The Urban Community Center

The Urban Ground Breaking Recap

Infused with art, music, culture, and special events; The Urban is a welcomed experience to all who visit. Neighbors greet neighbors. Visitors take in the culture. Old friends make new friends, as people mix and mingle over food and drinks.

Anchored by a restaurant and centralized bar, The Urban will be the new destination for food enthusiasts looking for a truly local, food market experience. Soulfully curated menu items and craft cocktails will be named after Miami pioneers, trailblazers and historic landmarks to add an extra special touch. Those looking for unique finds can shop at any of the local retail vendors selling handmade goods and handpicked items. Special events and live music will provide the perfect vibe for guests of The Urban to create new memories right in the heart of Overtown.

District Partnership Initiative

The Historic Overtown Folklife District is within an emerging neighborhood and premier location with excellent opportunities as a Transit Oriented Development. The District area is an assemblage of approximately 25-acres with close proximity to some of the largest employers in the region, to include: two major colleges; major hospitals and a medical research institute; arts and entertainment, sports arena venues within blocks, the Miami Performing Arts Center; along with immediate access to Interstate 95, major roadway arterials, railway facilities and other forms of public transportation.

Redeveloped primarily high-density mixed-use (residential, commercial/retail), the District will evolve as a mixed-income housing community, offering a variety of affordable housing choices, including loft housing for artists, along with attractive ground floor shops and businesses. Education is also part of this comprehensive plan, as the DPI association will also work with local colleges and universities training students in business, architecture, hotel management, historic preservation, and marketing.

The DPI proposed implementation strategy for the community estimates approximately 2,800 housing units, and more than 500,000 square feet of commercial retail to be a viable opportunity. Build-out investment for the proposed redevelopment is estimated at $628 million.

Further, collectively DPI maintains several strategically located properties within the District. In collaboration with developable land-owners, DPI will continue to play a major role in the planning and visioning of this historic community.

The District Partnership Initiative sees this as an opportunity to create a well designed implementation strategy for sustainable community redevelopment that will result in a major investment to include a strong commercial and retail business environment, supported by a healthy combination of market-rate and affordable housing, and improved transit and green space development.

Development Implementation Program Highlights

  • District Partners will lead physical redevelopment and landholdings will be developed as a mixed-income housing community, offering a variety of attainable housing choices that are environmentally responsible, including loft housing for artists, along with attractive ground floor shops and businesses.
  • This “Main Street” neighborhood with a unique live/work community close to the downtown core, with ethnic restaurants, boutique hotels, neighborhood retail, annual street festivals and events becomes the magnet for attracting tourism.
  • Public Art is enjoyed by pedestrian friendly walking places and Transit Oriented Development, and secured by the support of a 24-hour neighborhood.
  • Support the “Arts in Public Spaces” creation of an artisan village to bring about a greater awareness of the neighborhood’s past and present cultural creativity, and to develop youth programs/internships consistent with the concept of an arts educational institute.
  • Education also plays a role with an emphasis on the cultural arts, in partnership with local colleges and universities the community will enjoy access to higher education in business, architecture, hotel management, historic preservation, and marketing.
  • Finally, it is anticipated that this effort will create a momentum that expands well beyond the District boundaries and encourage revitalization throughout the entire Overtown community.

Initially, with the benefit of foundation and corporate support, DPI intends to continue to lead the redevelopment effort with the hire of personnel, consultants, and other professionals; all brought together to facilitate a program that supports comprehensive complimentary, and non-competitive implementation of District revitalization.

Overtown Business Boot Camp

Presented by: Urban Philanthropies in partnership with Partners for Self Employment

Financial Literacy Training and Business Plan Competition

Urban Philanthropies has teamed up with the Partners for Self Employment to provide Entrepreneurial and Financial Literacy Training, combined with peer-evaluated business loans of up to $5,000, to be granted to selected future business owners to assist in a successful Overtown startup.

