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Who they are

Hopeworks ‘N Camden is an educational outreach organization based, as its name dictates, in Camden. The group aims to inspire and empower local youths toward figuring out their hopes and “D.R.E.A.M.S.” — which stands for dynamic, realizable efforts to attain and maintain success — and to give them the tools they need to achieve to their fullest potential.


Representatives at Hopeworks ‘N Camden are alarmed by statistics regarding the lack of educational opportunities and successes for Camden students. Their website notes the dropout rate for the city’s two public high schools is at 70 percent, with 50 percent of their students living in poverty.


They try to help youths in and out of school, by offering technology and job skills training, as well as tutoring programs. And their work over the years has made an impact on their surrounding community.


“This September, we reached over 100 youth who have been (in the program) and gone on to college,” said director of operations Sean Dougherty, who has been working with the program for the past five years. “Something like only 10 percent of the youth (in Camden) go to college — it’s a pretty big thing for us.”

How it began

Founded in 2000, Hopeworks ‘N Camden has sought from the very beginning to make a positive impact on the Camden community, especially given the extremely negative, potentially dangerous influences children are exposed to on a daily basis.


“There are drug dealers on… corners here, and children in this neighborhood are walking by them every day,” Dougherty said. “One way we’re hoping to transform the neighborhood is that they’ll see something different coming from our facility — people carrying backpacks or having graduation barbecues.”


The organization’s hiring program has been successful, hiring 255 youths over the years and paying out more than $330,000 in salaries.


Last month, the group implemented a program called C.R.I.B. — Community Responding in Belief. Housed in a former convent, C.R.I.B. offers youths a positive, constructive living environment.

Where it is headed

One of the benefits of Hopeworks ‘N Camden, according to its staff, is the very personalized experience they can offer to their students. “We want to keep the intimacy,” Dougherty said.

So while they do hope to help more disadvantaged and at-risk youths, they don’t wish to do so by diluting the Hopeworks ‘N Camden experience. Instead, they are discussing the possibility of starting up a second Hopeworks branch in another similarly-afflicted area.

No matter what, though, they hope to simply keep offering children in Camden the opportunities that they need, and deserve.

How to help

For more information about Hopeworks ‘N Camden, visit the group’s website at www.hopeworks.org, or call (856) 365-4673.

(Gloucester Township, NJ) – The Camden County Health Department, in partnership with the Rutgers School of Nursing, and Cooper University Health Care launched its school vaccination program for children from 12 to 18 years of age today and yesterday at Paul VI High School, Winslow High School, and Camden Catholic High School. The objective of the initiative is to vaccinate as many students as possible to ensure the 2022 school year is uninterrupted and the community as whole gets one step closer to a post pandemic world.


Commissioner and educator, Al Dyer, noted the impact and importance of getting students vaccinated and setting up mobile clinics inside the schools.


“Creating a space and a place for in-class instruction for students, teachers and staff is something we have been dreaming about since the start of this pandemic,” Dyer said. “This exercise will allow us to vaccinate as many eligible students as possible by bringing the vaccine to the schools themselves where the students are learning. This process will begin to allow us to provide a layer of protection over our children that was inconceivable six months ago and now we are making it a reality.”


Earlier in May, the US Food and Drug Administration issued the emergency use authorization for Pfizer’s vaccine for the new age group after a clinical trial showed the vaccine had a 100 percent efficacy and was well tolerated by teenagers. The state Department of Health soon followed the decision with guidance for county public health departments to distribute the vaccine.


“Make no mistake, the COVID transmission rate is dropping because of our aggressive vaccine campaign, nevertheless, we are seeing the age level become younger and younger of those being infected,” Dyer continued. “If we are able to vaccinate this young age group, we will make a big impact on the spread of this insidious virus.”


Every Thursday and Friday the Commissioners mobile clinic team will be visiting schools throughout Camden County to vaccinate as many students and families as possible. In addition, the Pfizer vaccine will be distributed at the Camden County Vaccination Center for residents every Thursday, starting May 27.


