Terrica Smith went from being homeless to building affordable houses. Image credit: The Advocate
Terrica Smith is the definition of perseverance and resilience, and overcoming many struggles of life including homelessness. She’s now on a mission to ensure no one goes through her experience.
As the founder and CEO of Cachet Real Estate as well as an agent with Real Broker LLC and managing partner for Salt Capital Equity Group, Smith began a project aimed at building affordable homes to stem the rising rate of homelessness among African Americans.
According to the annual Homeless Assessment Report to Congress, in 2019, an estimated 568,000 Americans experienced homelessness, with African Americans making up about 40% of that total.
When looking at the number of homeless people with children: African Americans accounted for about 52% of that population, with whites accounting for about 35%, the report said.
Smith was sent into foster care as a child. She remained there until she was 16, ostensibly aging out of the system. That was when the battle for survival began, where she had to eke out a living on the streets of New Orleans.
Already homeless, Smith’s heartrending condition further worsened with the arrival of Hurricane Katrina which displaced her to Lafayette Louisiana.
Stranded and with no one to turn to for succor, Smith was determined not to be added to the list of African Americans whose lives were wasted as a result of the discriminatory nature of America.
She enrolled in a real estate school and the rest is history. After the education, Smith with determination and a never-getting tired mentality became an agent with Real Broker LLC and managing partner for Salt Capital Equity Group.
“You have to hold on to that dream,” Smith told The Advocate. “This was an extremely hard task for us, and together we pulled through. The reason this development is near and dear to my heart is because growing up an area like this, it’s extremely hard to dream when you don’t see anything around you worth dreaming about.”
Smith’s project dubbed the Madeline Cove project is a housing development planned for Madeline Avenue on the city’s north side. With funding secured, the plan is to break ground in six months on the $14 million development that will feature 30 affordable homes, 60 townhomes, a 50-unit senior complex, and a retail building, The Advocate reported.