In one of their newly constructed homes in Carpenter’s Square, East Camden, the St. Joseph Carpenter Society on the morning of July 26 was awarded grants from two organizations to aid in their work in the city.
A check for $50,000, in grants and in-kind funding, was presented to the Society by NeighborWorks America, and also a $100,000 planning grant from the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation to aid in the Society’s East Camden Neighborhood Planning Initiative
In conjunction with Cooper’s Ferry Partnership, a non-profit organization that aids in redevelopment of Camden’s waterfronts and neighborhoods, and the Regional Plan Association, an independent urban research and advocacy group, St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society has begun “My East Camden — Many Voices, One Vision,” with community members, non-profit organizations, and businesses collaborating to create a vision for a sustainable neighborhood.
With input from the community, St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society and its partners will develop a plan for East Camden that addresses the needs of children and families, economic development, affordable housing and housing counseling, and neighborhood building.
“With population increases in East Camden over the past 10 years, there’s a definite need to create a neighborhood plan that will accommodate growth and steer East Camden in the right direction,” said Pilar Hogan Closkey, executive director of St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society.
NeighborWorks America is a national nonprofit corporation that creates opportunities for people to live in affordable homes. The check was part of an initiative to help communities better market themselves, to bolster housing demand and increase private sector investment.
Wells Fargo Regional Foundation has also funded revitalization initiatives in surrounding Camden neighborhoods, including Cramer Hill, North Camden and Parkside.
The announcement in Carpenter’s Square, a 42-unit housing development, included remarks from Camden Mayor Dana L. Redd; City Council President Frank Moran; Former New Jersey Gov. James J. Florio; Denise McGregor Armbrister, executive director of the Wells Fargo Regional Foundation; and Ascala Sisk, from NeighborWorks America.
St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society strives to improve the quality of life of Camden’s residents by promoting affordable homeownership and sustainable neighborhood development. This year, the society marked the development of its 900th home.
About the East Camden Planning Initiative PROJECT PARTNERS
• St. Joseph’s Carpenter Society (SJCS) strives to improve the quality of life of Camden residents by promoting affordable homeownership and sustainable neighborhood development. This year, SJCS will mark the development of its 900th home.
• Cooper’s Ferry Partnership (CFP), established in 1984, is a non-profit organization that works to facilitate the revival of the City of Camden as an urban hub, where people choose to live, to work, and to invest. CFP develops visionary, long-range plans for the redevelopment of Camden’s waterfronts and neighborhoods in collaboration with private sector, government and community partners to make these plans a reality.
• Regional Plan Association (RPA) is America’s oldest and most distinguished independent urban research and advocacy group. RPA prepares long-range plans and policies to guide the growth and development of the New York-New Jersey-Connecticut metropolitan region.
The founder of the Carpenter Society
“I’ve come to understand the need to change the focus of the church away from a ‘road to salvation’ model to one of relationship-building with our brothers and sisters in the world today. It’s about the present and not the future beyond this lifetime.”
— Msgr. Robert T. McDermott, founder of the St. Joseph Carpenter Society, speaking to Sister Camille D’Arienzo of National Catholic Reporter, July 24. (ncronline.org)