SSJ Neighborhood Center
COVID-19 Updates for the SSJ Neighborhood Center:
The Food Pantry WILL HAVE distribution on Wednesday, December 16th from 2:30-6:30PM to provide for our neighbors in need of food. We will be taking measures to prevent overcrowding and hope for good weather to facilitate outdoor distribution. Anyone interested in volunteering to help with distribution can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us directly to let us know you are coming.
Those in need of food assistance before then should visit/contact the SSJ Neighborhood Center. Food is available for distribution from our pantry during the week.
English classes have begun for the fall semester. All classes are virtual to insure the safety of students and teachers. Because spring classes were prematurely ended, fall classes are open only to students who were already enrolled in classes in the spring. Those interested in classes can contact the center and all former students have been contacted directly to re-register.
The Community Garden is open and those with plots are welcome to come tend their harvest whenever they are able. All gardeners are asked to keep a proper social distance and bring masks for their time in the yard. With the first frost, we will begin clearing plots.
Sewing, Crocheting, and Computer classes are suspended until further notice.
-Where Community Comes Alive-
Uniting Neighbor to Neighbor and Neighborhood to Neighborhood in Camden, New Jersey & beyond
~A Sponsored Ministry of the Sisters of Saint Joseph of Philadelphia~
P.O. Box 1446, 904 North 25th Street, Camden, New Jersey 08105
News & Happenings
A Summer Like No Other
With the COVID-19 pandemic, 2020 is certainly a year unlike any other. After a few months of classes at the Center, we suspended English, sewing, computer, and crocheting classes in mid-March as the public health situation become strikingly apparent. Yet, even with classes suspended and the day-to-day routine upended, we've continued to respond to the needs of our neighbor. As the spring and summer progressed we planted and harvested our community garden with the help of a select group of faithful farmers tending to the crops.
Meanwhile, our food pantry is busier than ever! Before COVID-19, we served about 150 families on a given distribution day, now in the midst of the pandemic we are helping to feed nearly 300 families every third Wednesday of the month, as well as providing groceries, fruit, and other goods to local students through the Catholic Partnership Schools in Camden. All our distribution is now done outside for the safety of all and we've welcomed a load of (socially-distanced & masked) volunteers to help us meet the increased demand. Increased demand has also been met by the abundant generosity of our neighbors near and far who've helped us keep our shelves stocked.
As the community and country face COVID-19, we're also facing the growing awareness of the systemic racism in our country which effects all of us. The Center is trying to do our part to empower the community and, in living our mission each day, emphasizing the dignity of all people, the need to love our neighbors, and the work we must do to confront the sin of racism in our hearts and in our world.
Starting the New Year
2020 is off to a great start! In January and February, our English classes got up and running. We welcomed our largest student body yet- with 10 sections of English offered throughout the week. Our teacher volunteers are ready for any good work & our students are learning more and more each day!
Sewing & Crocheting continue on Mondays and Tuesdays, with new projects abounding. Computer classes will begin on Monday, February 17th from 3:30- 4:30PM and we're getting ready for our Neighborhood Mardi Gras Potluck Celebration on Sunday, February 23rd at 2PM! All are Welcome!
Our Fall has been full of things to give thanks for! Neighbors in our sewing group all made aprons for Thanksgiving, our crocheting class is growing, and volunteers from near and far have joined us to build community by doing everything from helping to teach English to constructing and filling new garden beds. What a season to give thanks for our many blessings!
Falling into Fall!
As the weather turns cooler and the sunlight gets a little dimmer, the Sisters of Saint Joseph Neighborhood Center is shining a light for all to see. October marks the beginning of a new semester of programming, including newly added Sewing, Crocheting, and Computer classes as well as the return of English classes (now during the day and evening) and Neighborhood Prayer group. As always, the Food Pantry continues to thrive and feed all those in need!
We've been blessed!
June 1, 2019 marked the dedication and blessing of the Sisters of Saint Joseph Neighborhood Center. The day was filled with joy and gratitude for the many people that have helped to get us to this point. Work on the Center will continue throughout the summer and programming will be in full force this fall!
Our Fall 2018 English Classes have come to a close! All three levels of classes came together to celebrate the successful completion of the semester. Many students will continue in the classes, which begin again in January, and we are registering new students now. Thanks to our wonderful teachers and volunteers who are making this program possible.