Progress on 526 State Street

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For decades the house next to the Volunteer House on State Street was abandoned and empty.   One of our partners in ministry, Ed Zampitella of the Last Stop, bought it and gave it to the Oblates for use with student groups.   Addicts and alcoholics in the Last Stop recovery program did work on the house—installing a roof, floors, windows, and hauling out all the wreckage that had settled into the basement.  When I say “install” I mean than none of these building elements remained.   The sturdy brick walls remained in the ruined row house, but no roof, no floors exceept for the basement, and no windows.   They did amazing work.
Thanks to the generosity of more supporters the next stage of renovation is finally underway, renewing plumbing, electricity, heat, wall board, flooring, kitchen.   DSW’s 2018 summer fundraiser was an awesome opportunity for friends and supporters to join to raise funds for this project.   Generous Oblate donors joined the effort.


DeSales Service Works DSW is a volunteer service program ssupported by the Oblates of St. Francis de Sales based in Camden, NJ.  DSW welcomes high school, college, and parish groups who come to our city to learn, pray, and serve.   Volunteers join DSW’s partners in ministry addressing the needs of the community.

About our partners in ministry

DSW is working with the Last Stop AA and NA Twelve Step program.Volunteers live in North Camden, where they live in simple community and solidarity as they learn together about the social justice issues of our world today.


Camden like any community is complex and multilayered.   But you will find here a pocket of poverty in pretty prosporous South Jersey.   Addiction, poverty, drug trade, hunger, homelessness, incarceration, legacy of slavery, Jim Crow and colonialism are very apparent here.   St. Francis de Sales reminds us that “Nothing is small in the service of God.”     DSW does not expect to solve Camden’s problems, but we aim to give volunteers the opportunity to learn from encounters and to share human warmth and kindness.   In that way we serve Christ and witness to God’s presence.

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