FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
September 20, 2017
Julia Rivera, External Affairs Director
Philadelphia, PA – On Tuesday, September 19th, Congreso de Latinos Unidos, Inc. CEO Carolina Cabrera DiGiorgio was invited to meet with the United States Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Dr. Ben Carson at an intimate lunch meeting hosted by Jack’s Firehouse in Philadelphia. The Pennsylvania Regional Administrator of HUD Joseph DeFelice, who recently toured Congreso, was also present.
Secretary Carson is visiting with various faith based, educational and community organizations in Philadelphia today and Congreso was thrilled to be included in his visit. “It was an honor to be invited to meet with Secretary Carson and discuss his vision for HUD, as well as share and advocate for the work being done by Congreso in this area.” DiGiorgio, a real estate and finance attorney by background, stated they had the opportunity to discuss priorities for Secretary Carson, such as his focus on human development and the value of home ownership, as well as his initiative to ensure seniors have the necessary basic needs and housing options vital to aging with dignity. In addition, the group discussed the need for housing financing reform and the need for government services to be effectively integrated with one another to achieve the best possible outcome for an individual.
Congreso, a $26M dollar agency celebrating its 40th year anniversary this year, offers an array of housing programs, such as housing counseling and financial literacy which includes providing homeownership workshops and credit counseling. Just this past year, Congreso assisted 51 individuals purchase homes. Congreso also provides rental assistance to individuals with HIV/AIDS and rapid rehousing for families and individuals who are currently residents of Emergency or Transitional Housing programs
The former Director of Pediatric Neurosurgery at Johns Hopkins Children’s Center, Secretary Carson began his tenure as Secretary of HUD in March 2017. In recognition of his achievements, he has received the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation’s highest civilian honor. He is also a recipient of the Spingarn Medal, the highest honor bestowed by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People (NAACP). Dr. Carson and his wife co-founded the Carson Scholars Fund, which recognizes young people of all backgrounds for exceptional academic and humanitarian accomplishments and has awarded more than $7.3 million in scholarships and installed more than 150 Ben Carson Reading Rooms around the country.
Born in Detroit to a single mother with minimal education, Secretary Carson graduated from Yale University and earned his M.D. from the University of Michigan Medical School. His story of hardship, perseverance and success, as well as his ability to relate to the challenges of the community Congreso serves, afforded a unique opportunity to have a very real conversation about the collective goals that unites the various sectors serving the community.