Double Wide Dudes Podcast

How LISC works to impact Affordable Housing and Healthy Communities

This week, we chat with Leilah Powell, the Executive Director of LISC in San Antonio, about what LISC does locally and nationally to support communities through affordable housing and other programs. LISC’s Mission is “Together with residents and partners, we forge resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America–great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families.”

The following transcript is lightly edited for clarity purposes.

Intro: Hey look, it’s the Double Wide Dudes!

Alberto Piña: All right, all right. Welcome back to another episode of the Doublewide Dudes. Today, I’m joined by another San Antonio native, Miss Leilah Powell. Thanks for joining us.

Leilah Powell: I am so happy to be here, and you pronounced my name correctly which is fabulous, so I’m thrilled. Thank you for inviting me.

Alberto Piña: I got to tell you, when you call to tell us you were parking, we were discussing, is it Leilah or Layla? And then you told them, and they’re like “All right, now we got it. We’re off to the races.”

Leilah Powell: Excellent.

Alberto Piña: For our listeners, Leilah holds a master’s degree in Community and Regional Planning from UT School of Architecture, a bachelor’s from Stanford University, and she served as the chief of policy for two mayors, worked for the San Antonio Housing Trust and has a lot of just additional experience in community development, particularly in the affordable housing space. So, a lot of talk about, I’m excited to have you. For starters, for our listeners, can you explain what LISC is, and what y’all are trying to do there?

Leilah Powell: Sure. LISC is a national organization. We have offices in 37 cities across the United States, and we’ve been around for about 40 years and LISC stands for Local Initiative Support Corporation. So our goal at LISC is to support individuals, families, and neighborhoods in realizing their aspirations in creating for themselves places where they want to live, work, play, learn. And our goal here in San Antonio has always been to work with partners to build capacity for the construction of affordable housing, to expand economic development efforts, particularly at the grassroots level, and to advocate for policy changes, that benefit those two other issues I was just talking about.

Alberto Piña: Very cool. And I know we’ve talked a lot on this podcast about just the need for more inventory to really address this crisis that we’re all going through as a country. In terms of San Antonio, specifically, from your perspective, what’s the outlook of the affordable housing crisis in our city here?

Leilah Powell: So, I think there are a couple of different, well, more than a couple, a number of different factors that are interwoven to make today’s market particularly difficult, particularly for first-time buyers or buyers who have a lower income. And we know that the level of inventory for single family is at an all-time low. We know that we have seen increasing prices on the construction side, particularly with materials. And we also have a labor shortage right now. So the folks we work with on the mortgage side, even the appraisers, they are busy from dawn till dusk, but because prices are escalating, we think that although the market offers great opportunities, particularly for sellers, if you’ve got other places to go that for first-time buyers, it’s difficult.

And I’ll also say that we know in San Antonio and across the country, it’s not unique to us that BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People Of Color) buyers or Hispanic or black buyers are more likely to have lower net wealth, lower assets and getting in, in a really hot market with when they have less liquidity to start with is especially challenging for a BIPOC homeowner who wants to be a first-time homeowner. So, because it’s a significant percentage of our population, that’s another challenge that we’re addressing in San Antonio.

Alberto Piña: Yeah. Well, and a lot of people know that your home is your first piggy bank and, for our customers, we know we’re building probably their first and only piggy bank, and it’s a big responsibility on our shoulders, but a big part of that is breaking out of that cycle of poverty and having something to pass down to help the next generation purchase their house, or kind of level up on the financial spectrum there. LISC talks a lot about affordable housing and economic development, specifically as the keys to breaking that poverty cycle. From your perspective, how do these affect the cycle and how do solutions to those problems help solve that cycle?

Leilah Powell: So, they’re interwoven in some complex ways. Housing stability is a huge predictor of success and good outcomes and other areas of life. So, for example, if you talk to someone who’s responsible for overseeing hospital discharges, and you talk to them about what the key indicator is, whether someone’s going to be readmitted or not, housing stability is right up there. So it impacts our health. It impacts our mental health, our behavioral health, and certainly for families who are continually having to move the uncertainty can also really impact, for example, a child’s educational attainment. If you’re moving from school to school every year and you don’t have a stable place to be, then that’s another factor that you have to cope with. So it’s not just that housing allows us to accumulate assets. It’s that being in a stable housing situation allows us to succeed in so many other ways.

