Your name and title/role: Chief Executive Officer
Tell us a bit about your organization – history, why/when founded, mission, values, etc: Founded by the North Shore Kiwanis Club in 1971 to address the then heroin epidemic- scourge on Staten Island. Camelot exists to bring to the public easy accessible Substance Use Disorder (SUD) services without cost concerns. Camelot is funded through a direct contract with the New York State Office of Addiction Services And Supports (OASAS) so that no person is ever denied services for an inability to afford. Camelot believes that drug misuse dependent persons can be stabilized and return to a normal and productive lifestyle. This goal is accomplished through intensive counseling services for the afflicted individual and their family members and assisted with stabilizing medications.
What’s your role and how long have you been with the organization? I have been with Camelot 44 years. I interface with elected officials, government agencies, clients, staff, media, and the general community to educate and provide guidance for the treatment and prevention of SUD.
What is a typical day like for you or for your organization? I have no typical day. A day may include: a public hearing , a meeting with government, staff training, client interaction,a family member’s crisis phone call, Board of Directors involvement, state and local organizations membership duties, media interview, community relations, negotiations public/private, proposal submission team member, site tours for interested parties, guest speaking, college guest lecturer, site construction process planning, conference participation, continuing education requirements, etc. Camelot provides intensive counseling services on Staten Island at 2 residential treatment programs, ambulatory counseling services and a youth club house at another. Agency administration occurs at an additional location.
What are you/the organization most proud of? Survival for the organization during multiple decades of being undervalued by government and the general society followed by services expansion during the worst drug misuse epidemic in American history.
Would you like to share your greatest challenge(s) – current or past? Funding for an undervalued direct service workforce that creates a career track for those interested in committing to the SUD treatment mission. Educating government officials as to the essential need for specific SUD services and the efficacy in the supporting of those services. Every 1 dollar invested in SUD services results in a savings of up to 11 dollars in other health, social,and justice systems savings. Obstacles to funding and health insurance reimbursement.
What are you most looking forward to in the coming months/year? I’m looking forward to registering new members for a our space Project Lab in Port Richmond.
How long have you been a member of Staten Island Nonprofit? 1 year
What have been some of the most beneficial aspects of your membership so far? Relevant information on the plight or advancements of Staten Island’s nonprofits.
How can your fellow nonprofit network / community members assist you today? Continue announcing the need for essential SUD treatment and prevention services for Staten Islander’s. True collaboration addressing SUD on Staten Island, consisting of accountability and transparency.
Who or what inspires you? Or who do you think serves as a good role model for our sector? And why? Mr. Lou DeLuca of United Activities Unlimited (UAU) is a CEO role model for the neighborhood nonprofit services provider. He has taken UAU to a budget 10 times of what he inherited, that continues to grow and meet Staten Island needs.Always forward.
What’s the best advice you’ve received? Always forward.
Have any tips, tricks, words of wisdom to share with someone in our nonprofit sector? Watch your back.
Got any good reads to share with our readers? The late Dr. Herbert Kleber.
Where can our readers learn more about your work? Camelotcounseling.com