Interviewer1: Angelito Rodriguez
Interviewer2: Sarykarmen Rivera
Respondent1: Sylvia Alvarez
Respondent2: Justin Schwegel
Respondent3: Laura (Tampa Bay Network To End Hunger)
[Recording starts 00:00:00]
Announcer: Nuevo en US.ORG presents: “Route to the American Dream”. This program is for people who are new to the United States, and in each program, we will be talking about obstacles they may have to move forward in the United States and achieve the American dream. And we’re already on “Route to the American Dream”.
Interviewer1: Hello. What’s up, friends? Here we are with the podcast, thanks to: Tampa Bay Network To End Hunger, Nuevo en US.com, Housing & Education Alliance and Gulf Coast Legal.
Sylvia Alvarez is with us. Greetings, Sylvia.
Respondent1: Hi, Angel. It’s nice to be here with you today.
Interviewer1: What is your website? About Housing & Education Alliance.
Respondent1: Our website is www.heausa.org, Housing & Education Alliance, heausa.org.
Interviewer1: There are many times that you go to buy a house, and It is your first time, you don’t know, you have not been educated enough about it, and you tend to know a retail, retail advises you: “hey, I have a friend who is a lender”. Instead of going to a bank or educating yourself a little better than what steps to take, take the advice to retail: “okay, let’s use this lender, let’s use this inspector”. What are the problems you can get into when that happens?
Respondent1: Many, many problems. And I understand, because I am also retail, I do not practice it, but I keep my license to know what is happening in the market, and I tell you that many times the person finds someone who speaks Spanish, a real estate agent and…
Interviewer1: They fall in love with that person.
Respondent1: Exactly. “Oh, they spoke to me in my language, blah, blah, blah”. Okay, then she or he sends you to another lender.
Respondent1: The lender is important more than the broker, because if the lender does not know the rules (helping assistance) of help, you can get into trouble, he/she will tell you: “Yes, I am. I am approved, blah, blah, blah”, and he/she is not approved.
The best advice I can give, Angel, is that you should work with a nonprofit supported by the Federal Government. We…
Interviewer1: And education is very important. Education.
Respondent1: Educate yourself, of course. That’s the biggest purchase in a person’s life. Normally, so how…
Interviewer1: That’s the biggest step one takes in this country, buying the first home.
Interviewer1: And grapple with the credit.
Respondent1: Exactly. So, how can you think you’re going to get into this without being educated? No! You have to ask questions. And one good thing in class, you’re not going to be a real state agent in those 3 days, but at least you’re going to know the questions you have to ask not to take a wrong step.
Interviewer1: Of course. I have also heard of many recent cases, because we know that many people have come here to Tampa Bay, have good jobs, have bought their first home, and have noticed that when they fill out the papers, the birth certificates of the children are misplaced, there’s a lot of documents that really aren’t the same when you look at them, you say, “Well, my son or my daughter wasn’t born on that date. The name is wrong”. What problem can that bring you in the future if you fill out all those papers? Finish the house, when you are going to sell…
Respondent1: Not so much when you’re going to sell, but when you’re going to buy, if things aren’t well done, they’re not going to give you a loan, you have to deliver like you said, and you have experience in this, I know.
Respondent1: [Laughter] Deliver the… How do you say?
Interviewer1: The documents.
Respondent1: Birth certificates. If they are not correct, for example, you said that the daughter was 10 years old, but it is not that, and it appears that she is 18 or something, because already with 18 the thing changes, it is no longer a child, it has to sign more documents. So, buying a house is going to fix up all the things in your life [laughter], the credit, the documents, all that. It’s a pretty big and strong process, but when you work with people who know what they’re doing, the experience is so much better, so much better…
Interviewer1: A question. A person who is not an American citizen, but is a resident, does he/she have the right to buy a house here in the United States?
Respondent1: Yes, and they will get the aid too.
