Goodwill invests $50,000 into other local nonprofits, moving neighbors toward personal stability

Two adults with disabilities practice cooking with help from Goodwill staff in Lifeworks program
Adults with disabilities cook in LifeWorks

This month Goodwill Northern New England launched a $50,000 program to help move more people in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont into personal stability. The Partner Stability Fund gives vouchers to nonprofits, who in turn gift them to their clients who need clothing and household items most. Bangor Housing Authority, PENQUIS, Good Shepherd Food Bank, Joint Urban Ministry Project (JUMP), CATCH Neighborhood Housing, Families in Transition and the Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS) were selected to help push this goal forward.

“When strong nonprofits work together, we multiply our impact,” said Rich Cantz, President and CEO of Goodwill NNE. “These organizations all have a long track records of supporting people who need a hand up to achieve a stable life. These vouchers will support their work and ours. Goodwill can’t be everywhere, all the time. These partnerships amplify our efforts to help local people who need support.”

The vouchers also come with information about how to connect with Goodwill’s workforce services, which support anyone who needs help finding a job or career training. The Partner Stability Fund is supported by financial donors to Goodwill, along with revenue from the stores. To make a gift visit

These nonprofits were chosen to launch Goodwill NNE’s Partner Stability Fund and were gifted grants of $5,000 or more:


Bangor Housing Authority: Bangor Housing provides housing opportunities for low- to moderate-income households. They accomplish this by operating a combination of 741 affordable and market-rate apartments in seven developments throughout Bangor and by administering the Housing Choice Voucher program in Bangor and the surrounding towns of Hermon, Glenburn, Hampden, and Veazie.

PENQUIS: Penquis is a nonprofit created to alleviate and eliminate the causes and conditions of poverty. Penquis impacts all of Maine’s sixteen counties, but primarily serves low- and moderate-income individuals in Penobscot, Piscataquis and Knox counties.

Good Shepherd Food Bank: Good Shepherd distributes millions of meals to Mainers in need through their network of local partner agencies. Good Shepherd partners with more than 500 local organizations — food pantries, meal sites, schools, senior centers, health care centers and more, from Kittery to Fort Kent. Together they provide nutritious food to Mainers struggling to make ends meet. They are also working on long-term solutions to break the cycle of poverty and food insecurity.


CATCH Neighborhood Housing: CATCH Neighborhood Housing is a non-profit organization offering a full spectrum of housing and education services in Merrimack County. CATCH meets the needs of the communities it serves by constructing new affordable housing units and revitalizing existing housing in an area with limited affordable rental options. They are focused on creating a community where every person is confident of a home.

Families in Transition: Families in Transition is one of the largest homeless services organizations in New Hampshire with locations in Manchester, Concord, Dover and Wolfeboro. They provide innovative and effective interventions specifically designed to help homeless individuals and families reach beyond the cycle of homelessness to lead healthy and successful lives.


Joint Urban Ministry Project (JUMP): JUMP is an interfaith organization supported by 28 area congregations in the Chittenden County region of Vermont. JUMP has been responding to the challenge of effectively assisting low-income families and individuals for since 1988.

Committee on Temporary Shelter (COTS): COTS was founded in 1982 by volunteers as a community response to the newly emerging homeless population. The volunteers had a simple goal: Keep people from freezing to death. Although COTS has evolved over the years from emergency shelters to a focus on prevention and housing for those facing the crisis of homelessness, the heart of our organization has maintained its fundamental commitment to humanity and the belief that everyone deserves a home.

Additionally, Goodwill Northern New England will keep vouchers on-hand for its employees who need support. Goodwill hired several “Life Navigators” — a social work position — to support employees through life’s challenges, whatever they may be.

“We look forward to having a more impactful and meaningful connection to our neighbors across our region,” said Barbara Sawyer, who oversees the program. “With all of us working together, we will reach our goal of moving 10,000 people into personal stability across Maine, New Hampshire and northern Vermont.” said Barbara Sawyer, who oversees the program.

Members of the public in need of support can receive free job help from Goodwill NNE, however the nonprofit is unable to supply vouchers to individuals directly.

Goodwill Northern New England is a nonprofit social enterprise in Maine, New Hampshire and Vermont. Profits from its 30 thrift stores support its mission to help people achieve independence and personal stability. Goodwill NNE’s programs include workforce training programs, 23 group homes that support adults with disabilities, active community supports for adults with disabilities, AmeriCorps programs and two business-cleaning services. Goodwill NNE operates two brain injury clinics to help people get back to their lives after a brain injury. For more information visit

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