Rebuilding Nereida’s family home

November 15, 2023
by Martina Spolini, Executive Director at Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade

As she gazes at her property, Miami neighbor, Nereida, recognizes the inseparable connection between herself and her house. It holds a lifetime of memories and represents her identity and legacy. She dreams of one day passing the property down to her niece.

Nereida's story is a testament to resilience, family values and the power of determination. Born in Miami to a Puerto Rican mother and Honduran father, she experienced firsthand the sacrifices her father made to provide a stable home for their family, free from the uncertainties and abuses of unstable housing. Her father's open-heartedness as a sailor in the Port of Miami turned their house into a temporary home for fellow seafarers from around the world. These experiences shaped Nereida’s worldview, instilling in her a sense of independence and curiosity about the world.

Driven by a desire for adventure and personal growth, Nereida joined the U.S. Army, where she served as a Medical Laboratory Specialist. Her dedication and commitment earned her awards for marksmanship and exemplary conduct and taught her the values of discipline and self-worth. After her honorable discharge, Nereida embarked on a quest for opportunity, leading her to work in real estate in Atlanta. However, tragedy struck when her childhood home in Miami was partially destroyed by fire, rendering it uninhabitable. Undeterred, she made the decision to rebuild it, honoring her family's sacrifices and finding personal healing in the process.

Over several decades, Nereida faced numerous challenges from delays to lack of funding, but she never gave up. With unwavering faith, she used every saved penny to make repairs and restore her childhood property. When Nereida reached out to us, she had a non-functional bathroom in her home and dwindling resources to make the renovations herself.

With support from Wells Fargo, we were able to remodel Nereida’s bathroom. Additionally, volunteers worked on clean-up efforts and improvements to the home’s exterior and yard, reaffirming Nereida’s belief in the goodness of others and the strength and power of community.

Rebuilding Together Miami-Dade received a $40,000 grant through the Wells Fargo Builds program to address this critical issue impacting the South Florida community. This is part of a larger $1.4 million nationwide effort through the Wells Fargo Builds program to provide essential home repairs to more than 90 homes across the U.S.