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Displaced vets get a hand through new assistance program

Working Wardrobes kicks off its new VetNet initiative with fundraiser event

by Gabriel CortésPublished: October 01, 2012 08:45 AM

Working Wardrobes, a Costa Mesa-based non-profit organization, will host a fundraising event at The Pacific Club in Newport Beach to launch VetNet, its newly expanded veteran-assistance program. “VetNet Nite” will take place in the evening on Thursday, Oct. 18, and will include dinner and a live auction. Retired Army Ranger 1st Sgt. Matt Eversmann, whose story was profiled in the film Black Hawk Down, will be the keynote speaker.

Working Wardrobes assists unemployed individuals find work, in part by providing professional business attire and assistance in personal image, and is launching the VetNet campaign to better serve veterans returning from abroad. The expansion of the program is partially funded by a grant from the U.S. Labor Department and its Homeless Veterans Reintegration Program. Working Wardrobes received the grant in June and, by the end of this year, expects to help at least 100 local veterans by providing job and housing placement, wardrobe assistance, and career training and counseling.

“This is a time, with the mandated Reduction in Force, when many military servicemen and women are returning home from overseas with little or no guidance to determine what is next for them and their families,” said Jerri Rosen, founder and CEO of Working Wardrobes. “Working Wardrobes created VetNet as a resource for these dedicated servicemen and women to develop the skills, confidence and connections they need.”

In December 2011, the Washington, D.C.-based progressive think tank Center for American Progress estimated that military veterans accounted for one in seven homeless individuals, and, according to unpublished 2011 Bureau of Labor Statistics data, approximately 30 percent of veterans between the ages 18 and 24 were unemployed.

For more information or to purchase tickets for Working Wardrobes’ VetNet Nite, click here.

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