Critical Needs of Transitioning active duty, reserve, guard, Veterans and their families Facing JoblessnessEvery year in Orange County, thousands of individuals transition out of military service and into civilian life. These service members face uniquely difficult barriers to obtaining meaningful employment that will fund housing, transportation, healthcare, and childcare. In June, Working Wardrobes will host our annual Power Up for Success event and participate in the Stand and Salute day of giving. Your support makes a world of difference for transitioning active duty, reserve, guard, Veterans and their families.

Veterans and Service Members Facing Joblessness Have Critical Needs

In 2020, in Orange County alone, over 6,300 veterans reported income below the poverty level. Due to the high cost of living in Orange County, low-income individuals are constantly on the brink of losing their place of residence. If a Veteran experiences even a temporary gap in their income, they are at risk of losing their housing, transportation, or other necessities, which can make it increasingly difficult to find and maintain high-wage work.

Veterans struggling to transition to civilian life are at a high risk of homelessness. Although Californians make up approximately 12% of the total US population, homeless Veterans in California represented 31% of the national homeless Veteran population in 2020 — a statistic that has not drastically changed in the last few years. This dramatic increase can be attributed to the high number of military bases (California has thirty-two within its borders, more than any other state) in addition to California’s mild climate, which makes homelessness survivable. Increased assistance can help reduce this staggering percentage of unhoused individuals who bravely served in our military.

Transitioning active duty, reserve, guard, Veterans and their families make countless sacrifices to protect the freedoms that we enjoy. Yet, they cannot themselves experience those same freedoms if they do not have access to consistent income. Some need help to cover the gaps — expenses like gas prices, growing inflation, rent assistance — until they can find reliable work. And, these individuals need employers that understand the high-caliber value of military experience on a resume. 

About The Working Wardrobes VetNet Program

The Working Wardrobes VetNet Program supports individuals and families of our Military Veterans and transitioning Service Members. We provide a variety of workforce readiness services through our Homeless Veteran Reintegration Program (HVRP) and Veteran Behavioral Health and Peer Support Services (VBHPSS). The Working Wardrobes VetNet Program has helped transitioning active duty service members, Veterans and their families since 2012.

Ways To Get Involved: Power Up for Success and Stand and Salute

Power Up for Success is a command-sponsored event dedicated to honoring transitioning service members aboard Camp Pendleton by providing in-kind services to help them transition into the civilian workforce. Working Wardrobes hosts professional services, wardrobe styling, career panels, workshops, a job fair, headshots, lunch, and well-tailored business attire. Thanks to the dedication of employers, and volunteers, we get the chance to serve those that serve our country everyday, and for us, there is no greater honor. This year’s event will take place on June 17th.

For those wanting to provide critical needs to Veterans and Service Members, June 23rd is Stand and Salute, a day of giving. Your donations will help transitioning active duty, reserve, guard, Veterans and their families on their journeys to meaningful employment.

About Working Wardrobes

Working Wardrobes is Orange County’s foremost workforce readiness nonprofit, providing the tools to at-risk men, women, young adults, and veterans so they can achieve the dignity of work. Founded in 1990 by Jerri Rosen, Working Wardrobes has been serving Southern California for over 30 years by providing assessments, job training, career placement, and wardrobe services to more than 115,000 clients to overcome barriers to employment and achieve The Power of a Paycheck. For more information, please visit www.workingwardrobes.org.