When veterans come home from serving their country, it can be a difficult transition. Often times they become homeless and without vehicles to take them to secure even the most basic necessities, such as clothing. Although veterans in need of clothing are welcome to stop by the Catholic Charities Vets Closets in Franklin and other locations for clothes at no cost, hours are very limited. So Project Help has decided to bring those services directly to the veterans’ front steps.
Project Help volunteers dedicate themselves to relieving the suffering caused by homelessness and poverty in the veterans’ community. The organization does this by raising funds and collecting clothing, and survival items for veterans as well as their families. Jobs and housing are now a focus beginning in 2018.
Our very large, yellow monster was donated by Mike Miller of George’s Salvage in Newton.
Although much work on the exterior is still to be done, our goal is to take the bus, filled with professional and casual attire for men, women and children, to housing units where veterans reside. Not only will the veterans have new clothing to choose from right out of the bus but we are hoping to provide haircuts, makeup and grooming tips from local vocational technical school cosmetology students and even offer a job readiness fair.
Each veteran will have resume preparation and interview skills taught. A few weeks after the initial visit, a job fair of sorts will come out and try to get the vets employed. Before all of that can come to fruition, which Project Help believes will be by late spring 2018, much work needs to be done on the bus. We are hoping the community will help.
Since Project Help had been given many items, such as clothing, hangers and racks, in a short amount of time, space was needed immediately, so MooveIn Self Storage in Hampton offered Project Help a 10-foot-by-20-foot storage unit free of charge. Students at a vocational technical school in Morris County provided the render design for the exterior of the school bus, many have helped with the labor and materials to convert it into a mobile closet.
This is a community affair and it will be a fun and cooperative project. Boonton Auto Body has also donated the automotive paint for outside of the bus.
It’s amazing, you just put something out there in the universe and it comes back to you and all you need do is say “Thank You Everyone”.
Although all the pieces came together quite fast — within two weeks time — there are still many items Project Help will need to get the mobile closet on the road. The bus needs to be registered and insured, which we estimate will run around $2,000 a year and we are also looking to hire a veteran who can drive the bus. The interior conversion is complete and it looks beautiful…it was donated by Broden Contracting of Sussex County. Other items needed include 20 laptops, 18 of which can be refurbished, with each of them having Microsoft Word. We have 5 so far, all ready to go. A small printer or two is also needed since the objective is to create resumes and print resumes and provide office practice skills.
If you would like to make a donation to Project Help, you can send a check to Project Help, 55 Bank St., Sussex NJ 07461…this is tax deductible. Or use the donate button on this website. Volunteers are also welcome.
Regardless of how many years served, what branch of service and what role they held in the military, Project Help is here to help anyone who has “worn the uniform of our country.”
Project Help is lining up a list of locations where the bus will stop at this year and is urging anyone who knows of a place that could use its services to reach out to us.
To contact call 973-875-2068, or email.