LOUISVILLE, Ky. – Goodwill Industries of Kentucky, one of the commonwealth’s largest nonprofit providers of support services for second chance and impoverished populations is shifting how and where it serves Kentuckians in need.
Earlier this year, Goodwill announced a $100 million partnership with Norton Healthcare and unveiled plans to open the commonwealth’s first “Opportunity Campus” in West Louisville. Today, the nonprofit announced that it will begin opening “Opportunity Centers” throughout the commonwealth to provide wraparound services for people in its communities. Eventually, all resource, education and mission service locations in Kentucky will be rebranded as “Opportunity Centers” by the second quarter of next year – leading to the opening of the West Louisville Opportunity Campus and headquarters in Louisville in the later months of 2023.
By expanding its geographic presence and its methods to meet the growing service needs of its communities, Goodwill aims to make a greater impact where and how individuals need it the most. Goodwill has also formed cooperative partnerships with like-minded organizations to collaborate and provide programs and services together at the Opportunity Centers. To date, there are currently six service locations across the commonwealth, with plans to open five more in the next 6-12 months. The most recent Opportunity Center began serving the Elizabethtown community in February with a grand opening planned this summer.
Through researching the needs of the population it serves, Goodwill recognized that there are many determinants that influence a cycle of poverty, and many more obstacles that deter individuals from maintaining employment. As a result, the nonprofit created a self-sufficiency matrix and new model of care for every individual to recognize and address those obstacles, such as lack of employment, limited education, transportation challenges, criminal history, homelessness and mental or physical disabilities.
The name change reflects the long-term transformation of the organization which has been operating and providing programs and services and opportunities since 1923. The Opportunity Centers will serve as one-stop-shops for Kentuckians in need – with services, programs, classes and community partner presentations.
“We are so pleased to introduce our Opportunity Centers,” said Rena Sharpe, chief operations officer. “As societal needs develop, we’re always thinking and collaborating to find the best operating model to enhance the quality and type of personal and professional development programs we provide. Our goal is to be the go-to organization to help individuals find a pathway out of poverty through our innovative services that can evolve as needs change.
Throughout its 99-year history, Goodwill has been known for utilizing its thrift stores to help people with disabilities or other disadvantages achieve and maintain employment. The nonprofit’s mission has always been to give people a hand up – not a handout – so they can experience the dignity and feeling of self-sufficiency that comes with earning a paycheck. For more information or to find an Opportunity Center location near you, go to www.GoodwillKy.org.
About Goodwill Industries of Kentucky
Goodwill Industries of Kentucky is a 99-year-old nonprofit organization that operates in 103 of Kentucky’s 120 counties. The organization is committed to using resources from its 67 retail stores to help build pathways out of poverty for individuals who need a hand-up in life. In 2021, Goodwill helped place 2,636 Kentuckians into jobs with 871 of its employer partners and inside its own retail stores. Goodwill uses approximately 90 cents from every dollar generated in its retail stores to operate programs and services that help Kentucky’s hardest-to-serve job seekers build the life they desire.