At this time, more than 256,000 adult residents have gotten at least one dose of a COVID vaccine in Camden County. This is more than 64 percent of the total adult population.

Mayor Victor Carstarphen, Senator Nilsa Cruz-Perez, Camden County Commissioner Jeff Nash, City Councilpersons Angel Fuentes & Marilyn Torres, the Camden County Police Department, the Department of Public Works, Camden Fire Department & Parking Authority City of Camden launch “Camden Strong” 2021. The new initiatives will focus on tackling blight, illegal dumping, among other goals outlined in Mayor Carstarphen’s First 100 Days and Beyond Plan. The new program calls for the implementation of a series of targeted activities aimed at addressing illegal dumping, community health, unsafe structures, public safety and nuisance concerns impacting the Camden community.


Mayor Carstarphen along with the City’s partners held a press conference on Thursday, July 1st at 10:00 a.m. at Von Nieda Park (29th Street, Harrison Street and Arthur Avenue) in the Cramer Hill neighborhood of the City. The City of Camden will be on-site to pick up debris including large bulk trash items, and will begin targeted street sweeping and the removal of abandoned vehicles. The Camden Strong initiative will continue throughout the summer and fall with an expanded series of neighborhood cleanups, public space restoration projects, street light repair and the ongoing citywide demolition project.


On June 10, 2021, Mayor Carstarphen announced his First 100 Days & Beyond Plan. In the plan, the Mayor identified “Tackling Blight, Illegal Dumping, Strengthening Community Policing Practices, and Beautifying Neighborhoods” as just a few priorities. To view Mayor Carstarphen’s First 100 Days & Beyond Plan visit: ci.camden.nj.us/office-of-the-mayor/


Neighborhood cleanup events are also scheduled to begin Wednesday, July 7th 2021 in the Whitman Park neighborhood (Whitman Square Park – Louis & Everett Streets). Residents will be able to obtain information relating to recycling, e-waste, trash disposal and litter prevention in addition to other initiatives and City programs. Those interested in volunteering for the Mayor Carstarphen’s upcoming Camden Clean Campaign events can contact the City of Camden by calling 856-757-7671 or 856-757-7200 or emailing camdenclean@ci.camden.nj.us

A Difficult Transition

While legally an adult at the age of 18, for most people, the transition to independence is a gradual one. During these transition years, young people’s families provide financial assistance, help them decide on a career and/or support them while they learn how to live on their own. Unfortunately, kids in the foster care system don’t have this luxury: one minute they are children (dependent on the state for food, clothing, shelter and health care), and the next minute they are on their own. Dr. Mark Courtney, the executive director of Partners for Our Children (a Washington-based child welfare group), found that youth in foster care face significantly higher risks of homelessness, drug addiction, unemployment, early pregnancy and jail time upon turning 18 than the general population. There are more than 43,000 kids in the Florida foster care system, and each year, more than 1,000 of them reach adulthood. Independent Living provides foster kids in our area with the tools they need to become stable and productive adults.

The Program

The Independent Living Program is designed to improve the transition into adulthood for children ages 13 to 18 in licensed out-of-home care. To be successful upon departure from care, each youth will have an opportunity to learn skills based on their individualized needs. The ultimate goal is for all youth, regardless of their personal plans, to be prepared to live independently.


While in this program, young people are taught life skills which includes daily living skills, training in budget and money management, nutrition, apartment locating/living, family planning, decision making/goal planning, employment/career planning, educational development, sexually transmitted diseases/AIDS awareness and homemaking. Counselors provide case management, support and advocacy for the children while in the program. Young adults up to age 23 may be eligible for STAIR and federal subsidies which help with post secondary educational efforts and/or services necessary to obtain employment.