Interviewer1: Really? Federal aid is given to residents as well.
Respondent1: You need the card, it used to be called the “Green Card”.
Respondent1: The green card, but I think this one is pink now, I don’t know.
Interviewer1: They changed the colors by casual [laughs], but it’s the card.
Respondent1: The famous card that is need.
Interviewer1: Okay. They are also entitled to receive federal benefits, even if they are not an American citizen.
Respondent1: Uh-huh. Yes.
Interviewer1: Wow, interesting, I didn’t know that. Interesting.
Respondent1: They cannot be without documents.
Respondent1: But it is so [laughter].
Interviewer1: You need to have your card and be a resident of the United States, work here.
Interviewer1: And to spend some time residing here in the United States to make your first purchase of the house.
Respondent1: Yes, also, one of the requirements is that they must have 2 years of history, where they work, the years from where they live, so it is very difficult for them to get to this country and buy immediately if they are doing something wrong.
Interviewer1: Okay, very interesting. Thank you very much for being with us, Sylvia. This education is very important. What is the website and what do we have to do to get to you?
Respondent1: Okay. You can go to www.heausa.org, that’s our website, on the first page there’s a red button that says, “To Register for Class Click Here,” and then from there you’ll take the steps, find the Spanish class, and we’re going to be excited waiting for you to come and see the class, that’s the first step and it’s the most important of all.
Interviewer1: Of course. The phone to call, is there a phone to call?
Interviewer1: Thanks very much to our sponsors Tampa Bay Network To End Hunger, and Nuevo en US.com, Housing & Education Alliance and Gulf Coast Legal Services.
Interviewer1: The great podcast “Route to the American Dream”. And thank you Sylvia for being with us with this valuable information, and I want you to give me your website.
Respondent1: Sure, Angel, it has been a pleasure. The website of us again is www.heausa.org, phone 8139324663.
Interviewer1: Thank you, Sylvia, for being with us. Thank you very much.
Respondent1: Well, thank you.
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Interviewer1: We continue with Route to the American Dream, and now we are with Sarykarmen Rivera with very valuable information with Gulf Coast Legal.
Interviewer2: Nice to join you, I am Sarykarmen Rivera. We are in the middle of the holidays, but of course, in a matter of days, the new tax season also begins. Do you need a hand with that? Do not worry, we are here to talk to you about Gulfcoast Legal, and I am joined by Attorney Justin Schwegel, who is also an advisor to this entire assistance department. Welcome attorney, and tell us about the services you provide.
Respondent2: Well, we have many services, programs, to help people achieve the goal of financial stability. We have a birth certificate program to help people replace them or get them for the first time. That is very important, because before they have that, it was impossible, almost impossible to get certain public benefits.
Interviewer2: Counselor, you work precisely with a tax assistance department, what does this type of assistance consist of?
Respondent2: We can help taxpayers with tax debts that they cannot pay, we can help them find alternatives to bending, like an agreement, pay a little each month, or we can win a state, which the taxpayer- Say that debt is not collectible. We also have the ability to help people with their identity theft problems or the identity of their children, because there are so many problems with children this year.
Interviewer2: And of course, you are served in Spanish. So, check with Gulfcoast Legal Services, the information on screen. Good morning.
Interviewer1: Hello, friends. Here we are with Tampa Bay Network To End Hunger, and also Nuevo en US.com, Housing & Education Alliance, Gulf Coast Legal.
We start our Podcast “Route to the American Dream”, and with us is Laura. How are you? Greetings.
Respondent3: How are you? A pleasure, greetings.
Interviewer1: Let’s talk quickly about the beginning of this great organization Tampa Bay Network To End Hunger.
Respondent3: Of course. Well, I want to tell you, this started…this wonderful plan started in 2011 by leaders of our Tampa Bay community who were fighting to end hunger in our region, but decided at one point to say, “Well, why don’t we join forces? Not that you work alone and I work, no! Why don’t we join forces and work together, with our ideas, with our abilities, to help the community even more? Because together, of course, we are stronger”.
