A Letter from the President

Honoring an Icon

photo of Kim HendersonOne of the beauties of living in cities like Miami and DC is the numerous brushes with fame that you have. These cities are a magnet for both the famous and infamous. DC is unique in its capacity to make celebrities out of policy makers, politicians and yes Supreme Court justices. A few years ago as a coordinator for Grinnell College Fall Semester in Washington, DC interns, I attended a small group meeting with Justice Ginsberg. I must admit, I didn’t know much about her so to prepare for the meeting I watched some of the interesting movies and documentaries of her life and read a few articles. But nothing prepared me for her intellect, grace, and warmth. Before I go on about the actual meeting, I want to say that I arrived to the Supreme Court and not one of the students actually showed up. So frantically, I dialed the students who were in a guesthouse just a few blocks away. Maybe three of them sauntered over very unconcerned about being tardy and the warning we got that you needed to arrive early to guarantee entry.

I thought that because approximately half of our students were international students that perhaps they didn’t understand the honor and rarity of this invitation? In any case, I was quite disappointed. As I ponder Justice Ginsberg’s passing and lift myself out of this feeling of weariness and fear for this Country, it is clear to me that many of us take for granted the democracy we enjoy. It is my deepest hope that we all understand that blood shed to build and preserve this democracy. Throughout history those in the vanguard fighting to expand freedom’s franchise to minorities, women, sexual minorities and others did so while jeopardizing their jobs, income, careers, and yes lives. Freedom’s fighters believed so much in democracy they gave 100 percent to preserve and expand it. On November 3rd, we can say “thank you” by voting.

My brief hour or so in the Ginsberg meeting was magical. She pointed to the pictures of early American leaders and discussed how they shaped our country. Justice Ginsberg discussed modern day decisions of the Court. It was a very good day. As I meditate on her life my sense of weariness eases because she left us the gift of determination and perseverance. I believe in this Country and our constitutional democracy. I remain determined to continue working to make it better for everyone.


National Hispanic Heritage Month

Celebrating National Hispanic Heritage Month

Dear Community,

 

I want to take a moment to recognize Hispanic Heritage Month. As I am sure you all know, the diverse Hispanic and Latinx communities across the country and here in Florida are reshaping and contributing mightily to the American experience.

By 2020, Hispanics/Latinx will comprise the majority of new household formations. Approximately 60% of our clients are Hispanic/Latinx, and whether they have been here in South Florida for four days or forever, we are here to serve them. Our mission is to elevate communities often left out of mainstream opportunities like housing, jobs, health care.

This will be an exciting and challenging time serving the Hispanic community, as many are disproportionality affected by COVID 19. But the excitement is in the financial growth and empowerment of the community as Hispanic/Latinx people will comprise 56 percent of all new homebuyers by 2030, according to the Urban Institute.

And in many ways, I can thank my career to a Latino man my mother introduced me to as I entered college. He stated something I never forgot when he said, “I am a housing developer. I get to do what I love, make good money, and help my community”. Until then, I always thought doing good meant not doing well financially.

There is a lesson in his wisdom for NHSSF as well: Our capacity to help our communities and build sustainability for the agency. And while I am going down memory lane, I have also been inspired by former Secretary of HUD Henry Cisneros, who is widely credited with championing policies to increase homeownership!

So how do we recognize this month? You can support small Hispanic/Latinx owned businesses. Encourage your Hispanic/Latinx friends and family to build wealth through home and business ownership. Read and understand the history, contributions, and promise of diverse Hispanic/Latinx communities all across the United States.

Reflect on the ideal that together, we are stronger. Happy National Hispanic Heritage Month to all!

 

Best,

Kimberly T. Henderson

CEO and President of NHSSF

 


The Jean family stands in front of their new home that was purchased with the help of Neighborhood Housing Services of South Florida

Hands-on your dream!

Eddie and Marie Jean were referred to me by my colleague Gigi, housing counselor at NHSSF, back in March, when the pandemic was beginning. From that moment on, I practiced a hands-on approach, guiding them through the process of buying a house, their first house, which today they could finally enjoy. I am so happy for them.”

 

That’s how John Neal, one of our Loan Officers, recalls his first meeting with the Jean family. Eddie and Marie Jean took a conventional mortgage with us, thanks to which they could purchase their first home in the city of North Miami.

It was not their first time dealing with a lending partner; months before meeting John Neal, they had a pre-approval and were looking for a suitable place that they could call home.

I learned about the company from the Miami-Dade County homebuyer program. Looking to buy a house, I saw NHSSF was a participating mortgage broker,” says Eddie when asking how he got to hear from us.

Being a full-cycle lender allows us, as John Neal points out, to accompany first homebuyers throughout the process: “[Eddie] needed someone who would hold his hand through the whole financing process—making sure that he got an answer to all his questions. Someone that he felt comfortable with. Someone he could communicate with. He loved the communication. I helped him understand the loan he was getting, while also making him feel confident that they were getting a good deal.

For the Jean family, the process of buying their first home entails a “positive step“, and as Eddie says, “owning a home pays dividends later in life.” That’s why Eddie encourages those who want to fulfill their dream of buying a house “go for it!“. We at NHSSF are ready to hold your hand until you open the door of your new home.

 

NHSSF Lending Department (NMLS# 291479) offers a comprehensive set of lending options included as an integral part of our one-stop-shop. Our experienced lending team is here to help you:

  • Make informed, unbiased decisions
  • Purchase a home you can afford and keep
  • Provide loans that are safe and competitive

For inquiries, please contact us at 305-751-5511 or send an email to info@nhssf.org.