The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation

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Founded in 2006, Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation (formerly the Philadelphia Soul Charitable Foundation) is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that focuses their efforts on the issues surrounding homelessness in the United States. They work with non-profit organizations and community leaders to help establish programs and partnerships that provide the basic needs of food and shelter. In addition, they also look to add green elements into every project that they support including using green building materials and energy efficient appliances.[1]

While providing affordable housing to those in need, projects often selected by the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation include additional programs to assist the residence in getting back on the right path. Projects they support may include on-site child care, health care, social services, computer labs, job training programs, and financial assistance to help the residents with budgeting for their future.

To date, the Soul Foundation has assisted in providing homes to more than 260 low-income individuals and families in locations such as Philadelphia, PA; Brooklyn, NY; Rockdale County, GA; Houma, LA; Detroit, MI; Newark, NJ; Camden, NJ; and Los Angeles, CA.

Contributions & Projects[edit]

The Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation works with community partners to help build relationships and face the issues surrounding poverty and homelessness. They have worked with many non-profit organizations across the United States, including Habitat for Humanity, Project H.O.M.E., Covenant House, HELP USA, Hopeworks 'n Camden, Saint Josephs Carpenter Society, and HomeAid Atlanta.

The Foundation officially launched on October 6, 2006 with the announcement made by Jon Bon Jovi at a press conference in North Philadelphia. At the same press conference, it was announced that the Soul Foundation would partner with Sister Mary Scullion and Project H.O.M.E. to rebuild and refurbish 15 homes right on that same block they were standing on.[2]

From there, the Foundation then went on to work with Habitat for Humanity-NYC, Habitat for Humanity's Jimmy Carter Work Project in LA, Habitat for Humanity International's Desmond TuTu Build in South Africa, Habitat for Humanity Colorado, and Habitat for Humanity-Detroit to build a total of 21 units of affordable housing.

Expanding their work down south, the Foundation joined forces with HomeAid Atlanta to build Phoenix Pass, a 16 unit apartment complex with a lighthouse that serves as a community room and homework area for the youth. This complex focuses primarily on assisting single mothers and their children and is the first of its kind in Rockdale County, GA.

While the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation has worked across the United States, it has also focused on numerous projects in the Philadelphia and New Jersey areas. The Foundation focused on crossing the bridge from Philadelphia (where they are based) into Camden, NJ [3] where it has worked on a "clean & green" project with Greater Camden Partnerships on cleaning up 80 vacant lots throughout the city as well as building a playground for the children at a local elementary school. They have also partnered with several non-profit organizations such as the Saint Josephs Carpenter Society, Heart of Camden, and Hopeworks to help build more affordable housing units. They also partnered with HELP USA to build the HELP Genesis JBJ Soul Homes in Newark, NJ which will provide 51 units of affordable housing to low-income and special needs persons.[4]

The Soul Foundation has also teamed up with Project H.O.M.E. on two other projects since the one in North Philadelphia was completed. They have worked together on building & updating the Saint Elizabeth's Recover Residence (which provides assistance to veterans) and the Saint Johns Project in Philadelphia, PA; and the Connolly House Project in Center City Philadelphia.

In May 2010, the JBJSF partnered with the Tiger Woods Foundation and was announced as one of the grantees from the proceeds of the 2010 AT&T National which was held at Aronimink Golf Club in Newtown Square, PA. The tournament identified two specific programs within the Soul Foundation's grant portfolio to support: Hopeworks C.R.I.B. program in Camden, NJ and Project H.O.M.E's Honickman Learning Center and Comcast Technology Labs in Philadelphia, PA.[5]

In June 2010, the Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation announced their newest partnership with Covenant House Pennsylvania and a commitment to assisting with the build of their newest facility, Rights of Passage. This structure will provide temporary housing for 20 homeless youth under the age of 21.[6] The Rights of Passage facility held its ribbon cutting ceremony on April 19, 2011 and the youth started moving into the facility shortly after.[7]

Programs[edit]

JBJ Soul Kitchen

In November 2009, JBJSF partnered with St. Anthony of Padua Church in Red Bank, NJ to pilot a "community restaurant" operating out of the church on Friday Nights. The project affords low-income families an opportunity to enjoy a meal out with family without the high costs of restaurant service. Diners can either make a donation or volunteer in the kitchen to pay for the meal.[8] The JBJ Soul Kitchen started out small but quickly grew and began serving an average of 60 meals per night. Proving to be a successful model, JBJSF then found a home for their pilot program in the fall of 2010 out of Lunch Break, also located in Red Bank, NJ. Operating once a week, they began their "Sunday Suppers" program which ran until the spring of 2011.

After a successful pilot of a pay-what-you-can restaurant model, the Red Bank borough planning board approved the conversion of a former auto-body shop into a community restaurant in April 2011. The JBJSF has had the building renovated in time for the fall opening in 2011.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ http://jonbonjovisoulfoundation.org/about%7C Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation Official Website, About Section
  2. ^ http://www.habitat.org/newsroom/2006archive/10_05_2006_Bon_Jovi_Announcement.aspx%7C Jon Bon Jovi Announces the Rebuilding of Homes in North Philadelphia
  3. ^ http://www.catholicstarherald.org/index.php?option=com_content&view=article&id=3688:bon-jovis-foundation-invests-in-camden&catid=102:latest-news%7C Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation Announces Continuing Commitment to Camden, NJ
  4. ^ http://videos.nj.com/star-ledger/2009/12/jon_bon_jovi_helps_open_help_g.html%7C Press Coverage from Ribbon Cutting of HELP Genesis JBJ Soul Homes in Newark, NJ
  5. ^ http://web.tigerwoodsfoundation.org/news/article/201005119969812/att_national/%7C Partnership of Jon Bon Jovi Soul Foundation and Tiger Woods Foundation
  6. ^ http://www.covenanthouse.org/content/covenant-house-pennsylvania-breaks-ground-new-rights-passage-building%7C Press Coverage of Ground Breaking Ceremony for Rights of Passage |accessdate=2011-03-15
  7. ^ http://www.covenanthousepa.org/news/news.html%7C Covenant House Pennsylvania
  8. ^ "Bon Jovi Brings 'Soul' Food to Church‘". RedBankGreen. June 21, 2009. Retrieved 2011-03-15. 
  9. ^ "Bon Jovi foundation gets OK to build community restaurant in Red Bank". Asbury Park Press. April 25, 2011. Retrieved 2011-04-27. 

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