CAMDEN, N.J. (CBS) — The 76ers’ new state of the art training complex in Camden is a symbol of new life for a team and a city. Billions of dollars are currently being invested in the waterfront, but this is not the only part of Camden trying to up its game.
Shoe Kings is the life work of brothers Darien and Byron Gans. They’ve got autographed sneakers from NBA legends and specialize in selling vintage kicks. “If you wanted an old pair of shoes Moses wore, we have them here at the store,” Darien Gans said.
The location on Mount Ephraim Avenue is not the most vibrant business environment. The owners talked about the empty buildings and vacant store fronts nearby. That call for help from business owners just got a response from Washington.
Tuesday, members of congress announced a $13 million grant for Camden’s Mount Ephraim neighborhood through the Department of Housing and Urban Development. “You can change your living conditions, you can change the attitude of the people that live around here,” said Damita Holmes, a resident of Branch Village.
The money is to create new educational and job opportunities and replace aging public housing like Branch Village which is 75-years-old.
Officials say the motto, “Camden is Rising,” should be reflected throughout the city. “This is about restoring what Martin Luther King called the beloved community,” said Senator Cory Booker. “If Camden doesn’t make it, the American dream is a lie.”
“I feel like it the money is infused in the right places, I have no doubt in my mind that this area can flourish,” said Byron Gans.