Operation Homefront Opens First Village for West Coast Wounded Warriors & Families, Announces National Grant From Bank of America
OCEANSIDE, CA – Operation Homefront, the national nonprofit organization supporting military families and wounded warriors, and the Bank of America Charitable Foundation today announced a new two-year, $250,000 grant for supportive transitional housing and support services for wounded service members, recently returning service members, and their families. The announcement was made at the grand opening of a new Operation Homefront Village housing facility serving Southern California, the first ‘Village’ on the West Coast.
The Village provides transitional family housing for wounded warriors leaving the military due to their injuries. This new facility, located near Camp Pendleton and also servicing the Balboa Naval Medical Center, will ultimately house 13 military families. It is the fourth such Village opened and operated by Operation Homefront, with three additional Village facilities in the Washington DC area and San Antonio, Texas. Service members and their families live in the fully furnished apartments rent free while working with onsite case managers to customize plans to transition back to civilian life through participating in mandatory support groups, financial budgeting workshops, benefits briefings, college needs and job integration support. Once residents have become self-sufficient, Operation Homefront counselors help them find suitable housing.
“This is another special day for us since it allows us to expand our services to more joint service members in the Southern California area,” said Jim Knotts, Operation Homefront President and CEO. “Due to the generosity of our many private and corporate donors, we are able to expand our Village footprint to this very important area that serves so many Marine Corps and Navy servicemembers. We’re proud to open what is essentially a mini-military community for the wounded warriors and their families where they can comfortably and successfully transition to civilian life without having to worry about their housing, utilities or home furnishings. “
“Bank of America recognizes and appreciates the incredible sacrifices our military and their families make every day. We are committed to serving those who serve our country, and we are proud to continue our work with Operation Homefront,” said Rick Bregman, San Diego market president, Bank of America. “This $250,000 grant helps to continue important programs across the country for wounded and returning military service members and their families.”
Jim Knotts and Rick Bregman were at the joined on the podium at the ceremony by the Mayor Jim Wood of Oceanside, CA; Brig. Gen. Joseph Osterman, Assistant Division Commander, 1st Marine Division; and the Village’s first resident, retired U.S. Marine Staff Sgt. Obom Bowen.
Bank of America has worked with Operation Homefront since 2006 to help fund its transitional programs for returning military. The $250,000 grant is part of the company’s focus on supporting military personnel dating back to 1920. Today, Bank of America provides special rates, products and services to more than two million active and retired military households. In addition to banking services, more than 5,000 active and veteran U.S. military service members work at Bank of America, which has been recognized by G.I. Jobs magazine for the fifth year in a row as one of the top Military Friendly Employers. Also, in 2010, Bank of America employees donated more than 8,000 hours of volunteer time to military-related causes.
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About Operation Homefront: Operation Homefront provides emergency financial and other assistance to the families of our service members and wounded warriors. A national nonprofit, Operation Homefront leads more than 4,500 volunteers across 25 chapters and has met more than 400,000 needs since 2002. A four-star rated charity by watchdog Charity Navigator, and with an A rating by the American Philanthropy Institute, 94 percent of all donations to Operation Homefront goes to its programs. For more information about Operation Homefront, please visit www.operationhomefront.net
About Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy: Building on a long-standing tradition of investing in the communities it serves, Bank of America is delivering on a 10-year goal to donate $2 billion to nonprofit organizations engaged in improving the health and vitality of their neighborhoods. Funded by Bank of America, the Bank of America Charitable Foundation gave more than $200 million in 2010, making the bank one of the largest corporate cash donors in the United States. As a global company doing business in more than 150 countries, Bank of America approaches investing through a national strategy under which it works with local leaders to identify and meet the most pressing needs of individual communities. Reaffirming a commitment to develop and sustain a culture of service, bank associate volunteers contributed more than one million hours in 2010 to enhance the quality of life in their communities worldwide. For more information about Bank of America Corporate Philanthropy, please visit www.bankofamerica.com/foundation
Other Media Contacts:
West Coast Media Relations, Bank of America