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2021 Message from the President and CEO

Amid a global pandemic, a war, and a divided country, as we enter a new decade, one is reminded of Charles Dickens’ famous passage from A Tale ofTwo Cities.... It was the best of times, it was the worst of times. This passage is often used by so many to reflect on an age of radical opposites, the dichotomy of the realities of nations, and the fact that, as a people, we can at once experience both pain and progress. Dickens’ famous quote continues, juxtaposing wisdom and foolishness, and light and darkness, and ending with:It was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair.I wish to focus this message on the wisdom, the light, and the spring--on the countless stories of how people of all walks of life responded by giving all that they have to make this moment in time better for those most vulnerable.I would be remiss, however, if I did not address the fact that as we rebound from the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic, we know that many communities will adapt while others will not. This recovery has been especially difficult for Black and Latino communities in Miami-Dade County where the median household income is $53,975 and the average monthly rent for a1-bedroom apartment is$2,500 (or $30,000 per year), and where working renters living month to month are forced to compete with those who can prepay a year’s worth of rent. For far too many of those folks, the recovery has been a ghost, something they have heard about but not seen themselves, something they simply cannot count on.Calling upon the Dickensian notion of wisdom, the rise in inequality in our own under-resourced communities is a central problem that we at OLCDC are challenged to rethink.We took on the challenge, and indeed, we have been allowed the last two years to plan an entirely new business model that is firmly linked to promoting community wealth.Our strategic planning work has positioned us to take full advantage of our resources by discarding ineffective, non-self-sustaining programs and focusing instead on the development of physical assets while creating mission driven self-sufficiency models that promote and empower communities of choice.How exactly do we do this?We started by investing in the talent that helps build our capacity to develop housing and create businesses in Black and Latino communities. We created a decentralized organizational structure that allows us to attract a broader network of experts whose talents and ideas can guide us–the wisdom and the light. Moreover, by creating more than one mission-driven organization, we can be more opportunistic in targeting new ventures and partnerships–the spring. We also recognize the power of partnerships and how they lead to new possibilities and unique opportunities. Finally, we also want to be good stewards of our resources by investing for sustainability.We are eyeing as a model, an endowment for the next generation of community development practitioners who can build on our successes and continue to create more wealth building opportunities for black and brown communities.As we turn 43, we are really just starting on a journey that we believe will redefine how community development corporations can move the needle on racial and income inequality and strengthen wealth building.We are humbled by the support and trust OLCDC has received from the community, donors, partners, board members, and staff, and we hope you will join us on this journey.

Dr. Willie Logan, CEO

The mission of the Opa-locka Community Development Corporation (OLCDC) is to build a strong ecosystem that supports under-resourced communities in creating an equitable and sustainable economy.



2021 Message from the Board of Directors Chairman

2021 was an extraordinary year for the Opa-locka Community DevelopmentCorporation(OLCDC). The numerous accomplishments most notably included the expansion into a new wholly owned subsidiary real estate company, the creation of the real estate investment fund, and implementation of the arts and advocacy and policy subsidiaries. These achievements directly relate achieving goals 2025 Strategic Plan.These major successes could not have been achieved without the active participation and superior leadership of the members of the OLCDC’s Board ofDirectors. 2021 also saw the restructuring of the Board of Directors, streamlining committees and transferring specialized Board functions to subsidiary boards designed to support the OLCDC’s future growth and development. These subsidiary boards held strategic planning sessions, retreats, and orientations throughout the year all while implementing improvements in the overall governance of the OLCDC.As a result of the restructuring, the Boards are better equipped and prepared to serve the needs of our communities. Our diverse and inclusive Board membership reflects the diversity of our community and the inclusivity mirrors the national conversation around community empowerment. The Boards are overwhelmingly comprised of subject matter specialists–persons who have specific knowledge, expertise, and gravitas to assist in addressing complex problems and myriad transactions. We have added Board members who have a national profile, some of whom live and work outside of Florida, but are either native Floridians or have deep ties to our local communities. These new Board members, with their national footprints, bring a fresh perspective to the OLCDC and their affiliations and connections may open doors to opportunities not previously realized by our organization.While incorporating the new and exciting board members and ideas, we are certain to maintain a balance by utilizing the institutional knowledge and sense of history that our long-time Board members provide. It is important to ensure that as we move forward implementing new and bold ideas, we are doing so in a manner that is consistent with our history, mission, and traditions.This has been a significant year in the history of the OLCDC. I appreciate having the opportunity to lead this outstanding Board as we continue to navigate through uncertain and unknown territory. As a team, we can certainly look forward to many more successes in 2022.

Nashid Sabir, Chairman

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  • 75 Opa-locka residents participated.

  • Successfully projected poems on buildings and streets along Opa-Locka Blvd by 9 local poets.

  • 15 sunset walking tours of Opa-locka Light District were attended by 209 guests.



  • 595 guests attended Juneteenth on Ali Baba Avenue with 75% from Opa-locka and Miami Gardens

  •  25 minority owned small business vendors and food vendors earned over $12k

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  • Aswan Call to Artist, February 2021

  • Ernie Martin Villas Call to Artist, December 2021

The ARC - Exterior Mural


  • Reopened the ARC after Covid-19 Closure and Renovations with the exhibition “Casting Shadows | Framing Histories” featuring artists Terence Price II, Keisha Rae Witherspoon






In 2021, OLCDC was able to hire in-house legal counsel for the first time in it's forty-year history. After a 3-year long lawsuit battle against it's former partner in the Florida State Courts, OLCDC prevailed in the acquisition of the 216-unit Aswan Village Apartment Property (now known as the Mary Alice Brown Apartments). The lawsuit, initiated in June 2019, sought to enforce the Right of First Refusal given to OLCDC by Federal Law under Section 42 of the U.S. Tax Code, Florida Law, and a publicly recorded, iron clad contract. 

