Wardrobe for Opportunity (WFO)

Wardrobe for Opportunity (WFO) Find A Job. Keep A Job. Build a Career. WFO provides low-income job-seekers with the tools and connections to secure employment and empowers entry-level workers with the skills they need to maintain employment and advance in the workplace.
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In partnership with hundreds of nonprofit agencies and volunteers from across the Bay Area, WFO makes a tremendous impact for low-income job-seekers while supporting and uniting members of the community from a variety of diverse backgrounds.

Mission: Wardrobe for Opportunity (WFO) works in partnership with the community to assist low-income Individuals to “Find a Job, Keep a Job and Build a Career.”

Operating as usual

Have you ever wanted to learn how to style your wardrobe professionally, which colors and styles look best for work, or ...
01/27/2021

Have you ever wanted to learn how to style your wardrobe professionally, which colors and styles look best for work, or how accessories and hairstyles can complete your professional look? Join us on Wed, February 10th at 1pm for Wardrobe for Opportunity's FREE Image Workshop focused on professional workplace styles for women. bit.ly/WIWorkshop2021

Presented by Tiffany Lawless, Administrative Marketing Specialist and certified HR Manager.

Wardrobe for Opportunity's Catapult program dives deeply into identifying passions and setting long-term personal goals ...
01/14/2021

Wardrobe for Opportunity's Catapult program dives deeply into identifying passions and setting long-term personal goals to make career moves and financial plans that make sense. Participants are able to look at what they've achieved and make achievable plans to move into what's next.

The Catapult program is ideal for people who are looking to make big changes in their careers, such as those who are interested in:

➡️ Earning a promotion or applying to a higher position after being on the job for a few years
➡️ Changing industries
➡️ Taking their passion and turning it into their profession
➡️ Being their own boss or starting a business
➡️ Moving from working a series of jobs to building a stable career

The Spring 2021 online program runs from 5:30 - 8:00 pm on Tuesdays beginning February 2 and ending April 6.

This is the only online delivery of the Catapult program for the first half of 2021. Click the link below to register. Space is limited, and applications are processed on a first come, first served basis.

bit.ly/catapultWFO

Hank Ramirez has served the working poor for his entire career. Eight years after Wardrobe for Opportunity opened its do...
01/13/2021

Hank Ramirez has served the working poor for his entire career. Eight years after Wardrobe for Opportunity opened its doors to low-income women in need of professional clothing for interviews, Hank joined the WFO team as a Program Specialist with one mission: to add a men's department and programs to the organization's array of services. He immediately got to work and established a partnership with Men's Warehouse, which has since donated men's suits to keep WFO's boutique stocked for nearly two decades. By building partnerships with retailers, community organizations, and individuals in Bay Area job development circles, Hank was a key proponent in bringing WFO's services to low-income men, a group that is often overlooked by social service programs.

Now, 17 years after he first started at WFO, Hank continues to see the impact of his work in the community. "I had a man stop me and say, 'You work for WFO? Your services changed my life, I want to give you a big hug.' He received a new suit 10 years ago!" Hank says. "This is why we can't stop doing what we're doing to help people get ready for their next jobs." During shelter in place, Hank continues to coordinate with community organizations and career experts to deliver image and interview workshops remotely to WFO's clients who are looking for work.

You can be like Hank and change the lives of low-income Bay Area residents. Donate today to ensure that your neighbors in need continue to receive the crucial services that will help them rise out of poverty. Your support will make a difference for years to come. bit.ly/WFOdonate

New year, new job? The beginning of the year is a great time to jumpstart your job search, and WFO's Navigate program ca...
01/12/2021

New year, new job? The beginning of the year is a great time to jumpstart your job search, and WFO's Navigate program can help! If you are unemployed and looking for work, looking to refresh your job search and interview skills, or have been out of the workforce for some time, this program is for you.

Navigate is a 5-session workshop series that takes participants through skills identification, interview tips and preparation, professional presentation online and in the workplace, networking tips and best practices, goal setting, and other vitally important aspects of getting started with a job.

For the first time ever, WFO is offering Navigate as a week-long "boot camp" style program to help participants polish their skills quickly and give their careers a boost right away. If you're serious about finding a new and better job now, this is the Navigate cohort for you!

