Margaret "Peggy" Gaffney Shemwell

Our Founding CEO

Mrs. Margaret “Peggy” Gaffney Shemwell was a longtime resident of Shreveport who created Community Support Programs, Inc. (CSP). She saw a local need to ensure that persons experiencing mental health issues had programs and staff that treated them with dignity and respect. CSP was created by, run by, and used by Shreveport residents in order to ensure that everyone in the area has access to safe and affordable housing. It was founded on the principle that the CLIENT was the primary reason for its existence, and benefit to the CLIENT should always govern its efforts. In March 1990, Peggy opened the doors of her non-profit with her first contract in hand.  She named this program Crossroads. The Crossroads program led to over sixteen grant funded programs, the construction of five community based programs, a twelve-unit townhouse-style apartment complex, a General Managing Partner role in over nine properties, and the designation as one of the first Community Housing Development Organization’s (CHDO) in Northwest Louisiana.

All of Peggy’s programs were focused on providing services to the most disenfranchised in her community.  In addition to treating clients with dignity and respect, Peggy’s core beliefs included never placing a client in an environment that was not safe and accessible; as well as programs and services that were strength-based and tailored to the individual.  These principles guided Peggy in all her decisions regarding CSP. Peggy’s work and efforts have touched the lives of countless clients and the community at large. She was completely dedicated to the success of CSP and worked tirelessly toward that end until her retirement in July 2019.  Community Support Programs’ Board, Management, and staff continue to endorse Peggy’s mission, core principles and vision.