Our Members

Chinese-American Planning Council

New York

Founded in 1965, the Chinese-American Planning Council (CPC) provides a variety of services to more than 6,000 people daily and an estimated 25,000 individuals each year to improve the quality of lief of both new immigrants and established New Yorkers.

David

After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in Business Management and starting a career in the hotel management industry, David encountered some setbacks that turned him away from his original goals. He ended up in a number of untenable living situations and eventually found himself in the City shelter system. At that point, David decided it was time to do whatever it would take to find housing and get his life back on track.

David met Joseph, his current case manager, while he was living in a shelter. Because David had had money earlier in his life, housing case kept being closed. After numerous Fair Hearings, David was finally granted subsidized housing. In November 2008, he moved into an apartment in Morris Manor, one of UNH member CAMBA’s supportive housing developments in Brooklyn, where he currently resides.

“I haven’t had my name on an apartment for many years and I have never lived in a new building,” David said. “I feel like a human being again. I wake up and I feel good.”

David had only positive things to say about the CAMBA staff at Morris Manor: “I have utmost confident in the staff members. They always ask for your feedback, and they bend over backwards to get things done and create a positive environment. I have always had a strong sense of family, and I am able to recreate that in Morris Manor. You get the sense that people really care about you. As for Joseph, I know I can always ask him for help’ I know he won’t criticize me. I have always had a hard time trusting people, but I trust Joseph deeply. Interacting with CAMBA has truly renewed my faith.”

Morris Manor, which opened in October 2008, offers affordable and supportive housing to low-income community residents and individuals transitioning from the City shelter system to permanent housing. CAMBA organizes many activities for the tenants, including book clubs, computer classes, recreational activities, and social events such as movie and game nights. A director and two case managers work onsite at Morris Manor. Case managers meet with their clients twice a month and help them with medical referrals, employment assistance, and any other issues they may have. “There are a lot of angry people in the building and a lot of people on medication,” David explained. “However, most of them are in a much better place than when they arrived. They have a sense of hope and the opportunity to turn their lives around.”

David has set a number of goals for himself. He has started playing the piano again, something he has not been able to do for many years. “My dream was always to be a concert pianist,” he confessed. He is also determined to finish his rehabilitation program so that he can reenter the workforce. He volunteers at a church in Harlem and plans to continue volunteering in the community. “I don’t want to be given things my whole life. I feel very grateful and happy with how things are going and I want to give back.”

Farther down the line, David would like to own a business and start a family. “The ball is in my court for the first time in a long time, and that is a great feeling,” he declared.