The Florida Department of Children and Families in conjunction with the Partnership for Strong Families determines eligibility and makes the appropriate referrals. Children accepted into the program will receive monthly contacts including face-to-face visits. Case staffings to address individual progress are held on an as needed basis. All of the persons involved in the welfare of the child are invited to participate, including the assigned Family Services Counselor, partner family, Independent Living youth, school personnel, service providers and employer when appropriate.

The Process

When youth are first referred to Independent Living, counselors meet with them and their partner family (if applicable) to explain the program. The counselors help the youth complete assessments to identify specific skills the young people already possess and skills they must still learn in order to live on their own. The appropriate level of entry into the basic living skills training is based on these assessments. The training, tasks and services are discussed with the youth and target dates are then incorporated into a service plan. Periodic re-assessments are necessary to monitor progress and to take note of changes and achievements. Counselors will assist youth in re-assessing their skill level and updating the service plan accordingly. To be successful, it is critical that each young person feel and receive the support of those in their home and school environments. It is our goal to continually attend to and support these important relationships.

Have you been considering different forms of therapeutic help for your young adult child? Are you looking for a therapeutic solution for a son or daughter who is currently living in New Jersey?


Have you considered an independent living program in New Jersey? There is a phenomenal independent living program for young adults in St George, UT, known as At The Crossroads (ATC).


ATC is highly recommended by Educational Consultants and therapists from New Jersey. We encourage you to find out more.


At The Crossroads has helped hundreds and families of struggling young adults find solutions to the growing problem associated with young adults who are stuck, and unable or unwilling to transition into adulthood.


According to the National Alliance of Mental Illness, there are 3 million young adults in America diagnosed with serious mental health issues and most of which are struggling to find a pathway into the adult world.


NAMI published an article titled, “On The Move: Helping Young Adults with Serious Mental Health needs Transition into Adulthood,” stating, in part, “Youth and young adults who have been diagnosed with a Serious Emotional Disturbance or Serious Mental Illness (SED/SMI) such as major depressive or anxiety disorders, attention deficit disorder, schizophrenia, or conduct disorder face a number of risks and challenges as they struggle to become adults.” (for more on this article, click here).


The facts are that some young men and young women from New Jersey need professional help to complete the shift from adolescence to adulthood.


At The Crossroads is a therapeutic transitional living facility with programs for struggling young adults from New Jersey. Our services are designed to teach life skills and encourage personal growth through a combination of education, restructuring, and therapeutic intervention.


We provide an environment that fosters this type of growth by focusing on the job training, academic assistance, and transitional living assistance. At The Crossroads provides behavioral and emotional counseling from psychologists, psychiatrists, therapists, substance abuse specialists, and professional counselors (as needed).


ATC professional staff reinforce self-discipline and help students to build self-respect while developing a positive self-image. All of these elements work together to transform a young adult from New Jersey into the person they want to be.

What is the best Independent Living Program in New Jersey?


At The Crossroads is considered the best independent living program for young adults from New Jersey by many educational consultants certified by the IECA (Independent Educational Consultant Association).


Job Training and Academic Support For Young Adults From New Jersey


At The Crossroads isn’t just an independent living facility dedicated to helping troubled young adults from New Jersey. We’re are known for providing the best job training and academic support for young adults in need of therapeutic intervention. We strongly believe that getting the right training & and education to secure a job will push a young adult forward with their life.


Successful independence is directly related to successful employment, and employment is predicated on training and education. Independence is always attached to a person’s ability to provide for themselves, and getting the right support is the best way to make this happen.


Our job training programs provide young men and women a new perspective and a new start toward a successful and fulfilling future.


We provide a very effective approach by providing specialized job coaching. Effectual employment training and practical applications of workplace “best practices” will be key components to their success. Crossroads’ students attend school and go to work while living in a structured environment (including therapeutic support when needed).


Another important aspect of the treatment we provide is academic assistance. Many of the young adults from New Jersey who enroll with ATC are still in need of completing their education. However, before they can successfully pursue a degree or trade, most of our students need to develop study skills and change their approach (attitude) toward academics.


