When I Found this Program I Found Support


Ms. Haynes (28 years old) was a US Marine from 2005 thru 2009. She last served at HQHQRON, MCAS, Yuma, Arizona. Ms. Haynes Military Occupational Specialty (MOS) was that of a Personnel Clerk. Her unit was responsible for the training and preparation of fellow Marines for overseas deployment and combat operations.

While in the US Marines, Ms. Haynes received three meritorious promotions and attained the rank of an E-5 (Sergeant) within two and a half years.  She was honored with a Navy & Marine Corps Achievement Medal, Global War on Terrorism Medal, National Defense Medal, Navy & Marine Corps Commendation Medal and Rifle Marksman Badge.

When her family was in distress due to her mother’s illness and a teenage sister that needed a guardian, Ms. Haynes decided to end her military career and was honorably discharged on August 15, 2009.


Towards the end of July 2012, Ms. Haynes attended a job fair in Carson, California where she met a GSC Business Services Representative who then referred her to the Veteran Employment Program. On July 31, 2012, Ms. Haynes came into the VEP offices for a one-on-one meeting with a Service Coordinator who provided information regarding the various employment services available to her.

“The day that everything started looking up was at a job fair I went to. I stopped at the Goodwill booth and I left with so much information. I felt hopeful again. I was able to get help through the veteran’s program right away and the resources I learned about changed my life for the better. Suddenly we didn’t feel alone anymore. Every day more and more enthusiasm came back. When I found this program I found support again and it was like I had been holding my breath all this time and could finally let it go,” said Haynes.

During the intake it was revealed that Ms. Haynes was going through very difficult times.  Her mother was suffering from dementia and was living full time in a nursing home in Arizona.  Ms. Haynes reported that she had come out to California to live with an aunt, but her living situation was tentative and she was about to become homeless along with her 19 year old younger sister.

Ms. Haynes was enrolled in Goodwill’s Veterans Employment Program and assigned to a Career Advisor who worked to help secure a place for her and her sister to live. The solution came via a pilot project that had been initiated with a property management company owned by the Cusumano family. “The Charlie Cusumano family partnered with the veteran’s program to provide an apartment. Again I am so grateful and it came at the moment when I absolutely needed it the most. I couldn’t even have imagined this kind of support. Without having to worry about all these big problems, I was able to get back on track and on focus with the job hunt,” said Haynes.

She began actively pursuing employment with the assistance of the Business Services Representative. “I was hired as a medical billing and coding specialist. I have a week’s worth of business attire for my new job, and I have a functional, fueled car to get to and from work. I can take care of my sister in the comfort of our home where we each have beds to sleep on.” Haynes is also enrolled in University of Phoenix and is seeking a Bachelor’s Degree in Communications.

Ms. Haynes continues to be enrolled participant in the Veterans Employment Program which will continue to monitor her progress and provide her with continued supportive and vocational counseling, as well as supportive services as deemed necessary for her to retain employment.

“I hope you all realize the impact of your good deeds because I really was at the end of my rope. And I hope I can give back by making you all proud,” said Haynes.