TAMPA, Fla. (WFLA) – Two Tampa Bay Latino-led organizations are doing their part to break down the economic and financial disparities minority communities face in Hillsborough and Pinellas counties.
The wealth gap, health disparities, or racial inequality are issues many minority communities face daily. The organizations, Enterprising Latinas and Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay, are doing their part to help limit these problem.
Enterprising Latinas was founded by Liz Gutierrez. Her organization focuses on helping Latina women in the Wimauma area.
“Unfortunately the wage and wealth gap is greater for Latina than it is for other women and we are very concerned about issues of poverty and we are very concerned about women not having the tools to be able to prosper,” Gutierrez said.
Wimauma is a city in Hillsborough county where 76% of the population is Latino. Also, 45% of the population lives in poverty.
“We want to shift these statistics,” Gutierrez said. “It’s not okay.”
Her organization provides economic opportunities to Latinas to pursue their personal and economic goals. She hosts trainings to teach new skills and tools that lead to entrepreneurial careers. Her organization is based out of the Wimauma Opportunity Center.
In 2019, Gutierrez received a $200,000 grant from Bank of America’s Neighborhood Builder’s Program. That grant has helped fund improving the physical infrastructure to the Wimauma Opportunity Center, as well as fund the training support in coaching for economic mobility.
Jose Garcia, the founder of Rebuilding Together Tampa Bay, received the grant as well.
Garcia’s organization repairs and builds homes for families in need. He helps low-income families across the Bay area. However, with the grant, he expanded his team to help low-income homeowners in the Lealman area.
“It is much more than just going with a hammer and a nail to just repair the nails,” Garcia said. “It’s about more than that. We don’t just want to stay with the one family forever, we want to help the next family, the next person, the next homeowner.”
The two organizations continue to help and break barriers for minorities across the Bay area. If you are in need of services from Enterprising Latinas, click here. If you are in need of services or looking for more information about RTTB, click here.