Goodbye Graffiti
$50 raised
0% of $75k goal
1 contributor
4 Years running
Goodbye graffiti, hello meaningful employment! “Working for someone who accepts your particular 
situation is enormous"

David Pollitt is luckier than most. He found a job he loves and is proud of what he does. Pollitt, 52, works with Goodbye Graffiti, a company that cleans graffiti, as well as removes stickers and posters from public property.

Pollitt suffers from bipolar mood disorder, as well as obsessive compulsive and anxiety disorders. Although told by several doctors that such a life­changing diagnosis came with the burden of a lifelong stigma, Pollitt doesn't feel it limits him. It’s actually the reason he works in a job that he loves.

After his diagnosis several years ago, he was introduced to Coast Mental Health, which gave him a job as a street cleaner. Through Coast’s transitional employment program(TEP), he began working with Goodbye Graffiti in October 2013.

The program allows individuals with mental health issues to enter the workplace without stress of interviews, or job loss due to absenteeism. Coast Mental Health also conducts
on­the­job training, to help ease participants' stress.

Finding it more challenging than his previous job as a street cleaner, Pollitt has noticed a lot of changes since he started working with Goodbye Graffiti. He genuinely enjoys his work. He began at four hours a week, and is now up to 16.

Yatan Anand is the manager at Goodbye Graffiti and says the company got involved with Coast in September after their founder learned about the program. After meeting with
them and learning what the program had to offer, they decided it would be a good fit. And a good fit it was – Anand has nothing but praise for a hard­working man like David.
“It’s been great,” says Anand, “Every morning, [David’s] all charged up and excited to go. The guys look at him like, 'How can he be so fresh on a Monday at 6:30 in the morning?'” He said that all employees that come from TEP are great to work with; they are ready to learn, creative, hardworking, honest and sincere. “It's been going more than great so far,” he says.

Pollitt doesn't let his disorder stop him from doing the best he can do at his job; he says it even helps him.

“In a lot of ways [my disorder] actually assists me... I’m able to focus intently on what I am doing,” he says. He compares his focus to an athlete who gets in the zone. “It’s hard to describe. It’s enjoyable.”

When asked about the challenges of working with TEP, Anand said they don’t see it as a challenge at all. “We look at it as an opportunity to understand the person better.”
Aside from having a job that gets him outside, Pollitt says the most important part about Goodbye Graffiti and TEP is the people he works with.

“Working for someone who basically accepts your particular situation is enormous. It’s hard to describe,” says Pollitt, “I feel very comfortable. I like it.”

For 42 years Coast Mental Health has created programs and services to support Vancouver's most seriously mentally ill. Coast knows a key step to recovery from mental illness is having a purpose and a reason to get out of bed each day – that’s why a job means so much. Coast is seeking $75,000 to continue to expand its vocational training to help 50 more people struggling with this disease find and maintain meaningful employment.

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