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Covid-19 Recent News

Camden County Library Launches Hotspot Lending Program

(Voorhees, NJ) – As part of its ongoing effort to bridge the digital divide widened by the pandemic, the Camden County Library System recently began a new hotspot lending program for remote workers and learners.

The program comes in addition to a variety of new digital services already made available through the library system to support the community during this crisis.

The Verizon 4G Jetpack hotspot can be used to connect phones, computers, and other devices to the internet while at home or on the road.

“Anyone who has been working or learning from home this year knows how important it is to have a reliable, stable internet connection in order to be successful. Unfortunately, many families in our community lack this seemingly essential service,” said Freeholder Melinda Kane, liaison to the Camden County Library. “These devices will expand the accessibility of remote school and work to dozens of families at a time. It’s one more way the Library is making sure no one gets left behind because of this crisis.”

Each branch of the Camden County Library System will have five Jetpacks available for loan (Voorhees will have 10). Once checked out, the devices can be returned at any branch. Each Jetpack is loaned with a protective travel case as well as a power adapter and charging cable.

Adult patrons can check out a Jetpack from any branch, and can confirm availability via CamCat, the library’s online catalog, where you can also place a hold on the device.  A hold can also be placed by phone by calling (856) 772-1636.

For more information about Jetpack loans, call your local branch of the Camden County Library System, or click here.

The Camden County Library System is continuing to offer curbside pick-up services for all available items, and is offering virtual programs and classes, virtual meeting rooms, access to e-content, and reference services from librarians via email and video calls.

Established in 1921, Camden County Library System seeks to meet the recreational, informational and educational needs of its customers with locations in Camden, Bellmawr, Gloucester Township, Haddon Township, Merchantville, Winslow Township and Voorhees Township. The Library is governed and supported by the Camden County Board of Freeholders and the Camden County Library Commission.

For more information about the Camden County Library System, visit online or by call (856) 772-1636.

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Covid-19 Recent News

COVID-19 Testing Sites to Open Throughout Camden County

(CAMDEN, NJ) – Cooper University Health Care in conjunction with the Camden County Freeholder Board, Camden County Health Department and the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers will open three new walk-up testing sites on Wednesday, December 9 in Camden City to provide additional testing capacity. 

The three new sites will open in community schools throughout impacted zip codes in Camden City and will be easily accessible by foot, vehicle or public transportation.

In addition to the three new pop-up sites in the city, the Freeholder Board will be opening a sixth testing site in Lindenwold within the next week to conduct testing at the Camden County Department of Public Works complex. 

Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr. talked about the importance of building more capacity in testing throughout the county and focusing efforts in the hardest hit neighborhoods.

“These new testing sites will provide more options for our residents who need access and opportunity to testing in specific zip codes,” Cappelli said. “Thousands of county residents are getting tested every day, but we know that the easier you make this resource the more probable it is the community to take advantage of it. Furthermore, these new testing sites are in impacted neighborhoods that have more health disparities and vulnerabilities than other parts of the county and a greater need.”

The pop-up testing sites will operate at a different school each day of the week. No appointment is required for testing and the sites will be open until there is no longer a demand for testing. The schedule for the sites are as follows:

  • Mondays- Veterans Memorial School will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The school is in the Cramer Hill neighborhood located at 800 N 26th St, Camden, 08105.
  • Wednesdays– Cooper Poynt School will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The school is in the North Camden neighborhood and located at 201 State St, Camden, 08102.
  • Thursdays– Dr. Charles Brimm Medical Arts High School will be open to the public from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The school is in the Whitman Park neighborhood located at 1626 Copewood St, Camden, 08103.

The pop-up testing sites in Camden City will not require an appointment.

The mobile testing sites in both Cherry Hill and Camden City are open to county residents and meet other criteria (exposure, pending surgery/procedure, travel, school, work, or daycare requirements). 

For more information or to schedule an appointment at these sites, call (856) 968-7100 or email covid19swabsite@cooperhealth.edu.

Kathleen Noonan, the chief executive officer of the Camden Coalition of Healthcare Providers talked about the importance of testing during the second surge of the virus. 

“As COVID-19 cases in Camden rise, it is critical that we make testing accessible and responsive to the community’s needs,” Noonan said. “We are proud to work with Camden County and Cooper University Health Care on this data-driven and person-centered approach to COVID-19 testing.” 

The pop-up sites will complement two heavily traveled drive-up COVID-19 testing sites on the Cherry Hill Campus of Camden County College and on the Cooper University Health Care campus in Camden.