Dates: Monday - Friday, February 1 - 5
Time: 9:30 - 11:30 AM
Where: Zoom (link will be provided prior to first session)

Please click the link below and fill out the form to apply. Space is limited, and applications will be processed on a first come, first served basis.

http://bit.ly/navigateWFO

Wardrobe for Opportunity has had an unprecedented and challenging 25th anniversary year. As low-income Bay Area workers ...
01/09/2021

Wardrobe for Opportunity has had an unprecedented and challenging 25th anniversary year. As low-income Bay Area workers faced reduced hours, compulsory furloughs, and layoffs due to the pandemic, WFO served 330% more clients in its professional development workshops than anticipated in 2020. Despite unexpected changes and uncertainty, the WFO team rose to the occasion by moving programming online for the first time, remaining engaged with Bay Area employers, and staying ahead of local employment trends to make sure WFO clients continued to receive the training and tools necessary to succeed in their careers.

While we acknowledge these accomplishments, we know that now is not the time to rest. We have big plans for 2021 to ensure that WFO is here during the pivotal and hardest moments of our clients' careers. The changes we are making to increase our impact this year include:

-Doubling the number of Catapult cohorts offered.
-Preparing the WFO boutique and team in advance so we are ready to serve clients on the first day of reopening.
-Offering our first "boot camp" style Navigate program to jumpstart jobseekers' careers in just one week.

However, our work is never done alone. Thanks to thousands of supporters like you, WFO has remained at the forefront of professional development services for low-income workers over the past 25 years. With your help, we will continue to prepare our clients to succeed in today's job market as they work towards developing the skills needed to achieve economic self-sufficiency.

Get involved - donate today. Be a leader in the Bay Area's economic recovery by partnering with WFO to ensure that everyone has access to dignified, fulfilling, and living-wage employment. Your continued support reminds us that there is strength in community. bit.ly/WFOdonate

Happy New Year to all of our community members! We are back in our home offices and ready for all that 2021 has to offer...
01/04/2021

Happy New Year to all of our community members! We are back in our home offices and ready for all that 2021 has to offer. Learn about our programs and more on our website - www.wardrobe.org

"Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough." -Og Mandino#MondayMotivation
01/04/2021

"Failure will never overtake me if my determination to succeed is strong enough." -Og Mandino
#MondayMotivation

Are you interested in starting your own business, but not sure if entrepreneurship is right for you? Do you want to lear...
01/02/2021
The Road to Entrepreneurship

Are you interested in starting your own business, but not sure if entrepreneurship is right for you? Do you want to learn about what it takes to become a successful entrepreneur? Are you ready to be your own boss, but not sure how to take the first step?

Learn how to get started with entrepreneurship in this FREE workshop, presented by Wardrobe for Opportunity and facilitated by Cheril Fagan! Join us on Thursday, January 7th at 5:30 pm for a course you surely don't want to miss.

Space is limited! Register: http://ow.ly/9OaQ50CzHhe

Learn how to get started with entrepreneurship in this FREE workshop, presented by Wardrobe for Opportunity.

Like many of Wardrobe for Opportunity's (WFO) clients, Daron first learned about the organization when she came in for a...
12/30/2020

Like many of Wardrobe for Opportunity's (WFO) clients, Daron first learned about the organization when she came in for a styling appointment to receive free professional clothing. "I was jumping from minimum wage job to minimum wage job," Daron says. "After [receiving clothing from] Wardrobe for Opportunity, I got employed into a steady office job and spent some time discovering what I wanted to do." Daron's path of professional discovery led her to join the Catapult program, a 10-session course offered to WFO clients who are ready to make big changes in their careers. It was during Catapult when Daron focused on her passion for building a fashion brand. "I have gone from seeking employment with other people to really focusing on building my business, my products, and my marketing outreach," Daron says.

Starting with a few Catapult graduates in the August 2020 online cohort, today Daron has built her professional network into a business and mentorship community that she can rely on for support throughout her entrepreneurship journey. "[Potential participants] should definitely take the Catapult course, as there's a lot in there that helps you see how you change your mind so that you can achieve whatever your goal is," Daron explains. "There is nothing stopping you, and this is a worthwhile investment of your time into yourself."

