In this Issue 


Secret Santas Come Through for CAMBA Kids


Get Fit for Summer at the Healthy Way 5K


CAMBA Gardens Recognized for Financial Innovation


CAMBA Partners for Health Hubs in Central Brooklyn






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january 2014

santa'Secret Santas' Come Through for CAMBA Kids

As kids gathered for CAMBA holiday parties last month, excitement was in the air---weeks after sending letters to "Santa," dreams of train sets, video games and makeup kits were finally coming true.


All this was thanks to a group of  "Secret Santas"---local businesses, CAMBA friends and staff---who opened letters this winter and fulfilled wishlists for more than 500 kids in CAMBA shelters and housing facilities around the City.


For the kids and their parents, the generosity of strangers made the holiday season.


"I can't explain how I feel," said Pietra Jones, mother of Deandra, 7, and Heaven, 5, all residents at Dumont Green in East New York. "When people buy gifts for us... well, it's really nice."


This year, more than 40 Secret Santas bought gifts for CAMBA's young residents. Thank you to everyone who gave our kids a very special holiday.


raceRegister Now for CAMBA's Healthy Way 5K

Join CAMBA's 5k Run/Walk around Prospect Park, get fit for summer and help CAMBA continue to provide life-saving and life-changing services for more than 45,000 New Yorkers in need. Sign up now and get weekly training tips to help prepare for the race!
taxcreditCAMBA Gardens Wins Award for Financial Innovation in Low-Income Housing
Photo by Vanni Archive

CAMBA Housing Ventures' affordable and supportive CAMBA Gardens was named the Low-Income Housing Tax Credit (LIHTC) development that "Best Demonstrates Financial Innovation" at the 5th annual Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits Developments of Distinction Awards Ceremony, earlier this month in Miami, Florida.


The Developments of Distinction Awards recognize outstanding achievement in the development of affordable housing using the LIHTC. The awards honor developments that make a major impact in their communities, overcome significant obstacles during development or demonstrate financial innovation.


In CAMBA Gardens, a 209 unit development on the grounds of Kings County Hospital, CAMBA Housing Ventures combined multiple local, county and state funding sources to develop much-needed affordable housing for low-income and formerly homeless families.


"CAMBA and CHV are honored to have our work recognized by the Novogradac Journal of Tax Credits," said Joanne M. Oplustil, CAMBA and CHV President and CEO. "We hope that CAMBA Gardens Phase I can serve as a national model for partnership between a hospital, a developer and a non-profit service provider, and we are delighted to see our innovative financing approach has led to stable, service-enriched, affordable homes for more than 400 individuals."


Learn more about CAMBA Gardens at


healthNo Affordable Health Club in Central Brooklyn? Try Our Free 'Health Hubs' Instead

Central Brooklyn residents may have sky-high rates of diabetes, heart problems and other health concerns that can be ameliorated by lifestyle changes---but affordable and accessible options are not easy to find.

CAMBA, the Greater Brooklyn Health Coalition and EmblemHealth are working together to provide free, community-based and family-centered exercise programs and nutrition and health-education classes for youth and families in the area.

The goal: to provide free "health hubs," a neighborhood-based alternative to pricey health clubs, so people can enjoy health-inducing activities in their own community and improve their well-being.

Building on last year's pilot program, Live Healthy 2014 will include two 18-week cycles. The first launches in early March at CAMBA Beacon 271 at 1137 Herkimer Street in Ocean Hill. The second cycle will start in August, at St. Philips Episcopal Church at 265 Decatur Street in Bedford-Stuyvesant, and will focus on family activities.

Classes will offer a mix of total body conditioning, cardio workouts, Afro-Caribbean dance, Zumba, nutrition workshops and healthy cooking. Instructors come with impressive resumes in fitness training and nutrition.

Dawn Skeete, who teaches participants how to cook healthy Caribbean recipes (and has blogged for the Huffington Post), honed her entrepreneurial skills at CAMBA Small Business Services before opening her one restaurant, Jamaica Grill, in Brooklyn.

New schedules will be posted soon on EmblemHealth's Live Healthy website. Check back soon for updates.