In this Issue


Supporters 'Gamble for Good' at Annual Gala


Project ALY Helping Parents Accept their LGBT Youth


A Ribbon Cutting at 97 Crooke Avenue


NY State Awards CAMBA $1 million for Sandy Relief 


Employee Profile: Ernestine Washington





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CAMBA is a non-profit agency that provides services that connect people with opportunities to enhance their
quality of life.
October 2013

CNOCAMBA Supporters 'Gamble for Good' at Gala

On Thursday, October 24, CAMBA's biggest night of the year was in full swing at Steiner Studios in the Brooklyn Navy Yard.


It was CAMBA's annual gala---this year, a Casino Night Out, where guests '"gambled for good" to celebrate and benefit the agency's work.  More than 250 CAMBA supporters turned out for the event, which raised more than $360,000 to help CAMBA serve 45,000 New Yorkers in need each year.


Left to right: Kathy Frustaci, Anthony Frustaci, Bruno Frustaci, Katherine O'Neill, Joanne Oplustil, Sharon Browne, David Rowe

Guests threw the dice and spun the roulette wheel, bid on silent auction items and entered raffles. But, most importantly, they also helped honor outstanding members of the CAMBA community. The night's honorees, Bruno Frustaci Contracting, Inc. and LaRay Brown and the NYC Health and Hospitals Corporation, were recognized for their key roles in completing CAMBA Gardens Phase I, a 209-unit supportive and affordable housing development on the grounds of King County Hospital.


The night's program also included video profiles featuring two CAMBA success stories: Rana, a young mother of four who left an abusive relationship and built a successful future for herself and her children; and Ernestine, a once-homeless mother who has become a housing advocate at CAMBA, helping to place hundreds of people in permanent housing during her career.


"Tonight, we are proud to celebrate some of the great strides we've made in creating solutions that transform lives and communities," said Joanne M. Oplustil, President and CEO of CAMBA/CAMBA Housing Ventures.


The evening wouldn't have been such a big success without the generous support of the event's Cornerstone Sponsor, Bruno Frustaci Contracting, Inc. and all of the CAMBA Casino Night Out sponsors.


Check back soon on for more photos from the event. 


ALYProject ALY Helps Parents Accept their LGBT Kids

For many lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender (LGBT) youth in Central Brooklyn, being rejected by parents or family members can lead to dangerous behaviors, putting people at risk for HIV infection and substance abuse. Now a new CAMBA HIV prevention initiative, Project Accept LGBT Youth (ALY), is working to help these youth gain acceptance and lead safe lives.


The initiative, which launched this month, includes a social marketing campaign, community outreach and, in a novel approach, has enlisted supportive parents of LGBT youth to share their stories and become role models for others who are not yet as accepting.


"By encouraging parents and family members of LBGT youth to share their stories of acceptance, they will help break the silence, remove stigma and motivate change throughout the community," said Lisa Koffler, CAMBA Program Manager for Prevention Services.

"It's important to set examples for parents, from parents who already went through it," said a Brooklyn parent who participated in a Project ALY focus group to help shape the campaign.


The campaign message, "You accepted me then. Accept me now" is appearing now on buses and store windows throughout Central Brooklyn. 


You can learn more about Project ALY at and follow the campaign on twitter and instagram, using the hashtag #AcceptYourChild.


Project ALY is funded by the NYC Dept. of Public Health and Mental Hygiene, through Public Health Solutions.  


crookeA Ribbon Cutting for 97 Crooke Avenue

As guests made their way through a gleaming Flatbush entryway early this month, the first thing to hit their noses was the spiced aroma of warm doughnuts waiting inside. But even this couldn't distract from the view.


They saw the clean, modern beauty of 97 Crooke Avenue, a nine-story supportive and affordable housing development and one of CAMBA Housing Ventures' newest facilities. CAMBA supporters, staff, partners, community members and elected officials had gathered on an early October afternoon for the building's ribbon cutting.


Built on a vacant lot along the subway tracks, 97 Crooke Avenue now provides 53 much-needed apartments for working individuals and formerly homeless individuals leaving the City's shelters. CAMBA provides on-site services for all residents.


The day's speakers included CAMBA President and CEO Joanne M. Oplustil, NY State Assembly Member Rhoda Jacobs, NYC Council Member Mathieu Eugene, representatives from CAMBA partners who made the building possible and Reverend Dan Ramm, a CAMBA board member and the building's dedicatee.


RockawayNY State Awards CAMBA $1 Million to Develop Rockaway Sandy Relief

CAMBA has received $1 million from NY State to help Rockaway residents rebuild their lives in the wake of Hurricane Sandy. With the funding, CAMBA will provide a range of services to residents of the Ocean Village affordable housing development, a 1,093-unit complex on the Rockaway Peninsula that sustained severe and debilitating structural damage in the storm.

The CAMBA Ocean Village Recovery Project will address both the immediate needs of residents of the Ocean Village complex and make Ocean Village and its tenants more resilient for future severe weather events.  


CAMBA will address two broad areas of need: economic stability and advancement of health and wellness. Many Ocean Village residents are low-income or unemployed and many are still experiencing trauma from property damage and relocation due to the storm. CAMBA's staff will provide a range of services, from career and legal counseling to case management.


employeeEmployee Profile: Ernestine Washington 
This month, we're shining the spotlight on Ernestine Washington, a Housing Specialist at CAMBA's Atlantic House Men's Shelter and former homeless shelter resident herself. This video profile of Washington was featured at CAMBA Casino Night Out.