Entrepreneurs like Daron will drive Bay Area economic recovery and development in the months and years following the COVID-19 pandemic, and with the help of donors like you, WFO will be here to support them along their journeys. Donate today: bit.ly/WFOdonate

Susan Homer knows the importance of a great interview outfit. For ten years, she has been a stylist for Wardrobe for Opp...
12/30/2020

Susan Homer knows the importance of a great interview outfit. For ten years, she has been a stylist for Wardrobe for Opportunity, working directly with clients as they shop in the WFO boutique for the perfect professional clothing to wear to their interviews and newly-secured jobs. Many of the hundreds of clients that Susan styles each year at WFO leave lasting impressions. "The ones that stand out are the ones when our clients come out of the dressing rooms to look at themselves in the mirror," Susan says. "They cry, I cry, and the other stylists cry. These are happy tears. That's why I come back!"

Like many of WFO's volunteers, Susan initially came to the organization to make a difference in her community. She soon found working with WFO's clients to be the highlight of her weeks. "I love working with our clients. It is a very collaborative process and I love that!" Susan says.

In 2021, WFO anticipates seeing more clients than ever in need of our services, as Bay Area workers continue to recover from COVID-19 layoffs. With the support of donors like you, WFO will continue to create positive, immediate changes in low-income professionals' lives—professionals like the clients that Susan has encouraged in styling appointments for the past ten years.

Donate today to support low-income individuals in your community as they work towards developing the skills needed to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Your contribution truly makes a difference in the lives of so many. bit.ly/WFOdonate

"Kindness is like snow. It beautifies everything it covers." -Kahlil Gibran#MondayMotivation
12/28/2020

"Kindness is like snow. It beautifies everything it covers." -Kahlil Gibran
#MondayMotivation

"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love." -Hamilton Wright Mabie#MondayMotivation
12/21/2020

"Blessed is the season which engages the whole world in a conspiracy of love." -Hamilton Wright Mabie
#MondayMotivation

For over 10 years, Rich Harper has facilitated Wardrobe for Opportunity's Core Programs. He has coached nearly 1,000 low...
12/16/2020

For over 10 years, Rich Harper has facilitated Wardrobe for Opportunity's Core Programs. He has coached nearly 1,000 low-income Bay Area residents on their paths to success, using his signature brand of optimism, creativity and determination to motivate WFO clients to push themselves to reach their next career milestones. According to Rich, anyone who attends a WFO program is "guarantee[d] that they will learn something that will help improve their lives."

But Rich's success was not without his struggles. After the 2008 financial crisis, he found himself in need of a change of direction in his career. After being referred to WFO by a community partner, Rich was initially drawn to the professional clothing services, where he would receive a new suit for a job interview. He soon enrolled in and graduated from all of WFO's Core Programs, receiving the Client of the Year honor in 2011 while also working to become a WFO program facilitator himself. "This experience has led me to become a successful career coach and facilitator," Rich says, "I get to see business professionals, men and women from prison, college students and the underemployed succeed."

In 2021, WFO will provide another 250 clients with the kind of free professional development programs and workshops that helped propel Rich in his career. With your help, we can make sure that success stories like Rich's continue to develop around the Bay Area, as WFO remains committed to supporting our most underserved neighbors across the region.

Donate today to support low-income individuals in your community as they work towards developing the skills needed to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Your contribution truly makes a difference in the lives of so many. bit.ly/WFOdonate

"Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be...
12/14/2020

"Success means having the courage, the determination, and the will to become the person you believe you were meant to be." -George Sheehan
#MondayMotivation

In 1995, Jeri Foster saw a need in the Bay Area and decided to fill it. With a background in career development, she kne...
12/09/2020

In 1995, Jeri Foster saw a need in the Bay Area and decided to fill it. With a background in career development, she knew that one of the barriers to employment for many low-income individuals was looking the part for the job interview. "So much of that first impression is visual," Jeri says, "so if you're not dressed appropriately, you typically don't stand a chance." Drawing on her experience and personal network, she opened Wardrobe for Opportunity with a simple goal, "giving low-income people self-esteem and confidence that they can do more than they thought they could."

