Desert Best Friend’s Closet (DBFC) is expanding its programs to help recent parolees re-enter the workforce thanks to a grant from the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation. The organization is the latest recipient of the Coachella Valley Spotlight, which includes a $25,000 grant from the foundation and local media exposure on News Channel 3.
“We are grateful to the Berger Foundation and News Channel 3 who are now our partners in giving people a second chance,” said Matthew M. Campos, Executive Director of DBFC.
The grant will advance the inclusion of recent parolees referred to the program by Phoenix Rising Recovery Center and the Riverside County Probation Department, which will refer about 100 people to DBFC. During the first year that these men and women are on parole and are in recovery, DBFC will additionally help them transition back into the workforce through the organization’s Job Search Readiness Workshops (JSRW). The four-week training assists with job development, placement and interview/job attire.
“Desert Best Friend’s Closet empowers people by not only providing appropriate clothing for job interviews but also gives them the encouragement they need for re-entry into the workforce,” said Catharine Reed, Vice President of Charitable Programs for the H.N. and Frances C. Berger Foundation.
Founded in 2008, the nonprofit primarily helps clients referred by various social service agencies. In addition to its Interview Attire, Bridge to Employment and Youth Attire programs, DBFC also provides low-income girls with prom dresses and wives of local marines dress for their annual ball. Most of the clothes passed onto people through these programs are gently used donations from the community. Donations that are not given directly to clients are used to raise funds in the organization’s retail shop, located at 74-040 Highway 111, Suite F., Palm Desert.
“Desert Best Friend’s Closet has found multiple ways to offer people the self-confidence they may need to improve their lives,” said Jerry Upham, General Manager of Gulf California Broadcast Company, which owns and operates KESQ News Channel 3 and KPSP CBS Local 2.
Along with the funds, throughout the month of December Desert Best Friend’s Closet was featured on News Channel 3’s “Eye on the Desert,” in public service announcements and on kesq.com. To learn about donating to DBFC or for more information about the organization, call 760-776-9975 or visit www.bfcloset.org.