As cases continue to rise in the county and state, these new sites are testing more than 900 residents a day for COVID-19.

Camden County College Cherry Hill Site

The Camden County College site located at 1889 Marlton Pike East in Cherry Hill (the corner of Springdale Road and Route 70) operates Monday through Friday, 9:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. and Saturdays and Sundays 8:30 to 11:30 a.m.

Cooper Campus at Corner of Broadway & Martin Luther King Blvd.

The Cooper Campus site at the corner of Broadway and Martin Luther King Boulevard operates on the same schedule.

“Given the recent spikes in the number of new COVID-19 positive cases in the community we feel it is our obligation to open additional COVID-19 walk-up testing sites so we may serve more people in the city of Camden and help reduce the spread of the virus,” said Kevin O’Dowd, JD, co-CEO of Cooper.

“We are fortunate to be able to provide more testing sites for everyone who needs it, but the best way to protect yourself and those around you is to wear masks in public, avoid places where you cannot physically distance from others, and wash your hands often so you won’t need a test,” said Anthony Mazzarelli, MD, JD, MBE, co-CEO of Cooper.

Central Testing Site in Lindenwold

In the coming days the Freeholder Board will also be announcing another central site located in Lindenwold at the county Department of Public Works facility located at 2311 Egg Harbor Road, Lindenwold, 08021.

Residents will be able to schedule an appointment by clicking here and the site will operate with the Rutgers University saliva test. The site will be open on Tuesday and Saturday from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. More information will be available on the new site this coming week.

“Throughout the pandemic, we have worked closely with Cooper and the Coalition to provide numerous community-based COVID-19 testing sites to serve the needs of the citizens of Camden County,” Cappelli said. “As the entire country and state continue to respond to the second COVID-19 surge, it remains imperative that county residents have access and opportunity to testing. This initiative combined with social distancing and other mitigation factors will help us break the back of this virus.”

The six new are also going to have other resources from the Camden County Health Department as well.

Masks will be provided along with educational material going over the basics of staying safe during the pandemic.

*Scheduling for the holidays will be as follows- all testing sites will not be in operation on Dec. 24, 25, 31 and Jan 1.

Categories
Bright Side Covid-19

Fourth Round of South Jersey COVID-19 Response Fund Grants Awarded

On October 20, 2020, the Community Foundation of South Jersey (CFSJ), announced the fourth round of grants from its COVID-19 Response Fund. Twenty-one grants totaling $180,000 were awarded to South Jersey nonprofits on the front lines supporting residents impacted by the Coronavirus pandemic.

To date, $663,000 has been awarded to seventy-four (74) organizations serving Atlantic, Burlington, Camden, Cape May, Cumberland, Gloucester, Ocean, and Salem Counties.

“This fourth round of grants continues to address urgent basics of families and modifications to services for nonprofit organizations,” said CFSJ Executive Director Andy Fraizer. “All of these organizations are deeply embedded in the fabric of their communities. They inspire us and remind us of the tremendous need that exists, and the amount of support required to address and recover from the health, social, and economic impacts of the pandemic.”

“During these extremely challenging times, we are inspired by how our generous donors and partners are to help us meet the needs and disruptions,” said Wanda Hardy, Chairperson of the Foundation’s Community Leadership and Engagement Committee. “The Foundation is committed to working with our partners to address immediate needs and to plan for the longer-term recovery of South Jersey communities.”

The South Jersey COVID-19 Response Fund is part of a national movement of more than 400 community foundations that have mobilized more than $900 million to aid in the COVID-19 public health and economic crisis. Since March, South Jersey residents, businesses, and philanthropists across the state have contributed more than $1,080,000. Even with this overwhelming response, there is still a need for contributions and funding partners to meet the critical needs of our nonprofit community.

“As the COVID-19 crisis continues to evolve, the needs of individuals and families are changing and becoming more urgent. There is no doubt that some people will fall through the cracks of available services and support. Philanthropy can address its best role by targeting resources to help fill gaps left by the government response,” Fraizer said.

For more information on how individuals or organizations can make a donation, funding priorities, and how to apply for a grant, please visit southjerseyresponsefund.org.

Round Four Grant Award Descriptions

American Red Cross – New Jersey Chapter – Fairfield, NJ
With a grant of $15,000, the Red Cross will offer free COVID-19 antibody testing to blood donors across South Jersey as they work to replenish their depleted supply of blood for patients in need across eight South Jersey counties.

Arc of Cape May County – South Dennis, NJ
With a grant of $10,000, the Arc will purchase equipment and train staff to continue delivering social outreach support, remote enrichment activities, and enhance residents’ access to healthcare through new telemedicine technology across 17 group homes and assisted-living apartments in Cape May County.

