Bon Jovi tours Joseph's House for the homeless in Camden

Watch report from Action News
November 6, 2013 3:43:27 PM PST
Musician, humanitarian and New Jersey native Jon Bon Jovi is making sure that the homeless in Camden have shelter over their heads and food in their stomachs.

Rocker John Bon Jovi scored another hit Wednesday as he toured the soon-to-be-open Joseph's house in Camden.

The 17,000 square-foot building on Atlantic Avenue is undergoing renovations and will help house the city's homeless year round.

It is a project partially funded by the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation.

"When you think about it in the context of the people who are in need of help, who come off the street, providing four walls and/or a meal is desperate and in need," says Jon Bon Jovi.

Apart from his music, Bon Jovi has made it his mission to help the economically disadvantaged in cities like Camden and Philadelphia, supporting programs that provide food, housing and job training.

"To have Jon Bon Jovi's name associated with the Joseph House in Camden certainly sends a signal to funders and providers," said Mayor Dana Redd.

The new location increases capacity from 40 to 75 people a night and offers what Joseph house officials call a more dignified stay.

"Before we could only offer people floor space, and this year we will actually have cots so they'll be in bed," said Mary Beth Kohler, Joseph's House.

Not only will we feed them and have a place for them to sleep, but social service agencies and also some clinics from the hospital will be here every day," said Msgr. Robert McDermott, St. Joseph's Pro-Cathedral.

Guidance like that is what helped Ernest Lindsay. Three years ago, he was a drug-addicted ex-con found living under a bridge. Today he is clean, married, working and happy.

"The avenue that I came from-- who would have imagined this situation I'm in today?" said Lindsay.

"Our foundation realized that the homeless and the hunger issues didn't need a scientist to find a cure. It takes will, it takes money and it takes great partnerships," said Bon Jovi.

Joseph's house is expected to open in January.


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