A welcome from CAMBA founder, President and CEO, Joanne M. Oplustil:
1977 was a turbulent period in New York City’s history: A financial crisis had decimated city services and jobs, a black out provoked rioting and looting and the Bronx was infamously burning. But out of those challenges rose community leaders who were an equally strong force for good. In struggling communities like Flatbush, deeply committed people joined together, pooling their energy and determination to bring about positive changes.
The Church Avenue Merchants Block Association — now CAMBA — started out as a small block association, trying help merchants manage the disinvestment and seismic demographic shifts of the era. We listened to our neighbors and worked with the City to find solutions to our community’s toughest challenges. As we added new programs and responded to emerging needs, we kept our vision of a community where anyone could thrive and everyone was welcome.
Neighborhood needs have changed dramatically since we first opened our doors, but CAMBA’s commitment remains steadfast and our ever-evolving programs and services have progressed with the times. We’ve grown from a small block association to a citywide juggernaut of cutting-edge human services and housing developments. We’ve helped New Yorkers build and sustain vibrant neighborhoods with services that lay the groundwork for economic stability, educational fulfillment, strong families and a healthy life.
2017 is also a significant year for CAMBA as we embark on a yearlong celebration of our 40th Anniversary. We will be looking back on our past achievements and reporting on the lives of people we’ve served. At the same time, we will be looking ahead to the future and preparing for the next four decades.
Our 40th Anniversary Campaign theme is 2020 Vision: Building an Inclusive New York City.
The campaign includes a $4 million fundraising initiative to strengthen CAMBA’s ability to address some of today’s — and tomorrow’s — most pressing needs:
- Building Ladders to Success by enhancing academic success and supporting college preparation;
- Constructing Stable Foundations by building and preserving more affordable and supportive housing;
- Protecting Against Homelessness by expanding critical services that help keep low-income New Yorkers in their homes and out of shelters.
Welcome to CAMBA Voice, our new blog, which will help tell the story of CAMBA – examining our past, celebrating today and building for the future of New York City.
We hope you will join us in this journey into the future. Read CAMBA Voice, share it with your network, contribute your thoughts and comments and be an active member of the CAMBA community, both on and offline.
Together, we can fulfill our 2020 Vision and build a truly inclusive city, employing tangible solutions that support diverse communities where New Yorkers — regardless of their Zip Codes — have the resources and supports they need to reach their full potential.