And then, at the same time, as you had mentioned, we have in this country often promoted really for almost a hundred years, the idea of the home, and owning real property as being the primary vehicle through which folks accumulate assets. Now I’ll just put a little asterisk on that because we do have systemic racism in this country. And because black and brown buyers were steered away from certain neighborhoods, we know that lower income and black and brown families have benefited less from home ownership than white middle-class or affluent buyers. And so, although I think it’s a good strategy. We need to make sure that we scaffold that strategy with addressing issues like the appraisal gap. If an appraiser comes into your house and sees of a black family member that can reduce the value of your home in that appraiser’s eyes. So until we can stop things like that, until we can better regulate some of these practices, we’re not getting all we can out of the system for everyone who participates in it.

Alberto Piña: Yeah. Well, a lot of people know we’ve got fair housing laws today, but those are relatively new. The first one wasn’t passed until after Dr. King passed away, I think the week right after that, but a lot of things to change and get better other than just building more houses, inventory is definitely a big part of that too, with supply and demand. The demands all time high and supply, as a home builder, all of this stuff you just mentioned, we are living in real time right now. And we know that probably a little too well. How can the government policies help with this and increasing affordable housing availability?

Leilah Powell: So, there are some things that San Antonio already does pretty well. I think we have a development services department that is trying to streamline the regulatory context that developers work within. And I think we also have a couple other, probably lesser well-known things that we do here. One is that we already allow in every single family zone neighborhood, unless it’s prevented by covenants, or deed restrictions, we already allow people to convert a garage to an apartment, or have a Casita or another unit in their backyard. And that is a real advantage to, well, to the whole community, actually. It’s a source of income for a home buyer. So it allows some of those folks who may not quite have the income, or other resources to write into a mortgage, will I be getting income from this other source. Although again, we probably got to talk about appraisers and mortgage lenders, if we want to make sure that that works the way it should, but it also allows you, say, you’re just graduated from college and you don’t quite have that position lined up yet.

But you can come home and live with your mom in the backyard. It allows your tia to move in for a little while when she needs a place to go when she’s ill. And we really want to encourage it. I think also because it builds up density in our communities. One of the things that the kind of tensions we have in a lot of neighborhoods is that they were designed for a very spread out kind of car dependent lifestyle. And you talk to a lot of younger folks today, they don’t necessarily want to drive everywhere. They want to be able mass transit tip, they want to get on a bus. They want to get on a train. Well, the way San Antonio is designed, you have some neighborhoods where you’ve got four houses per acre, you are never going to get a hip coffee shop on the corner with four houses per acre. It’s just not going to happen. So the more we talk about how we can bring density back to some more suburban neighborhoods and density kind of makes people freak out, they think, “Oh, there’s something threatening about that.”

But there’s a big difference in Portland, for example, when they really went on an all out a promotion campaign for ADU’s, they found that about a fifth or a quarter of all those units were not being rented to strangers. It was friends of the family, it was family members, and that’s a really different experience. Instead of thinking about increasing the density of your neighborhood, think about making your family bigger or your circle of friends bigger. And so I think there are some advantages that we have in San Antonio with already allowing that kind of activity that can add units to stock. I also want to challenge people to think about how we can house people without necessarily adding units. There are tens of thousands of empty bedrooms in San Antonio. And at the same time, there are tens of thousands of people who have found out during the past 15 months that it’s not great to be alone all the time.

We think nothing of it when a 22 year old who’s just graduated from college, says, Hey, I found some roommates and we’re renting this house. But if your grandmother did that, you’d think, “Whoa, grandma.” Like, is that safe? Well, yeah. We have online services, like Nesterly, for example, that allow people with similar interests to connect. And instead of having a four bedroom house that’s mostly empty, you can have a roommate who share similar interests and provides both companionship and kind of cuts down on that isolation. So it’s not going to be one solution. It’s going to be a whole bunch of solutions that help us move forward.

Alberto Piña: Yeah. And I think, one of these things that’s coming at us real quick, that doesn’t get talked about as much as is downsizing baby boomers and the affordable housing crisis that’s about to hit them, even if they own their home, taxes are not free. And Bear County recently raised them quiet quite significantly, right? So having an ADU behind say grandma and grandpa’s house allows them to possibly generate income to offset taxes. Social security isn’t a ton of money, it’s not designed to be. At the same time, I think it allows for families to allow their aging parents to have a quality of life be on their own, but be close enough to where they can be cared for that kind of thing. And for the most part the ADU’s that I’ve seen and seen talked about, they’re used for those purposes, or…

Especially at a time like, COVID, I think everybody’s got a family member that had some hard times and maybe not having to worry about a house for six months to a year could mean all the difference in somebody rebounding and bouncing right back. We talked about it briefly, but a big part of what’s driving this affordable housing is a full on crisis, at this point, I would say is just a lack of supply. Builders have still not fully recovered from the 07′, 08′ kind of shut down in building, and those that have, are building on the higher end of the economic spectrum there. What are some ways that an increase in supply in the starter home, the affordable housing space, how does that help or impact this issue?