Peer group members, who all serve as officers in the group, will make lending decisions collectively. This collaborative method of inclusion empowers participants who might have previously felt marginalized or lacked the confidence to take on a leadership role. Peer-to-peer support and networking ·opportunities will also be provided. The Peer Lending Program requires no credit or collateral and is available to qualified residents of Broward, Miami-Dade, and Monroe Counties.

Two Boot Camp Meet and Greet Networkers will be held to present initiative details and accept applications from South Florida aspiring business owners who are willing to commit to the 12-week curriculum.

Some of the Curriculum Courses include developing a business strategy, basic cash flow, marketing and customer research, and the development of a marketing strategy.

After classroom completion, participants will present business plans and compete for $20,000 to start their business in the Overtown community, with guidance from Urban Philanthropies.

“Our work, our hope, and our dream for Overtown are embedded in your success! Now is your time to get going.- To move; your family, and your dream ahead. This boot camp will equip you with the knowledge you need and some capital to get you going.

We’re on your side! Be strong and we both will succeed.”

– Phillip Bacon, Former President, Urban Philanthropies.

Networking sessions will be held Thursday, September 17th, and Thursday, September 24th, from 6 pm to 8 pm at Jackson’s Soul Food, 950 NW 3rd Ave Miami, Fl 33136.

Initially, with the benefit of foundation and corporate support, DPI intends to continue to lead the redevelopment effort with the hire of personnel, consultants, and other professionals; all brought together to facilitate a program that supports comprehensive complimentary, and non-competitive implementation of District revitalization.

Advocacy and Rent Subsidy Program

Urban Philanthropies has taken a stand against wholesale gentrification in Overtown as a result of public and private investments in and around Overtown. We have proposed a rent subsidy program to the Community Reinvestment Agency (CRA) and are working to organize a group of banks to pledge renovation loans to landlords within critical pockets of resident housing in Overtown. These loans would be supported by CRA subsidies that ensure rents at HUD market rate levels in support of renovation loans. In the meantime, Urban Philanthropies rescued and relocated 5 elderly households from a dilapidated property at 1034 NW 3rd avenue. We currently have committed to subsidize these households through 2017 at a cost of $1800 per month. Without this assistance, these Overtown residents would be living in unsafe conditions, unable to afford decent housing.

Pitch Night

Urban Philanthropies is hosting its Pitch Night at Venture Cafe Miami Thursday Night Gatherings to help businesses in Miami’s Overtown community thrive. Join in on the festivities and support your local entrepreneurs competing for grant money in front of a panel of esteemed Judges. The capstone event for the Overtown Business Bootcamp is featured above. The event is being hosted by the Venture Cafe as part of the Cambridge Innovative Center’s (CIC) “community of entrepreneurs” program in Miami. Urban Philanthropies has partnered with CIC’s nonprofit subsidiary (Venture cafe) to spotlight and present would-be entrepreneurs specifically focused on Overtown. The venture cafe Miami’s mission is aligned with Urban Philanthropies to enhance and grow Miami’s innovation community by working to make it more diverse, inclusive, accessible and better connected, locally, nationally, and internationally. We believe this partnership will help bring innovative businesses to Overtown to help job creation and create economic activity and promote quality of life for residents

Financial Literacy

Urban Philanthropies’ financial literacy workshops provide information on how to save and invest wisely, understand personal credit, build wealth, and avoid excessive debt.
Today, Americans face high levels of consumer debt, low savings rates, and growing bankruptcy rates, particularly in urban areas.
These problems have raised concerns among policymakers and community leaders about the inadequacy of financial literacy among the U.S. population, particularly low-income and young people, and the impact of this lack of financial literacy on the ability of Americans to manage their finances, accumulate wealth and build assets.
Compounding this issue is the growing reliance of American consumers on non-mainstream financial services (such as pay-day lenders and check cashers), which is resulting in the proliferation of predatory lenders and other high-risk institutions in low-income communities.
Financial education programs are essential to help people develop positive savings habits and accumulate assets to put them on a pathway to financial stability. The audience for this class are residents who are in search of financial education, coaching, and support to build their financial capability to achieve financial stability and long-term financial health.
The goal here is to offer financial education to help reinforce learnings and to help residents identify their financial and life goals, understand their own financial situation and patterns in relation to those goals, and a variety of resources and steps they can take to reach their goals.
The core courses cover the fundamentals such as goal setting, budgeting, cash flow management, banking, savings, how to navigate the financial services marketplace, and predatory lending avoidance.

