SJCS was founded in 1985 to help families improve their quality of life and to create safe neighborhoods through homeownership in Camden, New Jersey. SJCS promotes successful homeownership through homeowner education, housing development, and community organizing. In June 2000, SJCS was awarded the President's Service Award – the most prestigious national award for individuals and organizations engaged in solving critical social problems.
To help community members and potential homeowners become informed and financially responsible, SJCS created the Campbell Soup Homeowner Academy in 1993. Since then, over 6,700 people have participated in SJCS's classes on homeownership and home maintenance. Any individual wishing to purchase an SJCS home is required to participate in the homeownership education program.
Homeownership encourages stability, fosters personal pride, promotes the development of community ties, allows families to build wealth, and attracts private capital to under-invested areas. To improve the neighborhood, SJCS redevelops abandoned properties and sells new or rehabilitated homes to community residents, who are often looking to transition from renting to owning. Last year, SJCS marked the development of its 800th home. In 2008, SJCS's recent development at Baldwin's Run was recognized byCottage Living as one of the top 10 cottage communities in the U.S.
To promote a strong, healthy community, SJCS encourages all new homeowners to become involved in with Camden Churches Organized for People (CCOP), a non-profit coalition of 30 faith-based institutions whose core mission is to empower residents to improve their communities