Leilah Powell: Yeah, I think that’s a critical point you just made, say you are building in the under 200,000 range, which that’s a pretty small number of folks right now in San Antonio. You have trouble keeping your crews because someone else can pull them off to work on something in Stone Oak, and you are continually having to a small bump in prices that can be accommodated in a half million dollar home are going to make a much bigger difference in maybe bumping your buyer out of their qualifying range. So there’s just less wiggle room at the lower end of the price scale. And then of course the increase in land prices and I’ll give the county a little bit of, I used to work for the county. I worked for Bear County. I worked for the city and for the county.

And, of course, the reason our property taxes are so high in Texas is that we do not have an income tax. So if you look at just our property tax burden, we are one of the top 10 states in the country for property tax burden. But looking at the overall tax burden, we’re more in the middle of the pack, but you pay your property taxes once a year. And you write that big check. And some of the other types of funding mechanisms that are used in other places, and that actually are utilized for production of affordable housing. For example, there’s a real estate transfer tax in a lot of states, but that is something that the legislature has explicitly said, “We can’t utilize that mechanism in Texas”, similarly for inclusionary zoning. In some places, when you build a subdivision of upper end homes, you have to include some units that will be affordable to a buyer of more modest means.

And that tool is also not at the disposal of communities in Texas. So and I worked for the county, we always used to joke that we wanted to create a bunch of lower level jurisdictions, that we could just pass a lot of obligations on to, with no funding source, because that would make it easier for counties, and cities. But so you talked about what are the things that we can do right now that can address some of this crisis. And I think we need to be a little more flexible in our thinking about what constitutes a home. In a lot of communities across the country, we do a lot more with condo ownership, and I want to address straight off that there are issues there with maintenance, and long-term management, but there are tools can put in place.

For example, in some major cities, nonprofit, or co-op groups that own condo properties belong to an asset management entity that handles a lot of the technical and long-term property management issues for them, so that they do what they do well, which is creating that cohesive sense of community, and providing the amenities that make living in a smaller building more attractive. And meanwhile, we can be sure that the mechanical, and structural issues are, are getting addressed. So I think there’s a really interesting tool called a community land trust. And coming from the image world, you may be familiar with a group called ROC (Resident Owned Community) that that helps folks transition into ownership of their land after they’ve been renting for years with an older, maybe not MH, in that case, maybe actually a mobile unit in those cases, right? So, there’s some structures like that for single family construction, where the land is owned perpetually by a co-op or a nonprofit.

So, and the owner of the single family home owns just the home. Now that allows them to build an asset. It allows them to have something to pass along to their kids, but it does a couple other things. One, it ensures that the entry point, the price point is going to be much lower because you don’t own the property. And second, it ensures that there are restrictions that mean that, that a home will never be sold to someone who’s just going to speculate and, and run up prices that it will always be available for a family of modest means. And I think that those kinds of tools actually, we’ve got a couple little nascent starting community land trusts, but they can be used for commercial districts for example, they can be used for agricultural areas. They really help preserve the character of a community, and the people who’ve lived there for a long time, but they give them a chance to share in the formation of the asset.

And that’s what you’re doing, right? When you put a house on the ground, you’re creating an asset for someone. And so we want to take all the steps we can to make sure that the people who’ve lived in this community and lived in neighborhoods for decades or hundreds of years, in some cases, share in that value creation. They don’t want their neighborhoods to be characterized as low income. They don’t want to have to drive somewhere else to go out to a nice white tablecloth meal when they’re celebrating an anniversary. They want the good stuff everybody has, but they don’t want to be displaced from their neighborhood on the way to getting that.

Alberto Piña: Yeah, it’s a tough challenge for sure. It’s definitely not a one size fits all. As one of those builders that I would say the vast 90, 95% of what we built in that sub $200 thousand dollar price point, we see a need in our city, and we feel like we can solve it. I think zoning in a lot of cases keeps us away from, from solving that challenge. But in your email, you’d mentioned manufactured housing in ADU’s for our audiences, accessory dwelling units, basically tiny homes in somebody’s backyard. But what do you see about the manufactured home product that makes it maybe more suited today to help address that need in our communities than it has in the past?

