A Call For Change
Confronting the Broken Community Development Paradigm
Persisting social, economic, and racial disparities in our communities have been a long-standing challenge, with strategies to address them falling short over generations. Recent events, such as the Covid-19 pandemic and the climate crisis, have further exacerbated the growing wealth gap and the need for healthy, sustainable, and equitable communities.
Despite the efforts of nonprofit organizations, faith-based groups, government entities, and various funding sources like government grants, CDFIs, foundations, impact investors, angel investors, and venture capitalists, the severity of inequity in our society remains largely unaddressed. These endeavors and funding streams are fragmented and often lack proper organization and resources to bring about lasting systemic change.
It has become clear that the existing approaches are inadequate to tackle the profound challenges we face. Nevertheless, opportunities lie in local community-building solutions that, with appropriate capitalization and coordination, have the potential to yield not only multi-billion dollar financial returns but also immeasurable social benefits.
The Community-Vision Story
Stephen Shaff founded Community-Vision Solutions (C-VS) to confront the broken community development paradigm and implement an integrated economic and community development model, motivated equally by social enterprise profit and transformative economic and community change.
Shaff has developed approximately $100,000,000 in real estate development projects focusing on affordable housing, home ownership and other community building initiatives. He has founded, co-founded, led or helped fund over ten non-profit community development, political activist, social justice and arts organizations. His range of activism and social enterprise extends from deep within underserved communities in metro Washington, DC to a national network of advocacy and political, environmental and social justice relationships.
Shaff also has been involved in initiating, supporting and advising a number of DC area arts initiatives including the inception, funding, development and consultation in creating Joe’s Movement Emporium (now serving 75,000 people annually in Mount Rainier, MD) and the Loft on 14th. Both organizations are award-winning institutions that have made significant social and artistic impact in their communities. Each grew to purchase and develop their prospective building – ensuring their community impact will be permanent.
Fast forward to today, Community-Vision Solutions has made a rapid transformation from vision to reality over the past two years. At the helm of C-VS stands its founder and CEO, Stephen Shaff, supported by COO Aaron Shalom and Senior Financial Advisor Jeff Dangremond. Their core focus lies in serving clients and actively contributing to the development and enhancement of C-VS infrastructure. The leadership team is reinforced by Administrative Coordinator Isabel Parker, and as the organization continues to expand, further support staff will be appointed to take charge of overseeing all operational aspects, logistics, promotional efforts, and growth strategies.
Arts as Community Healer
Vision to Reality
Active Senior Advisory Board
In addition to this dynamic leadership, C-VS leverages the expertise of Senior Advisors, a distinguished Board of Advisors, and a readily available network of proven professionals and contractors to further strengthen its management and growth capacity. This collaborative approach ensures a wealth of knowledge and experience is at hand, enabling C-VS to navigate challenges and seize opportunities effectively as it progresses towards its mission of fostering sustainable and equitable communities.