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"Does Hope Work? Meeting Christ at the Frontier of Urban Poverty"


Hopeworks Founder Jeff Putthoff, S.J., will present "Does Hope Work? Meeting Christ at the Frontier of Urban Poverty in Camden, New Jersey" Taking place on Wednesday, Feb. 5 at 7 p.m. in Grewen Auditorium on the Le Moyne campus, the talk will explore not only the challenges of working in poverty and traumatizing conditions, but also explores Father Putthoff’s spiritual journey.

Living and working in Camden for the last 13 years, Father Putthoff is the founder and executive Director of Hopeworks ‘N Camden, a youth technology portal using the technologies of web site design/development and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) to work with youth ages 14 to 23. Hopeworks is a direct response to the current youth crisis that exists in for many youth today. In Camden, where Hopeworks office is located, over 50% of the population is under 18, only 25% of adults have a high school diploma and the per capita income is $5700. There is an estimated 70% dropout rate from the public high schools in the city of Camden while 53% of all youth live below the poverty line. These factors combine to make life challenging for young people. Hopeworks is a direct response to this situation.

During the past 12 years, Hopeworks has worked with over 1500 youth, providing 250 youth jobs, 1500 college credits and helped over 100 youth begin college. Father Jeff has been recognized for his youth development work by being awarded with various awards and medals over the years.

A member of the Society of Jesus for 25 years, Father Putthoff holds a bachelor’s in philosophy from Saint Louis University, a Masters in English from Loyola Chicago, a Masters of Divinity and a Masters of Theology from Weston School of Theology in Cambridge, Massachusetts. He is currently studying at the University of Pennsylvania for a degree in Organizational Dynamics and is enrolled in the AKRI training program.

In accordance with the College’s mission of educating and preparing its members for leadership and service in their personal and professional lives to promote a just society, this series will focus on issues of domestic poverty, immigration, ecological justice, and war and peace. This lecture is part of “The Faith That Does Justice Series” and is sponsored by the College’s Office of Mission and Identity.
posted on: 1/23/2014