Leilah Powell: So, I want to address a couple of things about manufactured housing that I think are particularly relevant right now at this point in history. First of all, manufactured housing can be more environmentally responsible than site-built housing. And because you’re building in controlled conditions, there’s less waste. And I don’t want to necessarily focus on one product. There are lots of products out there that are probably an advantage over conventional stick-built, and the more aggressive we can be about examining our codes, and making sure that we’re allowing everything from what could be a better self-help product, for example, hay bale construction, or rammed earth construction, which are also very energy efficient because of the high R value, the high insulating value of those types of wall structures. The more that we can innovate and allow new products in the more we can get away from the argument I often hear, which is, “well, there’s a floor to construction costs”, and we’re just not going to be able to make housing more affordable by innovating around construction costs.

And I think that if we want to stick to the idea that the American dream is a detached, single-family home on a lot, then that may be true, but the American dream really isn’t about a thing. It’s about opportunity, right? It’s about creating opportunities for our kids to do better than we did. And it’s also an idea about what kind of communities we build together. So I think it’s totally in keeping to say that the American dream doesn’t have to be a picket fence and a little Cape Cod box. It can be a courtyard with tiny homes around it. It can be a co-op community where people start small and build on their own. I had someone tell me once, “Well, self-help, doesn’t really work because a lot of people don’t really know how to work on their homes.”

And I said, “Who do you think is building all those homes in Stone Oak? I mean, it’s not like they’re appearing overnight from like elves.” We have a lot of people with solid skills in this community. And so all of those models should be on the table. MH should be on the table. As you said, when a lot of people think about manufactured housing, they’re not up to date with what the standards are in the industry right now. And there will always be a place for site-built. And even we were talking earlier, you want to put an ADU behind someone’s house, you may not have the access to put in an existing structure. Even if it’s only 400 square feet, you may need to do something, or you may want to do a conversion of a building that’s already there, but we’ve got to open up our minds and see that as many different needs as there are, we need to be supporting different solutions.

That’s one of the problems right now, you just graduated, and you got your first job and the product that’s out there is okay, single family, suburban house, or maybe a townhouse, and that’s it. There’s no way to get a toehold into the market any other way. And you’re right about zoning. Minimum lot sizes, minimum house sizes, those keep people out. So, more flexibility in those codes. And as I said, San Antonio does have some… They have like a bungalow court ordinance that would allow some of that product to be built right now. We haven’t taken advantage of it as much as we should.

Alberto Piña: Yeah. That’s new to me. So, maybe that’s something even I need to get on, get together on after this. But I was guilty of this 13 years ago. I almost didn’t show up to my interview, because I had no idea what these were. I just knew what I thought they were. And I didn’t want sell trailers, but just like everything in the world now, one, these are built in the factory, like everything else we use, but it’s come such a long way with increases of technology. And they just look like what I think most people consider a regular old house.

Leilah Powell: And that’s one of our goals, actually. It’s been on our work plan for about a year and a half, but we’ve been holding off because of COVID, we’ve actually been talking. We rent an office space. It’s just south of downtown. And the office is a converted home, built at the turn of the 19th to 20th centuries, but we’ve got this great big backyard. And we talked to our landlord and we said, “We want to put, we’ll pay. We want to put an ADU back there. And we want to use a park model, an MH product, because we want people to come see it. We want them to step in and feel it and not to do the bouncy thing”, they’re like, “Oh!” You know. And to look at the design of it and say, “Okay, this is completely compatible even in a historic district, where we are, this is compatible.”

And we said we’ll run all the traps with the zoning. And with the fact that we’re commercially zoned actually, and with the historic district designation, because we want to show that this is a less expensive solution to producing new units in housing. And I’m not in any way arguing against rehab of existing structures, because there are some great old homes out there that will last for another hundred years. But in some cases we’re spending up into the six figures on owner occupied rehab. We’re providing 40 to $50,000 of subsidy on multi-family construction. What about giving a $40,000 grant to a homeowner and saying, “Put an ADU in your backyard.” And it won’t even take up… It’s not a long drawn out process because we can have one there in a few weeks, right? So, we’ve kind of not explored some of those options just because of those prejudices and preconceptions that you were talking about. And we want to tear some of those down, have people walk through and go, “Yeah, I could see myself living here.”