CASA of Atlantic and Cape May Counties – Somers Point, NJ
With a grant of $5,000, CASA will purchase equipment and train volunteers to continue advocating for foster youth in Atlantic and Cape May counties remotely through technology. The grant funds an online case management system.

Center for Independent Living of South Jersey – Westville, NJ
With a grant of $5,000, the Center will continue providing home delivery of food and rental assistance to clients independently living with disabilities in Gloucester and Camden counties.

Comité de Apoyo a los Trabajadores Agrícolas (CATA) – Glassboro, NJ
With a grant of $12,000, CATA will match the more than $29,000 raised to date to provide direct emergency relief funds to South Jersey farmworkers excluded from unemployment insurance and other federally funded programs who are experiencing economic hardships as a result of COVID-19.

CONTACT of Ocean and Monmouth Counties – Toms River, NJ
With a grant of $3,000 CONTACT will purchase equipment to provide remote training to volunteers so they can continue to alleviate the isolation, depression, and anxiety experienced by Ocean County residents (many of them seniors), as a result of COVID-19.

Faith Baptist Church – Pleasantville, NJ
With a grant of $3,000 (and in partnership with the Community Food Bank of NJ), the Church will purchase equipment to continue distributing food to the Pleasantville community.

Food Bank of South Jersey – Pennsauken, NJ
With a grant of $40,000, the Food Bank will continue operating with expanded hours, increased staffing, and necessary sanitation for ongoing partnership and coordination programs with over 180 South Jersey emergency feeding organizations, ensuring our South Jersey neighbors in Burlington, Camden, Gloucester, and Salem counties continue to have access to food and modified nutrition education programs.

Heart of Camden – Camden, NJ
With a grant of $6,000, Heart of Camden will distribute food to homebound seniors and those with disabilities, as well as, diapers and other personal care products to families in South Camden.

Humanity First USA – Willingboro, NJ
With a grant of $5,000, Humanity First USA, in partnership with the Food Bank of South Jersey, will address the emergency food needs of Burlington County families and those from surrounding communities.

Jewish Family Service of Atlantic and Cape May Counties – Margate, NJ
With a grant of $10,000, Jewish Family Service of Atlantic and Cape May will continue operating their food pantry, provide transportation to seniors in order to access medical services, provide homeless services in partnership with AtlantiCare, and provide telehealth services.

LADACIN Network – Wanamassa, NJ
With a grant of $10,000, LADACIN will purchase equipment to continue educational, therapeutic, and telehealth services to infants, children, and adults in Ocean County living with complex physical and developmental disabilities.

Lupus Foundation of America – Tri-State Chapter – Jenkintown, PA
With a grant of $5,000, the Lupus Foundation will advocate for South Jersey residents who suffer from lupus but are not able to access common treatment options due to drug shortages.

Mighty Writers – Philadelphia, PA
With a grant of $10,000, Mighty Writers will continue providing food, online programming, supplies, and books to 1,000 youth in Camden and Atlantic City.

Operation Warm Up New Jersey – Glen Mills, PA
With a $5,000 grant and additional support from like-minded organizations, Operation Warm will provide underprivileged children living in South Jersey with 10,000 free brand-new winter coats.

Our Lady of Mercy Academy – Newfield, NJ
With a grant of $5,000, OLMA will provide one-time emergency scholarships to support families facing COVID-19 related financial hardships. The scholarships prevent disruptions to the social, emotional, and educational development of students from Gloucester, Camden, Burlington, Atlantic, Cape May, Cumberland, and Salem counties.

St. Isaac Jogues Conference of the St. Vincent de Paul Society – Marlton, NJ
With a grant of $3,000, St. Isaac Jogues Conference will provide funding to assist clients in Burlington County to maintain or acquire shelter, pay utility bills, repair vehicles for employment purposes, and assure adequate access to both medical care and food.

St. Paul’s Lutheran Church – Millville, NJ
With a grant of $3,000, St. Paul’s will work with local partners to purchase fresh produce to supplement existing food donations to needy Millville families.

Urban Promise Ministries Community Development – Camden, NJ
With a grant of $15,000, Urban Promise Ministries will maintain operations of the Community Food Co-op through the winter months ensuring Camden and Pennsauken neighbors have access to fresh and nutritious food.

VietLead – Camden, NJ
With a grant of $5,000, VietLead will continue providing direct support and bi-lingual resources to Vietnamese residents in Camden and Burlington counties to access financial and public assistance for families and small businesses.

