The South Jersey Dream Center is committed to operating with transparency. We’re also dedicated to sharing with our supporters the meaningful impact of their contributions. We are a 501(c)(3) non-profit corporation, all financial gifts are tax deductible, and a receipt for your contribution will be provided for your records. EIN# 46-3760076. Review our 990 Form and Financial Statement below to learn more about our efforts to break the cycle of poverty in South Jersey.
Jobs for Life
Established in Raleigh, North Carolina, in 1996, Jobs for Life addresses the root causes of unemployment by training, equipping, and connecting churches, ministries, and businesses in communities all over the world. We will train leaders to facilitate the 8-week Jobs for Life course at least four times a year, to help prepare men and women for meaningful work through honest relationships, mentoring, Biblically-based training, and an ongoing community of support. Students will learn how to develop character, become connected to a community of support, and obtain far more than just a job. They will experience a life filled with confidence, self-control, coaching, learning, and faith.
Social Service Collaboration
People in poverty sometimes aren't even aware of all the different agencies that are available in their local community that provide the services and resources that they need. And for those who are aware, they are sometimes overwhelmed by the stipulations and processes that are necessary to receive help. The SJDC wants to bring as many local agencies and organizations as possible under one roof during distribution hours to provide one-stop "shopping" for our clients. We will invite representatives from agencies and organizations in the six South Jersey counties to join forces in a collaborative effort, to walk people through each step necessary to become self-sufficient. The Team will share a confidential database so clients are not repeating their information and situation countless times. The Team will help detect gaps in services and missing elements that are creating obstacles for people to move forward. Obstacles that produce hopelessness and perpetuate the cycle of poverty.
Thrift Store Expansion
In addition to the clothing, baby supplies and household items already available through the SJDC, we plan to offer extended services during Christmas and Back to School season. When a father or mother is able to see the smiles on their children's faces because of what they were able to buy for their children at a very affordable cost, it will cultivate a sense dignity instead of shame when outsiders drop off gifts and school supplies because the parent wasn't able to provide for their family. The Thrift Store will also be open to public which means increased revenue.
Childcare, Day Care Center, Pre-School
Poverty affects the youngest members of the family in a unique way. Our desire is to help children who are raised in low income households find their value and identity apart from their present circumstances. To discover their God-given capacity, gifts and talents and help them strive to reach their full potential. Through a state certified Childcare Facility, we will have the privilege of serving infants to pre-schoolers by providing well-balanced meals, positive reinforcement, and an encouraging environment to play and learn. This endeavor will also serve as a social enterprise to support the Dream Center.
Post Disaster Emergency Shelter
In the event of a natural disaster, it is our desire for the SJDC to be used as a place for people who have been evacuated from their homes to find temporary shelter. We will partner with local and national agencies and businesses to provide appropriate sanitation, water, clothing, bedding, security, food and other resources, to prepare in advance for such a situation.
Loads of Love Laundromat
While poor people mention having a lack of material things, they tend to describe their condition in more social terms. They talk of the shame, isolation, inferiority and humiliation that comes from being poor. By providing a low cost Laundromat on site for guests to wash their clothes and linens, we will help to alleviate some of these social effects of poverty and restore dignity. Children will have clean clothes for school, and men and women will have clean clothes for work, or look presentable to interview and find work. Loads of Love Laundromat will be a place, reserved for clients of the Dream Center only, to develop community and enjoy the company of others. It will also be a place for the South Jersey Dream Center volunteers to build relationships with our guests in a non-judgmental, safe atmosphere.
New Image Salon
In the same way, being well-groomed helps person build their self-image and confidence. The New Image Salon will provide low cost hair salon services for people of all ages. Certified and Licensed stylists will donate their services to help guests prepare for school, an interview, a special occasion, or simply help them look and feel their best. Salon chairs have already been donated for this purpose, which we use at our Family & Friends Day for free haircuts.
Poverty's harsh effects on a person's health start before babies are born and pile up throughout their adult lives. With stressed-filled homes, shaky nutrition, toxic environments and health-care gaps of every kind, people in very low-income families have a very difficult time catching up when it comes to their health. At the Wellness Center we will offer basic health, dental, and veterinary care for a nominal fee. Evaluation by a volunteer physician or nurse practitioner, basic health screenings, dental cleanings, counseling, and veterinary well checks will be offered to all registered guests. The Wellness Center will not take the place of a primary care physician, but will help to provide preventive and fundamental aid to our guests and their pets. Increased health leads to a higher paying job, self-sufficiency and a longer and more satisfying life.
As a social enterprise, our community Recreation Center will offer many programs that help benefit both the poor and the general public who can afford a membership fee to help support the Dream Center. Studies have shown that people who exercise regularly have lower blood pressure, less stress, a stronger immune system, and increased longevity - characteristics which are in short supply amongst the poor. We will offer low cost classes that teach CPR and first aid procedures that can greatly benefit the community. We will be seen as a safe spot for youth, a place for employers to boost morale and good health through corporate membership, a great place to work, and a cohesive environment for cultural and economic diversity. It will also serve as the venue for our Annual Dodge Hunger Dodge Hunger Dodgeball Tournament and other sporting events.
A Coffee Shop business that transforms a community is incredibly valuable. While profits are certainly a goal for this social enterprise, changing the way our neighbors engage with one another and providing the space for our community to “be a community” is nearly irreplaceable. It's will be a meeting and gathering place for all people from all socioeconomic backgrounds to merge and enjoy a relaxing, positive and uplifting atmosphere, as well as a high quality product and services. Once again, it will also provide a source of training and employment for our guests.
Food Court and Cafeteria
"We supply hope for a brighter tomorrow", and a hot meal for the hungry. The Food Court will offer nutritious and affordable meals to low-income families who are visiting the Marketplace to shop. The Cafeteria will serve as a site for a summer feeding program for children who would normally receive two of their three meals a day at school. The homeless and people in transition will have the opportunity to eat while shelter hours are closed or as a reprieve from living on the streets. Seniors will be served meals on a rotating schedule with veterans, single mothers, and other at risk groups in need of assistance. The full service kitchen will also allow the Dream Center to host a community Thanksgiving Dinner, Christmas celebrations, and other special occasions that bring people together who are normally alone for "family time". Once again, this program will be an excellent source for training and employment.
The SJDC will duplicate its original facility, featuring all the components mentioned above, in each of the six counties that we aim to serve. The purpose is not only about logistics and convenience, but also about community - to help develop the individuals within a community, and as a result, develop the community itself as a safe, thriving and desirable place to live, raise a family and own a business.