Alberto Piña: Yeah. One of our colleagues had a book that, I think it was called Shelter. And it was just showing homes since the beginning of humanity and these two, three, 400,000 square foot homes, that’s pretty new. If you look back before the eighties, it was single family homes that were 1500, 1000 square foot. And along the way, we all had tiny homes that moved all over the place. That’s how we all got here.

Leilah Powell: I just want to comment on that. I think it’s really interesting if you look at, and LISC is producing a guidebook on ADU’s, and there’s a little chart in there that I love that shows the increase in square footage, per person in the conventional American single family house. And it’s more than tripled over the past 60 years. And at the same time housing units, the size of families is also is dropping. We have more and more people living alone. 125 years ago, less than 5% of everyone in the country lived by themselves. Nobody lived by themselves. One in 25 people, one in 30 people right? Now, it’s almost a quarter of all Americans live alone. And yet we still have this picture in our mind of what home is.

So, let’s start rethinking what home can be and make it more accessible, literally accessible financially, but also literally accessible, you mentioned someone who wanted to age in place. If you’ve got a great big old two story thing with lots of stairs and narrow doorways, why not build an accessible unit in your backyard to everything you want. And then if you have mobility, impairments or other restrictions, you move back there. You don’t have to find a new neighborhood, but you’ve got the perfect amount of space for one person, and then you can have family or someone else in the other unit. We just need to be a lot more flexible in how we think about what home is.

Alberto Piña: Yeah. That’s well said, and especially you look at the two biggest generations right now, downsizing baby boomers, have different needs than they did when they were raising kids. And entry-level millennials are slower to have families. And, and I didn’t realize the number of people by themselves was that large, but that that’s it’s a quarter of the population that the traditional house does not fit what they need, right? At LISC, you all make big loans to big companies. How does that address the need, or create more affordable housing? How does all that work?

Leilah Powell: So LISC is what’s called a CDFI, a community development financial institution, and we’re one of the largest in the country. And so we actually make a very broad range of loans. So right now we are actively working on three loans to single family builders, none of which is going to be bigger than half a million dollars. But LISC, as an entity, has made loans in the $10 to $20 million range. So let me outline a little bit where that kind of comes in. LISC can be a partner in a project that may be unconventional, or that may have additional layers of risk. And we’re not going to be the folks who are doing a typical subdivision or a downtown office building because there’s conventional financing available for that kind of product. But for example, in DC, we worked on a project that was developed by a consortium of nonprofit groups.

And in that one building, which was multi-story it’s district of Columbia, much different than here. And in that one building, they had a medical clinic, they had a SRO, single room occupancy, for folks who’d been experiencing homelessness. They had small units for families who’d been experiencing homelessness. They had market rate housing, and they had office space for nonprofits and medical office space. So essentially they were putting together lots of different types of uses. And that type of project can be a little bit difficult to find financing for, right? Particularly if some of the funding is coming from grants and you’re embarking on a fundraising campaign. And so I think one of the things that LISC has also done well in our market is doing what we call bridge lending. So, maybe you have a a plan for development of a larger parcel.

You’re acquiring it. You’re trying to get towards how do we put maybe some market rate housing on this site, but also supportive housing. So, housing that comes along with different kinds of services, maybe that includes having a daycare on that site, right? So while we very much believe that nonprofits are an essential part of our work, and that nonprofits are the way that people in community come together to accomplish their goals, real estate development requires a lot of expertise. And we definitely believe that there are times when it’s being a partner in a joint venture, or it’s being the service provider, mapping out what your client’s needs are so that they can be met in a project. That’s also a valid role for a nonprofit. There’s an interesting thing that’s been going on in this country recently with COVID. And I understand where it’s coming from, but kind of like demonizing developers and landlords that it’s the builder’s fault that the home is so expensive, and that landlords who want to collect rent, that that’s like a bad thing.

But when the depths of COVID and the recession hit us, we didn’t tell people, go to HEB and just take what you need, right? We ramped up the food bank. We made new pathways for people to access, and the community came together and supported that it’s a different thing to just say to the private sector, “Well, you need to make what you’ve worked hard for available at no cost to someone.” Say, you’re a small outfit. Maybe you have a five-plex and you live in one of the units, the situation for the past 15 months, year and a half has been really hard on a lot of those folks. And they may not be for-profits.