Interviewer1: Of course.
Respondent3: So, they decided that together they could organize this wonderful coalition which helps people from Pasco County, Hillsborough and Pinellas, so that in their homes they never lack food, regardless of your immigration status, regardless of your race, of your sex, absolutely everything, it doesn’t matter, that doesn’t matter when it comes to hunger, and that’s why they want to end hunger in our bay more and more.
We call ourselves “Tampa Bay Without Hunger”, Tampa Bay without hunger because we don’t want anyone in our Tampa Bay to be hungry when there are so many resources available that it is only necessary for you to go and look for it.
And as I said, this is thanks to the help, the ideas, the strategies that our coalition has, our members who are about 350 people who are involved in all this, who meet, who talk.
Respondent3: And they say, “Well, in this area of need, what do we need? How are we going to do that? What do we need? What is necessary? How do we join forces so that we can end hunger in our region?” And that’s what we do, that’s what the coalition does, that’s what we do in this network, that’s what it’s called, a network that meets and says, “This is the problem we have in Tampa Bay, and so we’re going to solve it”, and so they have pledged to help thousands, and thousands, and thousands of residents of Tampa Bay of these counties I mentioned earlier to have food on their table.
Interviewer1: Of course. The website again.
Respondent3: Of course, it’s tampabaysinhambre.org.
Interviewer1: And one more question I had, we were talking about the aid, in times of hurricane you do not stop giving food either?
Respondent3: Of course not.
Interviewer1: Because in very bad times in this area, we know that we are out of power, we are out of water, there are many problems, but you do not stop working.
Respondent3: We do not stop working, here we cannot, because it is that hunger does not stop, that is, not because there is a hurricane, or whatever will be, our stomach knows and says: “we will not be hungry while this is solved”, no! , this never stops, hunger continues, hunger is maintained, new people come, health problems can also continue; in short, so many problems that exist in life that definitely send us and tell us, sometimes it is difficult to work, it is difficult to do that, It’s hard to live up to financial commitments, and that’s why we stay, that’s why this network, that’s why Tampa Bay Network To End Hunger is here for all of you.
Angelito, now I want to ask you, how are we about time? Because I have other recipes to give.
Interviewer1: Ah no, then give me another recipe. Imagine, I’m already hungry. You already gave me the beans, I don’t know how many minutes we have, give me the other recipe to see.
Respondent3: I’ll tell you; I’ll give it to you for dinner. And I want to give you these recipes [laughs] because I’m not talking about products that are unreachable, I’m talking about products that may be that you have them at your fingertips, that you have them right now, okay.
So, I want to talk about the creamy salmon and garlic pasta, that sounds delicious [laughs].
Interviewer1: Let’s hear that.
Respondent3: Then, of course. You will need 2 cloves of garlic, you will need onion, a cup of spinach or any green leaf that you like, we need a can of salmon, 4 oz. of pasta, or a quarter cup of parmesan, that ground parmesan cheese, wow, what a treat!
Interviewer1: [Laughter]. That’s dinner today.
Respondent3: That’s dinner, definitely. A cup of tea…
Interviewer1: I just met you, and you’re inviting me to lunch and you’re inviting me to dinner, that’s good.
Respondent3: I’m giving you a recipe!
Respondent3: I’m going to think about the other thing. I do it first, and if it suits me, I’ll let you know.
Interviewer1: Okay, all right. It’s spoken.
Respondent3: Then we need the thick cream (which comes to be like the cream of milk that we all know), normal oil to cook, and salt and pepper to taste, salt and pepper as we like, to marinate. How are we going to do that? We are going to chop the garlic, we are going to chop the finely chopped onion, we are going to put it in the pot, and we are going to wait for it to heal so that it is delicious and removes that strong flavor that sometimes gives us the onion and garlic.
