Goodwill is returning to Pueblo later this year. Goodwill International has tasked its Colorado Springs location with opening a new retail store in Pueblo. They expect to be operating by September.
The new store will not have any ties to the former Pueblo Goodwill, now known as the Green Store run by Colorado Green Services; the same people who ran Pueblo Goodwill.
Last summer, Colorado Green Services changed the name of the Pueblo Goodwill store to the Green Store and cut ties with Goodwill International. In November, Colorado Green Services was in the midst of renovating a building on Dillon Drive to use as a new store location when they suddenly fired their CEO David Skul over allegations of a conflict of interest he supposedly knew about but didn't tell the governing board. Skul denies these allegations.
Skul had taken over after former Pueblo Goodwill CEO Debra Diaz was fired and charged with stealing thousands of dollars from the organization. Diaz's trial on those charges is set for May.
In interviews with Skul from 2010, he says the company was on its way toward financial stability, and finally getting out of debt. When the venture to secure the new location for the Green Store began, he told KKTV that the company would have to take on more debt to finish the project, but was confident it would be successful.
Now, the Dillon Drive store remains unfinished and the building vacant. A Colorado Green Services spokesman says the company is in extreme financial distress, and it is unclear if they will be able to continue to provide all of the services they currently have.
When asked if she thought the new Pueblo Goodwill store could hurt Colorado Green Services ability to operate in the Pueblo market, a spokesperson for Goodwill of Colorado Springs, Melissa Lyby said, "Pueblo is a vibrant community, and most vibrant communities have multiple organizations for non-profit efforts offering services to its residents."
Meanwhile, Colorado Green Services offered this statement:
"Colorado Green Services, fka Pueblo Goodwill Industries, has no issue with the recently announced plans of the Colorado Springs Goodwill opening a Goodwill store in Pueblo. We believe the southeastern Colorado region is well served with the services that Goodwill Industries provides and we are hopeful that these recently announced plans will develop into an asset and valuable resource for the Pueblo, and greater southeastern Colorado community.
While our organization provides services to at-risk and disadvantaged segments of the community, and operates a retail thrift store, our organization has no affiliation with Goodwill Industries. Future operations of Colorado Green Services, fka Pueblo Goodwill Industries will be determined based upon the current financial realities of the organization; the future presence of a Pueblo Goodwill, operated by Colorado Springs Goodwill Industries will play little, if any role, in those decisions."