Joseph’s House of Camden (JHOC), a homeless shelter committed to providing support as well as shelter for those in need, observed World Homeless Day on Oct. 10 with an open house to highlight its expanded facilities and the addition of day services.
The day’s program featured remarks from executive director Shawn Sheekey, Camden Mayor Frank Moran and representatives from donor organizations, including Rock and Roll Hall of Fame artist, philanthropist and New Jersey native, Jon Bon Jovi, who supports the shelter as chairman of the JBJ Soul Foundation.
The brief program included an invocation from JHOC board member Father Michael McCue, who is stationed at the Cathedral of the Immaculate Conception in Camden, and a story from Liz Holmes, a former guest who was able to overcome homelessness and a 30-year addiction with the help of Joseph’s House staff and fellow guests.
The new, 17,000 square foot, $1.2 million renovated facility expands Joseph’s House’s overnight capacity from 80 to 90 cots. At the heart of the upgraded shelter is The HUB, a dedicated space for guests to meet one-on-one with service providers. Adjacent to the HUB is a spacious waiting room, where guests can read, watch TV or socialize while they wait to meet with providers. Other features include a computer room where guests can work on resumes and search for jobs or housing, an upgraded laundry facility and lockers for storing personal belongings.
“We are proud to partner with Joseph’s House to help bring critical services to those most in need,” said Jon Bon Jovi, JBJ Soul Foundation Board Chairman. “Thank you to everyone who supported the new renovations and expanded day program at Joseph’s House and for continuing to take hope to the next level in Camden.”
The late Msgr. Robert T. McDermott, former pastor of Saint Joseph Pro-Cathedral in East Camden, was instrumental in establishing Joseph’s House.
On average, the facility provides food and shelter for 80 homeless men and women each night, and now provides day-services.