What We Do

What We Do

A Hand Up, Not A Hand Out

Transforming Lives. Transforming Camden.

This is our goal, to face the challenges and share in our community's achievements.

The Lives we Touch

  • Our ministries transform the lives of more than 3,500 people each year. 
  • Education programs at our Child Development Center support 90 children each year. 
  • Saint Joseph Pro-Cathedral elementary school, catechetical programs and high school scholarship programs serve
    over 600 students each year. 
  • The Romero Center Ministries engage more than 1,400 high school and college students and adults annually. 
  • LUCY Outreach provides educational, service, spiritual and social programming for more than 400 teenagers each year. 
  • Saint Joseph’s Carpenter society meets and counsels at least 75 families in homeownership educational training each year. 
  • Joseph’s House of Camden welcomes over 75 homeless citizens (“guests”) each evening in our transitional housing facility and serves literally hundreds of different individuals each year. 

Why We Are Needed

  • Camden’s population is 77,000 and declining, largely due to abandonment
  • Nearly 50% of Camden’s residents earn less than $25,000/year
  • Over 60% of Camden’s households are headed by a single parent
  • The homeownership rate is less than 50%
  • An estimated 25% of all Camden properties are vacant, over 4000 in all
  • Camden’s unemployment rate is approx. 12%; more than twice the national average (5.0%)
  • Camden is one of America’s most violent cities, with more than 1,000 assaults, >40 murders, ~ 75 reported rapes and 1,000 robberies each year

Who We Support

The Joseph Fund of Camden Ministries

Saint Joseph’s Carpenter Society

SJCS was founded in 1985 to help families improve their quality of life and to create safe neighborhoods through homeownership in Camden, New Jersey. SJCS promotes successful homeownership through homeowner education, housing development, and community organizing.

In June 2000, SJCS was awarded the President's Service Award – the most prestigious national award for individuals and organizations engaged in solving critical social problems.
  • Over 981 homes built: 670 sold to families and 311 rental properties
  • 4200 graduates from the homeowner’s academy 
  • 88% of homes sold remain owned by first owners or their families
  • Less than 4% mortgage default rate in our entire history
  • 1 in 6 homes vacant reduced to 1 in 40 in target neighborhoods
  • Piloted solar energy efficient low-income homes in Camden
  • In 2000, recipient of the President’s service award
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The Child Development Center

At St. Joseph’s Child Development Center, children experience a loving devotion to their physical, emotional, intellectual and social development by a dedicated staff of certified, experienced, and compassionate professionals.

We provide quality care and a positive, secure, affirming and stimulating learning environment. Through the “pedagogy of love and on the power of affirmation” we help children to develop a healthy balance of mind and spirit and dedicate ourselves to nurturing each child and to laying the foundation for values and a healthy “self.”

  • Always enrolled at capacity of 90 = overwhelming unmet need
  • Year-round services, from 7:30am- 5:30pm, including meals is currently under funded
  • Curricula include language skills, computer skills, reading, math, art, science
  • 10 years with no staff turnover (excludes retirements)
  • Govt. funding through Camden Board of Education and State of New Jersey
  • Recent government funding shortfall requires co-pay, leading some families to withdraw
For more information about The Child Development Center call 856-963-9202
or email.  

Joseph’s House of Camden

Joseph’s House provides an overnight refuge during the winter months, providing a warm meal and a place to rest, links people in need to social services, and works toward providing housing to those most in need. Nearly 50 people are served each night while connections to social services are available year-round.
  • Hosts 75+ guests each night
  • Approximate 33% or 204 unique individuals in placed housing (includes veterans)
  • More than $140K estimated savings in meal donations
  • Acquired permanent facility in 2014 to expand programming 
  • $38 per night provides shelter, meals, bathing, laundry, counseling
  • 50% of our staff were homeless or at risk at time of hiring
  • 238 guests achieved positive outcomes from Joseph’s House and are now in places or programs with improved lives (2014)
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LUCY (Lifting Up Camden Youth)

LUCY (“Lifting Up Camden’s Youth”) Outreach offers multi-lingual, culturally sensitive services to low-income Camden County teens and young adults ages 12-25, and their families. 

LUCY accepts and welcomes all youth to take part in educational, social, spiritual, and service-oriented programming and also provides support and resources within the homes and schools. LUCY empowers youth to form healthy relationships, make good choices, and develop into compassionate and socially responsible adults who make a positive difference in their community. ”
  • More than 400 12-19-year-old youth from the Camden area participate annually; over 2,000 youth participants since inception
  • On average, 10 programs and clubs per week are offered by staff and volunteers for the youth in tutoring, college prep, social & spiritual dev.; 20 per week in the summer 
  • • 75% percent from households where one or both parents are absent
  • 100% high school graduation rate with 93% college enrollment rate since 2008
  • The mentor program, serving 100 program graduates annually, ages 18-25, receive support services including job training and placement, college support, life skills and counseling
  • Awarded 4 years of funding from the renowned Heisman Trophy Trust
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Romero Center Ministries

Romero Center Ministries began with the intention of bringing the Church community to Camden to experience an enlightened conversion and commitment. We wanted young people to see that there is both opportunity and challenge in the work of the Church. We wanted adults to understand their role in bringing about a societal commitment to end poverty and discrimination in our world.

Romero Center Ministries is committed to the care and future of Camden and its people. We believe that our lives and journeys are inextricably linked to the lives of those around us, and we are compelled by faith to care for our brother and sisters. By participating in activities at Romero Center Ministries, you will walk in solidarity with the poor and heed Jesus’ call to serve “the least among us.”
  • 1,400 students from all across the United States to premier Social Justice immersion experience
  • 200 young adults from the greater Philadelphia area
  • 300 attendees at The Romero Lecture Series event on a current social justice topics
  • 100 professionals from schools, churches, and non-profits for ministry training and engages them each year in:
    • 20,000 hours of service at 20+ sites in Camden and Philadelphia
    • 8,000 hours of education about the urban poverty and relevant justice issues
    • 8,000 hours reflection about their own call to be leaders that work for justice
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Saint Joseph’s Pro Cathedral School

“Lighting the way to excellence.” To its students and their families, as well as to its east Camden neighbors near Dudley Park, St. Joseph’s Pro-Cathedral is a beacon of light. Student enrichment activities before, during, and after school hours reinforce the emphasis on academic achievement.

We are committed to sustaining safe, nurturing schools that inspire each of our students and prepare them for the rigorous challenges of college- preparatory secondary schools.
  • Founding member of Catholic Partnership schools
  • 251 total students; 100 attend after-school and another 30 attend “SOARing through the summer” programs
  • 98% daily attendance rate
  • 100% graduate & attend HS; 100% made freshmen honors in 2016 and 90+% “on to college” rate
  • $8500 cost per student each year; average family pays $1200 per student
  • $70K – 100K raised annually through The Joseph Fund’s “sponsor a student” Program for tuition assistance 
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