They may be folks who’ve built trying to build up a retirement or pass some asset along to their kids, but that’s kind of what we’re in the business of, right? Is supporting the community and creating those assets. And so I think that it’s important to distinguish that we’re not just working with nonprofits, that there are for-profit developers, and builders who everyone who lives in a house or lives in a multi-family building owes that to a developer. And we maybe lose sight of that a little bit, because they’re an essential part of the system.

Alberto Piña: Yeah. I saw a community, I think it was in Arizona, that was about to get built. Everything was going to be within five minutes, restaurant, a little grocery store. It was all tiny homes, and it was developed to be a car-less community. I thought it was the coolest thing I’d ever seen. And when we’re speaking with Dr. Plauche, that’s a project y’all help with?

Leilah Powell: Yes.

Alberto Piña: Okay. Such a cool project, and very excited to see that going on in our city. But in a lot of ways, that’s what they’re building. It’s a self-contained community where you’ve got a hospital they’ve got the help they need. And she specifically talked about the need for housing to help someone get past a medical issue. If you’re having to go back under the bridge, after you come out of surgery, you’re probably going to end up right back there. And so many different things get better when people have a stable roof over their head. How can people learn more about what y’all do and get information on either supporting or partnering with your organization?

Leilah Powell: Sure, and LISC has a national website All of you can look at all of our local offices and at San Antonio there learn about our local board, learn about our programming. We have reports and updates. So, if you’d like to look at a recovery plan for COVID, there’s one on there with regard to what types of housing investments could help us move forward. So I would recommend that. Email me. Seriously. If anyone wants to get in touch with me, I would love to talk with you about what we do. And you mentioned Dr. Chris, one of the things that LISC is really charged with doing from some of our local funders, and I want to call some of those folks out. The city of San Antonio has been a huge partner for us, the San Antonio Area Foundation, Methodist Healthcare Ministries, and a lot of lenders.

So, Frost Bank, Broadway Bank, Bank of America, of course, now I’ve started down this. I should mention everybody. I’m going to leave somebody off. I just hope they’re not a listener, but we’re charged with building that capacity with going out there, and advocating for changes in policy with helping groups like Dr. Chris’s get their 501C3 status with helping them build up their boards, and do development planning. And those are all things we offer trainings at no cost to participants around everything from reading financial statements to how do you operationalize equity? Like that’s a big one we’re doing in September. From LISC’s perspective, that, and from the perspective of our funders, that’s our job is to find the folks who want to do the good things and, well, local, initiative, support. Find the local, initiatives and support them.

So, my email address is just L Powell, L, P-O-W-E-L-L at LISC, We are really excited about what we’re seeing now in the community with groups that came together for like mutual support and mutual help, and that are taking steps to be a little more organized, and to continue their work. We saw, for example, I just spoke with someone who’s working on native trees and he said, “Look, my big thing is we should have fruit trees and we should have nut trees, and we should be promoting these native trees. We should have tree cover in lower-income neighborhoods. And we should have fruiting trees so that we can increase the food supply, and we should be promoting the local indigenous ecosystem.” And that’s the kind of thing that, although it doesn’t sound like it’s related to what we’ve been talking about, it is absolutely related because it allows people to build communities that meet their needs.

Maybe it’s not just the coffee shop on the corner. Maybe it’s being able to grow some of your own food. Maybe it’s being able to connect with your cultural traditions because you have some continuity there, so we support a wide range of groups also in the economic development sphere. So we have a collaborative of business development organizations, BDO’s, that work pretty much exclusively with micro enterprises and entrepreneurs. And our goal is to do cut some of the back office stuff for them and let them go out and build relationships. Because one thing we know over the past 15 months or so is that resources can be out there, but if people don’t trust, they don’t have a relationship of trust, they probably won’t take advantage of them. Think about vaccines, think about PPP loans, and other types of emergency assistance. If you didn’t have someone walk you through some of that stuff, you’re reluctant, maybe, you’re hesitant. So, what nonprofits can do is they can build those relationships of trust and introduce people to so many opportunities for themselves and their families to flourish.

Alberto Piña: That’s awesome. Well, we’ll be sure to put the website, her email, all the ways that you can look into what they’re doing, email her to learn more, we’ll be sure to put all that in the show notes. Well, I learned a tremendous amount and it was awesome to have you on here. Thanks again. And maybe in the next podcast a year down the road, that joint partnership we’re announcing on some awesome project in San Antonio who knows?

Leilah Powell: I would love to do that. Let’s yeah, we can have a meeting without microphones. Work out some of the details.

Alberto Piña: That sounds good. All right. Well, as always, thanks for tuning in, and we’ll catch you on the next one.

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