So much has changed in the Bay Area since then, including multiple tech booms that resulted in the rising cost of living that has subsequently forced lifelong residents to leave the area in search for more affordable housing. A crisis on top of a crisis, the current pandemic exacerbated existing income disparities, with low-income populations being more exposed to health risks and more likely to experience job losses and declines in well-being. These effects are even more concentrated in economically disadvantaged minorities, with Black workers being hit hardest by changes to the local economy.

With economic recovery unequal across the region, WFO remains more committed than ever to uplift those most affected by Bay Area income inequality and the unaffordable cost of living. As WFO celebrates 25 years of service, Jeri's vision to help underserved individuals find employment and build lasting, sustainable and dignified careers lives on. What started as a small boutique for unemployed women to receive clothing has grown into a multi-service organization supported by over 200 dedicated volunteers and community partners.

Help ensure Jeri's work continues for another 25 years. Donate today to support low-income individuals in your community as they develop the skills needed to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Your contribution truly makes a difference in the lives of so many. bit.ly/WFOdonate

Applying for a job? Not sure how to write that cover letter or thank you? Just want to brush up on your business writing...
12/08/2020
Business Writing Workshop

Applying for a job? Not sure how to write that cover letter or thank you? Just want to brush up on your business writing skills for today's workplace? Wardrobe for Opportunity can help!

Join us on Tuesday, December 15th to learn tips, tricks and best practices for effective business writing in our FREE business writing workshop, facilitated by Mariam Worsham, MBA.

Register: http://ow.ly/a4UI50CzGL3

Learn the appropriate ways to write for business in this FREE workshop, presented by Wardrobe for Opportunity.

"May your walls know joy, may every room hold laughter, and every window open to great possibility." -Mary Anne Radmache...
12/07/2020

"May your walls know joy, may every room hold laughter, and every window open to great possibility." -Mary Anne Radmacher
#MondayMotivation

Meet Jesse.When he first came to WFO, Jesse was living in transitional housing and looking for a job after serving over ...
12/01/2020

Meet Jesse.

When he first came to WFO, Jesse was living in transitional housing and looking for a job after serving over 30 years in prison. At his Initial Interview appointment, Jesse received professional clothing along with WFO's expert styling services. "WFO helped me look presentable for my first job interview in 30 years and for my job after I got it," Jesse said. He signed up for a pilot mentorship program at his appointment, and Jesse soon put his career training and guidance from his WFO mentor into action, and he landed the job he was training for in the hotel industry.

But Jesse didn't stop there. While attending additional programs at WFO, Jesse worked his way up to a supervisory position, and he continued to build upon his professional skills in the hotel industry until COVID-19 forced closures and resulted in layoffs in April. Like many Bay Area workers, Jesse is now facing the challenge of finding stable employment during the pandemic.

As shelter in place restrictions remain in place, WFO continues to provide programs and services remotely to clients like Jesse, who graduated as part of our first online cohort of the Accelerate program in the spring. "The staff at WFO create a very inclusive atmosphere that doesn't make people feel like they're in a social security office or government assistance program," Jesse said. "There's not that 'big I little you' syndrome there. People are treated with dignity and respect."

Jesse and WFO's many clients like him are the reason we continue our work. You can be a leader in the Bay Area's economic recovery by ensuring that everyone has the tools they need to build fulfilling, lifelong careers. Donate today to support low-income individuals in your community as they work to develop skills needed to achieve economic self-sufficiency. Your contribution truly makes a difference in the lives of so many.

Donate today: bit.ly/WFOdonate

Address

570 14th St Ste 5
Oakland, CA
94612

The 12th Street BART station is the closest to our Oakland office.

General information

http://wardrobe.org/about.aspx Wardrobe for Opportunity is wheelchair accessible.

Opening Hours

Monday 09:00 - 16:00
Tuesday 09:00 - 16:00
Wednesday 09:00 - 16:00
Thursday 09:00 - 16:00
Friday 09:00 - 16:00

Telephone

(510) 463-4100

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Comments

Hello there, I am a college student in my second year and I have a final exam coming up in December that involves a mock job interview. One of my instructors told me about your organization, and I want to know where your clothing boutique is located, and when your next public sale will be held.
This is a wonderful way to get sharp. Professional.