We are going to add the chopped salmon; we are going to chop it as you like. We are going to put the green leaves so that they are very crispy, delicious. Oh no, I’m already hungry, I’ll tell you, I want to do it…
Interviewer1: My mouth is getting watery here.
Respondent3: We’re going to cover all this then. We’re going to cover it. We are going to add butter, because when we make some kind of fish, it is always advisable to do it with butter, we pour butter.
Respondent3: We pour the salmon as you want to do, if in pieces, or if you want to leave it in steak, as you prefer, and we will leave it cooking over low heat so that it is filling the other that we had previously marinated.
We are going to try the salsa and we are going to determine if we liked it or how it looked, we are going to cover it this way, apart, we are going to be making our pasta for a while, until it is soft, and then we cover it. Then we pour our salmon, our sauce and the leaves that we had previously made, and we are going to put everything together, we are going to leave it a little soaking and ready. So that’s going to stay.
Optionally, if you like it, you can add grated cheese or you can serve it with bread, as you want.
Something important and a tip is that you always rinse the canned salmon so that you can also remove excess salt…
Interviewer1: That’s bad for high pressure.
Respondent3: Yes, and that is not advisable, and that is why it is important whenever we use something in a can, we can wash it well so that we remove that excess that is not necessary in our body.
But now, that I’ve already given you that delicious recipe, I want to tell you about another organization that helps us a lot, that is part of our coalition, that many of you have probably not heard, and I want to talk about this one precisely, because they have 8 locations here in Hillsborough County that you can call and appeal to depending on how close they are of your residence.
So, I want to tell you about Saint Vincent de Paul, Have you heard about them? You heard them, right?
Interviewer1: Of course.
Respondent3: They are a religious organization, of religious affiliation, and whenever such difficult situations arise- And I want to talk about a very important thing, regardless of your religious affiliation, it does not matter.
Respondent3: Here help is available to you, you will not be asked anything out of the ordinary…
Interviewer1: If you are an atheist, or a Christian, or a Jew, [laughs] a Muslim.
Respondent3: No, don’t be scared because it’s by Saint Vincent de Paul, no, no, no. On the contrary, they have a heart of service, and regardless of your beliefs they are here to help and try to cover the most basic needs, for example, a person who does not have to eat, a person who does not have to cover their basic needs, have to know that you can count on them who are here located in Hillsborough, in Temple Terrace, in West Tampa, New Tampa, in North and South Tampa, Northeast Tampa, Downtown East, and north Erlich.
At this moment on the screen, we are putting the names, as I told you they are 8, 8 places where you can ask for this kind of help, and you can get the addresses of each of the places.
Respondent3: The phone numbers, and the specific names, where you can call and ask for this kind of help, but you have to know that here in Hillsborough there is also this help available to you.
Interviewer1: Tell me about another organization that has joined you.
Respondent3: Of course. We have another organization that also makes it possible, it’s called “The Shepherd Center” which is located at 304 South Pinellas Avenue Tarpon Springs, Florida, and the phone, listen well, is 7279391400. And you know how long they’ve been doing this?
Interviewer1: Since when?
Respondent3: I’ll tell you something, I wasn’t born. [Laughter]. But imagine all these years that have been helping thousands and thousands of people. They focus on families, the elderly, the homeless, and other people who have great needs, people who really have these problems of not having food on their table or who are not reaching them to feed their children well.
Interviewer1: Of course.
Respondent3: Their parents, too. You have to know that they have this kind of help. These sub-programs reach more than 3,000 customers, 3,000 customers each year, and include a food pantry and a community kitchen to help our society, our community. So again, “The Shepherd Center”, the pantry schedule, to keep in mind, Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday, from 10am to 1pm, that is, from 10 in the morning until 1:30 in the afternoon, so, you cannot complain because today we gave three organizations that are helping our community, and if this is not close, well maybe this will be, this other will be, and you can look where you can find…
Interviewer1: The only thing you need to do is to go to the website, also to learn about where to go to get the food, right?
