In the late 1890’s, Methodist minister Edgar J. Helms was seeking innovative ways to help the jobless, immigrant population in Boston. He began collecting unwanted household items and hired the jobless to repair and refurbish the items. Income from the resold items paid the workers’ wages. The system worked and the Goodwill method of self-help was born. Goodwill Industries was formally incorporated in 1902 with job skills training programs and even rudimentary job placement services.
Reverend John Martin founded Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit in April of 1921. A merger between Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit and the League for the Handicapped took place in 1970 and paved the way for a more efficient and comprehensive system of delivering services.
Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit
For over 92 years, Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit has led the region’s ongoing battle against unemployment. Goodwill Industries of Greater Detroit estimates it has served nearly 1 million clients and placed almost 90,000 individuals into jobs over its history. These Metro Detroiters have benefited from the nonprofit organization’s employment training, education, support and job placement programs.