Single mom of four finds hope through Folsom Goodwill store

By: Don Chaddock, Managing Editor
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FOLSOM, CA - Eliana Echeverria found herself without a job and fleeing a violent relationship, with four children in her care. She was homeless, bouncing from shelter to shelter and finally ending up in transitional housing.

Today, the single mother is employed, owns a vehicle and is saving up to move her family into permanent housing.

She said it’s all thanks to steps she took to reclaim and rebuild her life.

Now she works as a quality control manager with Goodwill Industries in Folsom. The store is located at 390 Plaza Drive. She’s worked for the company for a year, between the stores in Rancho Cordova and Folsom.

“My kids and I escaped domestic violence and I was unemployed for seven years,” she said. “I got involved with Goodwill through the California Department of Human Resources in what’s called the Job Club.”

She said a steady paycheck allowed her to get off state assistance.

“I’ve done a lot of rebuilding,” she said. “It’s rough balancing children, school, activities and a job.”

She said one of those activities is Street Soccer, a program targeting formerly homeless people. The players travel to other states for competitions.

“God keeps putting really great things in front of me,” Echeverria said.

According to a study released by Elliott D. Pollack & Company, Goodwill Industries operating in California “placed a total of 14,215 job seekers into jobs in 2012.”

The average hourly wage was $10.75, working an average of 33 hours per week for four months.

“The ripple effect of those jobs through the economy generated an additional 1,235 jobs for a total of 15,450 jobs with total wages of $154.3 million and a total economic impact of $401.4 million,” the report states. “The fiscal impact generated by the placements was $11.7 million for the State of California.”

According to the report, those job placements represented 5.7 percent of California’s statewide 2012 job growth.