Cyber Security Job Training Programming

Urban Philanthropies and Digit All Systems (DAS} partnership started with the introduction of Lance Lucas, founder of Digit All Systems, Inc., and Philip Bacon,former President of Urban Philanthropies, during Black Tech Week Miami at Florida International University in February 2016. Digit All Systems, Inc. is a 501(c}(3} non-profit organization committed to bridging the digital divide and bringing the benefits of expanding technology to everyone. It was founded in September 1998 and has since served more than 10,000 students, certifying over 600 students. The organization is headquartered in Baltimore, Maryland. Digit All Systems’ certification program is designed to train students in the highly demanded cyber security field. Its instructors are certified IT instructors with current, real-world IT experience. Digit All Systems’ programs create real value for its students by combining high quality education with authentic hands-on training from experienced IT engineers. All the courses prepare students for professional certification tests and more advanced courses. Once introduced and familiarized with technology, students have the opportunity, through additional coursework, to gain professional certifications, starting with the A+ Certificate in 90 days and advancing to Network+ and Security+ in 210 days. Over several conversations and meetings, Urban Philanthropies and Digit All Systems agreed on the mission of empowering people in distressed communities with opportunities to bridge the technology gap and increase employment in the tech industry. Urban Philanthropies identified a location in Overtown at the University of Miami Life Sciences and Technology Center, hosted by the Cambridge Innovation Center (CIC} and Venture Cafe. CIC was founded in 1999 in Kendall Square (Cambridge, Massachusetts} and houses more than 1000 companies in close to 750,000 square feet of premium office and co-working space across 8 facilities. The CIC community is composed primarily of startups, it also includes larger companies, investors, and service providers. Venture Cafe Miami, founded in 2016, is a non-profit organization that seeks to enhance and build the local innovation community by working to make it more diverse, inclusive, accessible and better connected. With a partnership with Digit All Systems, Urban Philanthropies will be offering certifications in technology ranging from A+ Certification to Ethical Hacking and earning a certificate starting in 90 days.

Urban Philanthropies and Digit All Systems have made an application with Pearson Vue to open a Cyber Security Testing Center at CIC, Miami. This center will be one of the few independently operated in Miami. We expect significant traffic at this site and have made preparations to professionally manage this center for the benefit of our community. Urban Philanthropies is focused on sustainable job creation and is in negotiations with RGTX, the largest minority cyber security in the world to provide real time job orders for potential program graduates. Our training and certification programs can be tailored to the demand of the market.

B Wright Leadership Academy- Liberty City

Urban Philanthropies has partnered with B Wright Leadership Academy in Liberty City to open an adult cyber security training center. In addition, through the efforts of Urban Philanthropies and DAS, we were able to secure over 150 computers and over 50 laptops from government surplus in Washington, D.C. for use by the academy’s elementary school students.

Major Sponsor of CRED- South Florida

Urban Philanthropies contributed $25,000 to help bring the University of South Florida’s Certificate in Community Development Program to South Florida. This program brings together affordable housing developers, local government officials, policy makers, CDC executives and students to provide much needed training and tools to carry out successful affordable housing and community based real estate development training. This highly successful program facilitates real community development projects and helps to create a network of professional community developers. The certification is a program of the University of South Florida in conjunction with the Florida Institute of Government. Urban Philanthropies has been officially recognized as the lead sponsor here in South Florida. Our staff has participated as faculty and performed many ad hoc duties in support of the program.