(Aljazeera) Mary Jones takes pride in the neatly tucked corners of her bed and the spotless countertops of her kitchen in the small efficiency apartment she calls home in northern New Jersey. A little sign next to the front door reminds her: “Success starts with a single step!”
Born partially blind and with cerebral palsy, Jones savors the independence of living on her own with just weekly visits from an aide. So when she was offered work at a local Goodwill charity store in the fall of 2012, Jones said, she looked forward to the independence of a job. But the reality was much different.
“They had me downstairs in their store, trying to hang clothes up on the hangers,” Jones said. “And to make a dollar, I had to hang a hundred pieces. If I was lucky, I made 50 cents. It was a penny per item of clothing. I felt worthless. I just didn’t want to go. They made me feel bad because I couldn’t work fast enough.” Jones is not using her real name out of a fear of retribution.