Our now two-year old Soul Kitchen program in Red Bank, NJ continues to build and strengthen relationships with local nonprofits serving clients who may be experiencing food insecurity and hunger issues. Your response to our social media campaigns has enabled us to serve thousands of meals and form relationships with those in need and help them connect to the services to begin moving toward a life of self-sufficiency.
We appreciated your support of our New Jersey “Soul of Hunger” advocacy event which brought together leaders from non-profit, business, healthcare, and government to discuss the root causes of hunger and how to begin to find a solution. The many brave citizens of New Jersey who shared their stories with us will be a guiding light for us in meeting this challenge.
Our housing partnerships continue to progress with three building construction/renovation projects in the works as of this writing. The Joseph’s House homeless shelter in Camden, NJ will not only provide emergency shelter for 75 homeless men and women each night but will be a hub for service providers to connect those coming off the streets with the services they need to exit homelessness. In early 2014, we expect to celebrate the grand opening of two community development projects: JBJ Soul Homes in partnership with Project H.O.M.E. and Merrick Hall at Northern Services – both in Philadelphia and serving our most vulnerable neighbors.
Additionally, we continue to work with local New Jersey organizations on the long term rebuilding plans for vibrant, sustainable communities in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. On the one year anniversary of the storm, we went back to visit some of the communities hardest hit and although much progress has been made, it is very evident that much work still needs to be done – and we have pledged to use the donations that were designated for rebuilding to have the greatest impact in the community in which we invest.
The best way I can think of to thank all of our followers is to continue to be a responsible investor in homelessness, affordable housing and hunger-related projects that have an impact in our communities. Thank you so much for your support and we look forward to an exciting 2014 – again, we could not do this without YOU – “The Power of WE”. Thank you!!