Rallying the South Jersey Community for Support in Times of Need

Devon Catts is a case manager for Volunteers of America Delaware Valley’s Aletha R. Wright “Vision of Hope” Center, a 125-bed emergency shelter for single men experiencing homelessness in Camden, NJ.

Since her start at VOADV in January, Devon is already making a huge, positive impact on our clients at the Aletha R. Wright Center. As an Aletha Wright Center case manager, Devon assesses her clients’ needs, links them to services and administers a treatment or recovery plan – all with the end goal of enabling these individuals to achieve self-sustainability and independence.

In recent weeks, Devon has witnessed how the COVID-19 pandemic is presenting new challenges to the individuals we serve. She has seen firsthand how the virus is affecting the lives of her clients and felt a strong desire to do something more.

Devon took her idea to Aletha R. Wright Center’s Program Director Christina Lemma. Together, they identified what resource the shelter’s clients needed most: food.

While the emergency shelter offers its clients breakfast and dinner though VOADV’s partnership with Cathedral Kitchen, Camden’s largest emergency food provider, lunch has never been offered because clients are typically away from the facility during the daytime hours. With current shelter-in-place restrictions due to COVID-19, clients are now unable to leave the shelter easily and purchase their own lunches.

Looking to expand her efforts, Devon connected with Mayor Patti Harris of Barrington, NJ, who shared her desire to assist and support. Together, they started a social media fundraising campaign, targeting community members in Barrington, Haddonfield, Collingswood and Audubon. In just three days, the viral campaign raised more than $1,400, including $700 in the first day alone! 

Devon and a fellow case manager used the donated money to purchase enough pre-packaged food and drinks to completely stock the Aletha Wright Center’s pantry – ensuring clients had enough food to last them for the weeks to come.

Without the generous support of family, friends and fellow community members, Devon’s vision of offering additional support and assistance to her clients during this time of crisis would not have been made a reality.

Devon continues to engage the support of her social media networks in order to continue to raise money and ensure the continued health and safety of those served by VOADV during this challenging time. To support Devon’s efforts, visit www.voadv.org/ and click the “Donate” button.

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