Women’s Center for Entrepreneurship – Chatham, NJ
With a grant of $5,000, the Women’s Center will offer guidance and support to low and-moderate income small business owners from Ocean County to access government assistance and adapt their businesses to survive.

Community Foundation of South Jersey

The Community Foundation of South Jersey (CFSJ) envisions an eight-county region thriving where all neighbors aspire, succeed, participate, and give.

The vision is realized as CFSJ inspires generosity, manages and deploys permanent charitable assets, and exercises collaborative leadership to create a more equitable region. CFSJ works with South Jersey philanthropists, local nonprofits, and neighbors to build capital, contribute assets, and create permanent endowments for impact in perpetuity.

By aligning donor interests and using the investment earnings on each of its endowed funds, CFSJ makes grants and builds leadership within the community to create thriving, equitable, and livable communities for all. Currently, CFSJ manages assets of more than $23 million.

CFSJ has issued more than $9 million in nonprofit grants and scholarships. Learn more about CFSJ at CommunityFoundationSJ.org.

Categories
Covid-19 Recent News

Camden County Rental Assistance Program Still Has More than $3.5M Available

(Camden, NJ) – After almost two weeks of facilitating the Camden County rental assistance program, 75% of the funding allocated to the initiative is still available to residents.

The program was created to support renters at risk of losing their homes or facing an eviction threat due to lost employment or income caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Camden County Rental Assistance Program makes available up to six months of back rent (April 2020 through September 2020) for a maximum of $4,000. While tenants will apply to take part in the program, payments will be made directly to landlords.

“We want to get this money into the hands of as many renters as possible to supplement any lost payments from COVID,” said Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. “Currently, there is a state and federal moratorium on evictions, but when they expire landlords will still be demanding past payments. We do not want to see a housing crisis come to fruition on the day these emergency policies expire.”

In order to qualify for Rental Assistance Program, tenants must meet the following eligibility and rules:

  • Tenants cannot earn more than 50% of Average Area Median Income (AMI);
  • Applicants will be required to provide proof of loss/reduction in employment or income;
  • No duplication of funds will be permitted – apartments/landlords which are funded under the State’s tenant assistance program or Section 8 are not eligible;
  • Landlords must agree to waive late fees and penalties accrued from April 2020 to September 2020; and
  • Lease must have begun prior to 3/1/2020.

More information regarding the Rental Assistance Program, how to apply, and the additional eligibility requirements is available by visiting www.camdencounty.com.

Income limits:

  • 1-person, $33,850
  • 2-person, $38,650
  • 3-person, $43,500
  • 4-person, $48,300
  • 5-person, $52,200
  • 6-person, $56,050

“So far we’ve been able to help 147 residents and families with assistance allocating more than $450,000,” Cappelli said. “We know there are more people in need of this money, and we need to get the word out to them that it’s available.”

Applications for the program will be awarded on a first come, first served basis, and will be accepted until all available funds have been awarded.

To apply, visit: www.CamdenRentGrant.com. For any questions about the program call (833) 487-0462.

The Camden County Rental Assistance Program is another initiative to offset some the cratering losses that residents and small business owners have seen since the start of the pandemic.

In July, the Freeholder Board provided $25 million in funding to small businesses and nonprofits with grants up to $10,000.

Categories
Covid-19 Feature Stories

N.J. to Receive $100M in Additional Federal COVID-19 Economic Recovery Aid

(Camden, NJ) – New Jersey is receiving an additional $100 million in federal aid to help the state’s economy recover from the impact of COVD-19 – with the bulk of the money ($70 million) slated to go directly to small businesses in the Garden State such as restaurants and microbusinesses.

The $70 million will be distributed to these businesses through an upcoming Phase 3 the New Jersey Economic Development Authority’s Small Business Emergency Assistance Grant Program for businesses with 50 or fewer full-time equivalent employees, with $35 million of this specifically earmarked for “food services and drinking places.” More than 19,000 businesses statewide have utilized this program since its inception in April.

The remaining $30 million will be dispersed as follows:

  • $15 million to support renters through the state Department of Community Affairs’ COVID-19 Emergency Rental Assistance Program.
  • $10 million to help small businesses in New Jersey buy personal protective equipment to keep employees safe.
  • $5 million to support local food banks and other hunger relief efforts across the state.

“This funding will serve as a much needed lifeline for small businesses that are the backbone of our economy. It will help residents struggling to keep up with the rent stay in their homes and apartments and it will help put food on families’ tables as they suffer through this recession brought on by the COVID-19 virus,” said Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli Jr.