Respondent3: Of course, there you will find everything, on the map we mentioned at the beginning. On that map you will find which ones are closest to you.
Respondent3: And I’m going to tell you something, Angel. We have many more. It’s that we work with 350 members, that is, we have many, but time would not give us this opportunity to make ourselves known, however, on other occasions we will talk about each one of them, to tell what they do, and how they are close to you to be able to collaborate.
For now, we brought these three, and also, since I gave three organizations, because I think we deserve 3 recipes.
Interviewer1: Sure. Let’s see the other recipe. That’s for breakfast, right?
Respondent3: Well, I don’t know if you’d be able to eat tuna fish for breakfast.
Interviewer1: Of course.
Respondent3: Yes? Okay…
Interviewer1: With hot coffee.
Respondent3: Look, they are delicious, these croquettes. Besides being delicious they are supremely nutritious, and possibly with products that we have in our pantry.
Respondent3: So, we need a cup of milk, we need instant mash, which we probably also have out there, we need 2 cans of tuna, also, depending on how big your family is, we need 1/4 of onion, 2 cups of breadcrumbs, normal oil that we have at home, salt and pepper, also for marinating.
How are we going to do that? We are going to heat the milk in a pot and we are going to heat it with the puree that we had, this instant puree, we are going to chop the onion and the garlic, and we are going to put it to culminate in the tuna. Delicious, I love the tuna!
We are going to mix, in the tuna also with the puree, we are going to season it with pepper, with salt, we are going to let it mix, and we are going to let it cool down, so that in that way it is manageable, so that we can make the pastries, the croquettes balls.
Respondent3: We’re going to put the bread crumbs on top, we’re going to put that bread crumbs on top.
Respondent3: Let’s heat the pan with oil and put them there, to fry on both sides. Of course, tuna doesn’t even need to stay long…
Interviewer1: Sure, it cooks fast, yes.
Respondent3: Yes, they cook super-fast, we have meals that in 10 minutes we already have a dinner…
Interviewer1: That’s good for children too.
Respondent3: Sure, it’s an excellent source of wonderful protein. And we can serve it with vegetables, and enjoy it.
Something important, so that all this stays healthy, and it is a tip that we also give health, is that you always dry those croquettes, since they are fried, dry them so that we remove excess fat, and ready, eat and enjoy!
Interviewer1: I’m hungry.
Respondent3: So, you know.
Interviewer1: The body asks for food [laughs].
Respondent3: The body asks for food. Of course, it asks for food and there is food available…
Interviewer1: Of course. To finish quickly, the website again. How can they get the help that people need?
Respondent3: Of course. It is tampabeysinhambre.org, tampabeysinhambre.org, and you can also enter networktoendhunger.org that this is the part in English, the one I mentioned before is in Spanish, but if you also enter this page, we have a little blink on the right hand that you can put in Spanish and there you will find all the information.
Here, on this page you will find everything from how to find help and food in your community, how you can access this food, you will find it there on the map that we have, as well as you will find ways of how to donate, how to help this noble cause so that we all continue to fight and fight the hunger that attacks so many of our communities.
But you have to know that you are not alone, that there is help available to you and it is thanks to this coalition, it is thanks to this network that comes together to look for strategies, plans, and help, so that you do not lack food on your table.
Interviewer1: Of course. We want to thank Car Credit that has joined these organizations like Tampa Bay Network To End Hunger, Nuevo en US.com, Housing & Education Alliance and Gulf Coast Legal Services.
Thank you for being with us, Laura. See you next time.
Respondent3: Thank you, thank you very much, I loved it.
Interviewer1: [Laughter] Okay, have a good time, congratulations.
Respondent3: You too. Bye, bye.
Interviewer1: Bye, bye.
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