Joseph’s House of Camden, a South Jersey-based homeless shelter committed to providing shelter and support for those in need, announced on May 9 it has commenced construction renovations to its existing facility at 555 Atlantic Ave. in Camden. This initiative will enable the organization to provide day services that, when coupled with its overnight program, will establish round the clock care for the region’s most vulnerable.
For the past eight years, Joseph’s House has provided an overnight shelter and services program that has helped many homeless individuals return to independent living. On average, the facility provides food and shelter for 80 homeless men and women each night.
Last year, when a community nonprofit that for years provided day services to the homeless suddenly closed their doors, Joseph’s House stepped up by offering day services on a limited basis. Now, the organization is addressing this opportunity for the long-term by improving and combining the existing 17,000 square foot facility and adjoining space under one roof, creating a one-stop shop for vital services.
Facility features will include, but are not limited to:
— Increasing capacity of its overnight program from 80 to 90 people per night
— Expanding the dining room and storage space, enabling guests to keep their personal belongings onsite rather than carrying them from appointment to appointment, often in trash bags
— Providing case management, employment and housing services
— Counseling for mental health and addiction
Work is expected to be completed by Aug. 30, 2019.
“The team at Joseph’s House is motivated by the homeless men and women we serve each day, as well as the surrounding community, and its residents and businesses that generously donate food, supplies, time and money,” said James Wynn, executive director of Joseph’s House. “Through this initiative, we are poised to rise and meet the significant challenge before us of providing food and shelter to keep the homeless off the streets at night, while also offering a helping hand through services and support that empower our guests to return to independent living.”
Wynn took over as executive director in January. The former executive director, John Klein, remains on the Board of Managers and is serving as capital campaign chair for th expansion project.
The funds for expansion so far have come from government, community business, foundations and individuals. The expansion budget is $1.225 million.
In addition, Joseph’s House has partnered with Subaru of America Foundation, which is based in Camden. Through this partnership, Subaru has committed a grant of $350,000. A total of $150,000 of this went toward the capital raise for the expansion.
Additionally, Subaru will donate $50,000 per year for the next four years to support general operations at the shelter.
Msgr. Joseph McDermott, the former pastor of Saint Joseph Pro-Cathedral in East Camden who died three months ago, played a major role in establishing Joseph’s House and providing its vision. The organization’s tagline, “Caring for God’s presence in our midst,” were his words.
Joseph’s House is now looking to build on the momentum from 2018 where it served over 600 homeless guests and helped 200 men and women return to independent living.
For more information about Joseph’s House, go to its website www.jhoc.org/