This weekend, a massive 4 alarm fire broke out at Working Wardrobes in Irvine. More than 100 firefighters contained the fire. No injuries were reported, but the building is expected to be a total loss. Orange County Fire Authority Battalion Chief Craig Covey described the non-profit’s structure and its contents as “just complete devastation.”
According to the Orange County Register, while there is as yet no monetary estimate on damages, potentially millions of dollars worth of clothing and office equipment were lost.
This a terribly sad event. Working Wardrobes does great work.
Since 1990, Working Wardrobes has changed the lives of over 100,000 at-risk men, women, young adults, and veterans, bridging the gap between a difficult past and a bright future to help more people realize the power of a paycheck.
“We are absolutely devastated by this catastrophic loss, the heart of our operations is gone and so is 30 years of history,” Jerri Rosen, Founder and CEO, said after the fire. “We are grateful and relieved to report that no one was hurt or in the building at the time of the fire. Now our job is to get back on our feet so we can serve our clients very quickly and we aim to do just that with the help of our remarkable community.”
Working Wardrobes has issues the following message, asking for the public’s help in rebuilding and continuing its mission of providing not just clothing, but also a wide range of workforce readiness services:
“We are determined to work with our employees, volunteers and the Orange County community to rebuild and continue to fulfill our purpose of helping men, women, young adults and veterans overcome difficult challenges so they can achieve the dignity of work.
Financial donations are what we need the most to rebuild and continue to provide services to veterans, seniors, and unemployed get back into the workforce.
Financial Donations, please visit: https://workingwardrobes.org/donate-money/
Our friends at Goodwill have stepped up to provide a temporary home in one of their facilities at 1601 E St Andrew Pl. Santa Ana, CA 92705. We are so grateful for their support and partnership. Much will change for us over the next few months as we start our journey over, but we know the strength of our friends and supporters will buoy us.
Volunteers: We need volunteers to help get our new temporary home set up. Please contact KathiS@workingwardrobes.org or call (714) 210-2460
Donation Needs: We will release a list of our needs for donations soon, please contact (714) 210-2460 for more details.”