Irvine Non-Profit Devastated by Massive Fire, Already Planning Rebuild

Marking its 30 year anniversary, Working Wardrobes has provided over 100,000 people with employment services

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Working Wardrobes, a nonprofit in Irvine that has helped over 100,000 people re-enter the workforce since 1990, will have to focus on rebuilding its structure and inventory lost by a massive fire early Sunday morning.

A statement posted on the Working Wardrobes website said: "On Sunday, Feb. 2, 2020 at 5:50 a.m., a fire broke out at the Working Wardrobes headquarters located at 1851 Kettering Street, Irvine, California. It was several hours before firefighters could access the building. Unfortunately, everything has been destroyed by this fire and we are working closely with the Orange County Fire Authority and Irvine Police Department for more details."

The nonprofit moved into the now destroyed 22,000 square foot office in 2016.

Orange County Fire Authority Captain Toni Bommarito said the fire was fueled in part by what was kept inside. The racks and racks of clothing, clothes and purses likely caused the fire to spread at a faster rate.

Goodwill has donated office space and a warehouse to help Working Wardrobes start over.

Jerri Rosen, founder and CEO of Working Wardrobes since 1999, said their mission means more than providing clothes to people in need.

"Majority of our mission is to help people on the inside with job training and practical skills," Rosen said.

Working Wardrobes serves men, women, young adults, veterans and seniors from situations like being formerly incarcerated, underemployed or unemployed.

This career development nonprofit has provided over 13,000 people with employment services and over 4,000 veterans with employment services and is marking its 30 year anniversary.

"We serve clients who lost it all," said Adrianna Ceballos, Working Wardrobes services specialist. "When they come to our organization and try on clothes it is a sense of hope for them."

Learn how you can support Working Wardrobes mission as they begin the rebuilding process here.

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