Northridge Serves is delighted to announce a new partnership with Cameron Community Ministries. Cameron is an Urban Outreach Community Center in the Lyell-Otis Neighborhood of Rochester, NY. Since 1985, Cameron has sought to meet the needs of a neighborhood where a significant number of families live in poverty.
Cameron offers many programs including youth after-school and summer programs, a free hot meal program that serves lunch daily, an emergency food pantry, Kids Cafe nightly dinner and a clothing house that serves community members in need of clothing and housewares. Cameron is the second largest soup kitchen in the region serving adults and the largest serving children. In 2017 they served over 35,000 hot meals.
Cameron is a space for adult development as well, hosting lunch time resources such as job readiness skills, resume workshops, health fairs, access to medical testing and more. In addition, Cameron's building is used for a Narcotic Anonymous meeting every Friday evening. Cameron's Executive Director Jennifer Muniga writes, "We believe in meeting people where they are in order to get them out of their current situation to where they need to be."
The Cameron Youth Program offers a safe place to be after school for elementary school children in the neighborhood, most of whom attend School #54. The Youth Program is operating at capacity and has extensive waiting lists. The primary emphasis is on homework completion, tutoring, and positive behavior and conflict resolution. The Program also focuses on offering children exposure to a world outside of their immediate zip code through field trips and other cultural arts programs. The children have a chance to not only improve their educational skills but also select from a wide variety of cultural activities and clubs and learn new recreational sports and games throughout the year. The pressures to engage in unhealthy lifestyles are immense in the Cameron neighborhood. There are many factors that create an environment for poor choices and negative behaviors that can have life-long consequences. 98% of of Cameron's children qualify for free/reduced school lunch, and most are considered at risk of crime, violence, teen parenting, substance abuse and poor academic performance including dropout. Cameron’s staff and volunteers work every day to give the children the tools necessary to fight for a better, more successful future.
Cameron is on the brink of expansion to include services for teenagers. Stay tuned to hear about Building a Foundation for the Future: A Capital Campaign for the Cameron Campus!
Volunteer Opportunities include:
- Helping to prepare and serve lunch in the Soup Kitchen (open every day, help most needed on Saturdays 10am-2pm)
- Helping to fill food pantry orders (open Monday, Wednesday, Friday 9-11am)
- Tutoring/mentoring with children
- One time projects
- Committees of the Board opportunities
- Design/Marketing/Development opportunities
- Food, clothing, supply drives
Ready to get involved? Contact Cameron's Volunteer Coordinator Lindsay Jewett to schedule a visit at Lindsay.Jewett@cameronministries.org or 585-254-2697.