection Centers, stores, Metro REC Youth Center, and delay the opening of our new youth reengagement center.
While our stores were closed we began looking for ways we could keep serving our community. Using our donation centers we collected donations of gloves, masks, face shields, and cleaning supplies for the Pima County Health Department to give to frontline healthcare. We also collected pet food, beds, and pet supplies for Pima Animal Care Center (PACC) to help people struggling to take care of their pets while dealing with the Big horn fire and Covid-19. (We are still actively collecting donations for PACC and the Pima County Health Department at all of our stores and donation centers)
During the beginning of the pandemic, Goodwill’s Metro Youth Program partnered with the Network for Equality and Education Development, YOTR United Youth Council to provide over 180 essential Covid-19 Hygiene Kits to youth in our community. Youth being released from the Pima County Juvenile Detention Center, experiencing homelessness, or accessing services at the Goodwill Metro Youth Center or the REC Youth Center were provided an essential hygiene kit to ensure that they and their families were protected during the pandemic.
We have since reopened all of our locations with enhanced safety procedures and additional cleaning measures to help prevent the spread of Covid-19 and keep our staff and community safe.
- Masks must be worn at all times at all of our locations
- We are limiting max occupancy to encourage social distancing.
- All services are by appointment only.
- Temperatures checks are required before appointments
- All common surfaces are disinfected regularly and after every use.
- A 6 ft. distance will be kept from all people, including Goodwill staff, at all times.
Our Job Connection Centers and Goodwill’s Adult Reentry programs are also utilizing the remote computer access software, Splashtop, to provide support and technical assistance while maintaining a safe distance. With Splashtop our Career Development Specialists and Adult Reentry staff can remote access into our client’s computer at any time during their visit. This allows our staff to still provide the same one-on-one assistance our clients have become accustomed to while still maintaining health and safety standards.
Our new second youth re-engagement center, the Goodwill REC Youth Center, is now open and will expand the services we are able to provide to opportunity youth throughout our community. With the new center we can connect out-of-school and/or unemployed Opportunity Youth ages 16-24 with community resources, educational opportunities, and career pathways. We’ve continued to provide workshops, and community engagement projects by hosting virtual events from the Goodwill REC Youth Center’s computer lab.
Our most recent event was a virtual community forum between local youth and Chief Magnus from the Tucson Police Department (TPD). Our Virtual Youth Chat with TPD allowed youth ages 14-24 to educate, exchange ideas, increase understanding, come together in solidarity and lift up the voices of our youth. The event showed youth that their input matters and gave them a chance to be heard through an open and honest communication with Chief Magnus and his staff.