We have been very successful in helping young people from New Jersey restore their academic hopes and dreams. In addition, we provide specialized assistance for those with learning disorders (like ADHD).


All of the ATC elements work together to help the young adults from New Jersey transform into the person they want to be. For immediate assistance call At The Crossroads (866) 439-0354 to speak with our Admissions Specialist. Start your child and your family on a path of restored hope – through life skills training with therapeutic transitional living. We can help!


For more for parents from New Jersey resources visit: DOE’s Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) American Psychiatric Association


Important facts that parents should know..


If parents have a warm, affirming, open relationship in which your teen feels respected and respects you, if you have relied on lots of discussion to guide your child, then you can count on easy teen years. Your child will honor your rules most of the time and will initiate negotiations about the ones that don’t work.


If your teen gets caught up in the relief of self injury, the possibility of more serious and even fatal self aggressive actions come into play. Because self-injury is often done impulsively, it can be considered an impulse-control behavior problem. As well, it may be linked to a variety of mental disorders, such as depression, eating disorders and borderline personality disorder.

Failure To Launch Programs In New Jersey


At The Crossroads, we include the entire family, particularly the parents, with your young adult’s therapy and progress. We recognize that the entire family needs the assistance that we can give, in order to be whole. Call At The Crossroads today at (866) 439-0354.



Supervised Independent Living

Supervised Independent Living focuses on youth who have been adjudicated dependent or delinquent to the county and meet the eligibility requirements for independent living Services. Youth must be approaching 18 years of age, participate in life skills training and be committed to obtaining further education with the intent to become self-sufficient.

Aging Out Independence

Aging Out Independence provides supportive services for young men and women who may be referred between the ages of 18 and 21 who are willing to participate in mental health treatment. The young women may have one or two children who are no older than age 7. The program assists young adults with behavioral health needs in preparing to transition to adulthood.


Program supports and services build on the strengths of the individuals and promote their success in becoming more independent. These services include case management, activities in life skills education groups and limited housing support. Duration of services can vary based on the progress and need of each individual, but may last up to three years from the time of their admission into the program.

Casey Life Skills

Casey Family Programs

Offers tools to help young people prepare for adulthood, including a life skills assessment in three languages, a guidebook to develop a learning plan, training, and other supplemental resources.


Housing Assistance for Youth Who Have Aged Out of Foster Care: The Role of the Chaffee Foster Care Independence Programs

Office of the Assistant Secretary for Planning and Evaluation (2012)

Describes the Chaffee Foster Care Independence Program and how it assists youth as they age out of foster care and enter adulthood. The report includes information on housing assistance for youth and explores how the program works in conjunction with other sources of housing assistance.


Housing for Youth Aging Out of Foster Care

U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (2014)

Examines the relationship between foster youth aging out of care and homelessness. The report also presents information on housing models that are most effective at preventing and ending homelessness among this population and ensuring successful transitions into adulthood for former foster youth.


Success Beyond 18: A Better Path for Young People Transitioning from Foster Care to Adulthood

The Annie E. Casey Foundation (2013)

Explores a national campaign by the Jim Casey Youth Opportunities Initiative that helps young people in foster care succeed as adults in work, family, and life.


Transition to Adulthood

Foundation for Foster Children (2017)

Assists transitioning youth ages 17 to 23 with basic needs and connects them to mentors for a 12-week program to help develop life skills and long-term goals.


Youth Transitioning from Foster Care: Background and Federal Programs

Congressional Research Service (2016)

Describes issues faced by foster youth transitioning out of care and provides information on Federal programs intended to help current and former foster youth make the transition to adulthood.


Youth Transitioning Into Adulthood Programs

The California Evidence-Based Clearinghouse for Child Welfare

Provides information on programs to increase the skills, knowledge, and supports of youth who age out of the foster care system and plan to live on their own. The programs help with independent living and self-sufficiency in the areas of employment, finances, meals, and housing.