Goodwill Helps Connect Veterans to Housing & Employment


Goodwill of Western & Northern Connecticut Helping Connect Veterans in Fairfield County to Housing & Employment

Nonprofit supports 36 local veterans

(Photo: Rico McDonald, USMC Veteran and Goodwill Associate)

Bridgeport, Conn. (December 22, 2023) – Goodwill of Western and Northern Connecticut (GWNC) today announced it has helped connect 36 veterans across Fairfield County, who were experiencing or at-risk of homelessness, to housing and employment. This milestone comes at the halfway point of executing a 3-year grant program, the Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program, which provides occupational training, job search and placement assistance, and other employment-related services to veterans experiencing or at-risk of homelessness.

“Our veterans sacrifice years of their lives to serve our Country,” Heather Marquis, Vice President of Human Services, Goodwill of Western and Northern Connecticut, said. “We are proud to support these heroes by providing job training, identifying employment opportunities, and helping them to secure housing.”

One of the veterans who has benefited from GWNC’s program is Rico McDonald, who served in the United States Marine Corps and Reserves for 20-years. During that time, he was stationed in Southeast Asia and even served time at the Pentagon. Mr. McDonald relocated to the Danbury area two-years ago, to be closer to his adult children, and learned about GWNC’s program during his employment search. He currently works full-time in GWNC’s Danbury retail store and was connected to housing through a collaboration between GWNC and HUD-VASH.

“It’s hard moving back and trying to find work,” Rico McDonald said. “The Team at Goodwill helped me get a job at the Danbury store, and then find a better, more affordable place to live. I’m proud to work for a company that provides services like these to other veterans in our community.”

By providing skills training, assisting veterans with attaining apprenticeships, and developing an Individual Employment Plan (IEP), GWNC’s Homeless Veterans' Reintegration Program helps veterans overcome barriers to reliable housing and employment. The program focuses primarily on homeless female veterans and veterans with children, incarcerated veterans, and other veterans experiencing homelessness. GWNC’s actively working with 10 veterans, at this time, through the program, which is delivered in partnership with the Department of Labor, Veterans' Employment and Training Service (DOL-VETS).

Goodwill of Western and Northern Connecticut is one of fifty-six non-profit organizations, state and local workforce investment boards, tribal governments, and faith-based and community organizations who were awarded the three-year grant. To learn more, visit:


Goodwill is a non-profit organization that helps individuals, businesses, and communities come together to support people with disabilities, economic disadvantages, and other barriers to employment. Last year, Goodwill of Western and Northern Connecticut (GWNC) helped 918 Connecticut residents find work. Donations of goods and revenue generated from store sales power this mission, providing programs and services strengthening Connecticut families. GWNC is headquartered in Bridgeport, Conn., and has store, donation, and career center locations around the state. To learn more, visit: