City, state and private sector partners gathered on a beautiful April afternoon for the ribbon cutting of CAMBA Gardens II.
City, state and private sector partners gathered on a beautiful April afternoon for the ribbon cutting of CAMBA Gardens II, a LEED Gold, 238 unit permanent, affordable and supportive housing development in the East Flatbush/Wingate neighborhood of Brooklyn. The project is built on the NYC Health + Hospitals/Kings County campus in what is an exemplary partnership between a public hospital, a nonprofit community developer and community stakeholders.
“Projects like these are about our shared goals. We do this so families are not making choices between food and housing, and are able to get the health care they need,” said Ruth Anne Visnauskas, Commissioner/CEO of NYS Homes and Community Renewal.
CAMBA Inc. CEO, Joanne M. Oplustil welcomed the audience and introduced all the speakers for the program that included Commissioner Samuel D. Roberts from the NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance (OTDA); Dr. Dave Chokshi, Vice President and Chief population officer at the NYC Health + Hospitals; Council Member Dr. Mathieu Eugene; Deborah DeSantis, CEO of the Corporation for Supportive Housing; Victoria Rowe-Barreca from Enterprise Community Partners.; Matthew Schatz from TD Bank; Maurice Coleman from Bank of America Merrill Lynch; and Daniel J Randall from Federal Home Loan Bank of New York.
“This gathering is a testament to the efforts of all of us. When we work together there’s nothing we cannot do,” remarked Council Member Eugene.
Dr. Dave Chokshi spoke to the importance of supportive housing in providing health care to the most vulnerable New Yorkers.
“As a primary care physician, I know that housing is medicine. Supportive housing provides the stability that people need to be able to live their healthiest,” he said.
The star of the show though was Clarissa Martin, one of the supportive housing tenants who brought the crowd to tears with her story of finding her way out of homelessness to living in CAMBA Gardens II.
“Coming out of the shelter system, I wasn’t fed spiritually, mentally, or medically. They had me in a shared apartment with two active addicts…and I am in recovery,” she told the audience. “Being here is like a bridge back to my life. That’s what it is for me.” she added.
CAMBA Inc.'s on-site staff works with all residents to develop customized service plans for independent living skills training, financial literacy, job readiness, substance abuse, and group social, cultural, and sporting events. Other services such as case management, supportive counseling, coordination of health care and education, nutrition and fitness classes, recreational/family activities, and computer training are also available to all tenants and are funded by the New York State Office of Mental Health, New York City Human Resources Administration, HIV/AIDS Services Administration, and the New York City Department of Health and Mental Hygiene.
The project came together through a mix of private and public funding provided by NYS Division of Housing and Community Renewal, NYC Department of Housing Preservation and Development, NYS Homeless Housing Assistance Corporation, New York City Council Member Dr. Mathieu Eugene, Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams, NYS Office of Temporary and Disability Assistance, Bank of America Merrill Lynch, TD Bank, the Federal Home Loan Bank of New York and the New York State Research and Development Authority.
CAMBA Gardens II was designed by Dattner Architects and the contractor was Bruno Frustaci Contracting, Inc.
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