During this past year we have witnessed the “dedication” or grand opening of several projects, the tenant selection process of others and the ongoing development of yet others. We congratulate all the hard working individuals and families who, in spite of the harsh economic climate, have been able to experience homeownership for the first time. Our homeownership projects in Camden, NJ with Saint Joseph Carpenter Society and Heart of Camden report that their work continues to be a key to neighborhood revitalization. Additionally, the C.R.I.B. at Hopeworks N’ Camden has been finished and is beginning to move residents into that facility offering students a safe atmosphere with structured learning where youth can succeed.
During 2010, I had the opportunity, along with Jon Bon Jovi and other Board Members, to site visit many organizations across the country who have received national recognition of their best practices in working with those who find themselves homeless. It is encouraging to see that even those organizations, deemed by many to be the best, do not let that “designation” impede innovation. While on the road, we listened, we heard and we then brought that information back to share with others and to better inform our own decision making process. Each location told a different story and you can hear Jon Bon Jovi speak about this by clicking HERE
We thank each of those organizations for taking time to spend with us: DESC in Seattle; The Lamp Community in LA; People Serving People in Minneapolis; Citywalk @ Akard and Salvation Army Cas Youth Center in Dallas; and the Oasis Center in Nashville. The willingness of the people being served at each location to share their stories touched our hearts and left a lasting impression. It also validated the work we do and how we do it. We thank all of you for your support of that work.
Our Board recognizes that none of this would be possible without the broad range of public support we receive. During 2010, our new “online” fundraising efforts were so successful and were supported by many hundreds of individuals, foundations and corporations.
In looking ahead to 2011, we expect another very busy year – both in tracking the progress of current under-construction projects like Covenant House PA and Connelly House both of which should be open by early 2011 – as well as creating partnerships for exciting new projects that we anticipate having a major impact in addressing the need for affordable housing.
And finally, our community kitchen pilot program, Jon Bon Jovi Soul Kitchen, is still operating successfully in Red Bank, NJ. During 2011 we anticipate further expansion of this initiative. It would not be possible without all the volunteers that apply their special talents to provide nutritious meals to this client population.
Thank you for helping us to make a difference, one Soul at a time…
With sincere thanks,
Mimi Box, Executive Director