By fighting for these rights, OLCDC desired to ensure the sustainability of the organization, build equity in the community, and empower the very people it serves.

The Aswan acquisition has placed OLCDC in a strong position as an affordable housing owner with 534 fully owned and controlled units. This is in addition to the 439 additional units co-owned by OLCDC in other partnerships. This has empowered the company with substantial equity that it plans to both invest in the furtherance of its mission to set a precedent for other non-profits seeking to exercise their rights of first refusal without having to undergo the expense of a long and protracted litigation.





Dollars Loaned


New Jobs




TA Relief Funding Loans (PPP, EIDL)


TA Microgrants to Small Businesses


Working From Home

OLCDC received a $600,000 award from the Opportunity Finance Network’s Finance Justice Fund to support more minority-owned small businesses across South Florida. The contribution will allow the CFNMD to provide more technical assistance and make loans to startup and existing enterprises in Miami-Dade, Broward and Palm Beach counties.


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Fathiyyah “Tia” Doster is the owner of The JuiceDefined LLC,

Opa-locka’s only raw juice bar. The JuiceDefined has been operating as a full-service juice bar in downtown Opa-locka since September 2021, but the storefront is just the latest iteration of the business.

Tia got the idea to start the business after juicing helped her recover from preeclampsia when she was pregnant with her daughter. After experiencing powerful health results for herself, she decided to share the power of “fresh, raw, and cold-pressed” juices with her community.

Tia started with a mobile business, making juices in her home in Miami Gardens and delivering to customers throughout the local area. When she felt ready to expand to a brick-and-mortar shop, she looked for a place close to home to fill a need in the area.

She ended up finding an affordable place with lots of visibility in downtown Opa-locka.

Poseidon Ferry offers ferry rides to commuters from Downtown Miami to Miami Beach as an alternative to alleviate traffic congestion and give riders their time back.  The company also offers charter events for private groups.  It had started operating in early 2020 but due to COVID had to close operations for most of the year. At the time the company came to CFNMDin 2021, operations were still stalled because of covid restrictions, and was about to start private charter events as it was getting ready to obtain all the necessary permits for the public commuter rides with the County and the City.

The company came to CFNMD looking for cash flow funding to resume operations, but received so much more along the way in the form of assistance in navigating through some of the hurdles it faced to relaunch, as it also received the cash flow needed to reopen the operations for public rides generating 11 new full time jobs, alleviating the traffic congestion in the county and allowing this transportation company the breathing room to thrive in the post-pandemic era.


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The Robinsons, who are both over 60 years of age, were apprehensive at the notion of purchasing their first home. Although their credit was in good standing, there were additional steps to complete that were outlined in their Plan of Action. The couple persisted for two and half years by prioritizing their efforts in decreasing debt and increasing savings. With an income of $37,000, identifying what were their “wants” and what were their “needs”, was the key to their success. They were able to purchase a house in which they will make their home.

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Darielle Newton always wanted to be a teacher. As life would have it, she experienced bumps along the way, but those detours did not deter her. After becoming a single parent, Darielle put her dream on hold while she focused on being a good mother. Darielle was hired at OLCDC as a natural helper in 2020. She readily took advantage of our success coaching that was available to her for supportive services. Her supervisor and peers encouraged her to pursue her dream. While employed Darielle decided to continue her education and completed her studies with a degree in Education. Today, Darielle, a teacher, is happy in her new role because educating students is her passion. Through the support of OLCDC and motivation from her mentors, she is on her way to making sure she helps students navigate the road to a great education.





Served 247 open family unit cases

Served 510

Saved 9 families
from homelessness

$19,000 in individual tutoring sessions

1,000 Hours of Tutoring

Served 320 students

Across 11 Miami Middle Schools
& High Schools

Served 94
Elementary students

In 2 Elementary Schools across
4th and 5th grade

Failing grades have a tremendous impact on so many aspects of a student’s life. When a student improves their grades, you begin to see improvement in more than just their grades. Their character begins to reflect the same improvement. Such is the case with young Yerard Pena and his sister Jay-Leen Pena. When their mother, Ms. Mariuxi Rosado, first enrolled her children in the OLCDC’s Keeping Our Promise (KOP) Program, she feared the worst for her children’s academic future. But just after 3 months in the program and the tutoring received from KOP tutor Tony Ugalde, both Yerard and Jay Leen have improved tremendously. “Jay-leen used to be an F student, as reported by mom and evidence of student report card. Now she has all passing grades” says Ms. Rosado. “As their mother, I have seen improvement in them and I would like for the tutoring to continue to keep their knowledge growing and I am really thankful for Tony and his patience,” Ms. Rosado went on.


Ms. Rosado who once feared for her children’s future, now has hope that her children will be the best they can be. And, her “hope” is evidenced by real report card results. Yerard and Jay Leen who previously had lost interest in school are now talking about getting as and living a golden life.

Mom's Hug


Thank You to all our partners and funders for making 2021 an impactful year.

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