Hope Hall Celebrates Two Decades Of Service To The Community

Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. speaking at Hope Hall’s 20th anniversary celebration in Camden on August 1. Photo credit: Camden County.

CAMDEN, N.J. — Hope Hall, a provider of reentry services to individuals impacted by incarceration, celebrated their 20th year of contributions to the City of Camden and the surrounding communities on August 1.

At the celebration, Camden County Freeholder Director Louis Cappelli, Jr. spoke about the vital role Hope Hall has in the community. 

“Hope Hall has been a beacon for individuals leaving the corrections system throughout the county and plays an important role in reintegration for us in Camden City,” Cappelli said.

Hope Hall, opened in Camden by the Volunteers of America Delaware Valley in 1999, is a 175-bed residential community that hosts adult men who are within 24 months of parole eligibility, providing them with intensive treatment and assistance returning to life in their community.

The services provided include 24-hour staff support; individualized case management and discharge planning; job coaching, job readiness, and employment support; cognitive skills training; substance abuse treatment and relapse prevention; and emotions management.

“The services and resources provided at VOA’s Hope Hall is critical to ensuring we are providing anyone coming out of incarceration with the ability to stand on their feet and transition smoothly back into society,” Cappelli said.

Since 1999, Hope Hall has helped over 8,000 men return to society from the criminal justice system.  According to the Volunteers of America website, “between January 2015 and January 2018, more than 800 individuals have been admitted to Hope Hall:  with the guidance of dedicated staff, more than 600 residents have obtained community-based employment and more than 100 have entered post-secondary education.”

The nation’s first “Hope Hall” was opened in the late nineteenth century by the co-founder of Volunteers of America Maud Ballington Booth in order to reform and improve the conditions of the nation’s prison system. The residential programs were designed to be “recuperative settings for individuals recently released from prison,” according to Volunteers of America’s website.

When Hope Hall in Camden opened In 1999, there were 31,493 men and women incarcerated in NJ Prisons. As of January 2019, there were 19,313 men and women incarcerated — a 38.9% decrease.

For more information about the services provided by Hope Hall, people can call Volunteers of America at (856) 963-6166 or email them at info@voadv.org.