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Research shows that real estate investing is one of the best ways to generate wealth. According to a study released by Statista, in 2018 nearly 5.32 million individuals in the U.S. had financial assets that were worth at least one million dollars and real estate accounted for one of their top investments. As the racial wealth gap persists in America, many people within the Black community have turned to real estate as an avenue to create wealth. Entrepreneur and community activist Dr. Roberta Hoskie is on a mission to help individuals break cycles of intergenerational poverty through real estate investing.

Her journey from poverty to prosperity is captured in a new book titled Poverty Curse Broken: The Roberta Hoskie Story. The newly released book details how her upbringing in Connecticut was instrumental in shaping her outlook on wealth creation and life in general. Hoskie grew up in an inner-city community in New Haven and lived in public housing with 22 of her family members. Her father abandoned the family when she was 8-years-old. Her father’s desertion was tough for her to grapple with as she was very close to him. Hoskie’s internalized emotions led to a path of detrimental behavior. She would often get into fights and was expelled from almost every school she attended. At the age of 14, she entered a homeless shelter for teenagers and was in and out of the system for three years. Her life began to shift in a more positive direction after her Godparents took her out of the shelter. They began to show her she had the power to change the trajectory of her life and would constantly tell her she was “destined for greatness;” words that would later inspire the name of one of the chapters in her book.

Hoskie became pregnant at 17 and was living off government assistance. At the time she felt depleted. As a teen mom who was a high school dropout that had been through years of abuse, she felt like building a solid foundation for success was out of reach.  An encounter at church motivated the young mother to prevent her son from falling into a cycle of poverty and ultimately led her to launch a career in real estate. Hoskie always had an infatuation with architecture. As a child when kids in her neighborhood were outside playing hopscotch and double dutch, she was more interested in looking over blueprints for homes. “As children, before the world starts to put all of these boundaries on you there is something deep inside of you that is innate; gifts and talents that God has given you,” she told NewsOne.

She began to work towards bringing her childhood dreams full circle. With research, hard work and persistence she was able to make her first million through flipping houses within 18 months of stepping into real estate. Hoskie, who was once living off a $417 welfare check, has now owned and touched over 6,000 homes. She’s the founder of a New Haven-based full-service real estate brokerage firm dubbed Outreach Realty Services. She has used her platform and resources to pay it forward by launching several initiatives designed to empower individuals from disadvantaged groups through real estate education. Among some of the projects she leads are the Millionaire Mindset Sisterhood Program which is a faith-based program that teaches women how to create financial freedom through investing, profit-sharing, property acquisition and group economics. Through Outreach Realty Services, she also leads a mortgage readiness and credit score acceleration program in which she has served over 400 individuals.

In 2017, she was the focus of a viral story involving a homeless man named Elmer Alvarez who had returned a $10,000 check that she lost. After learning about Alvarez’s circumstances following his selfless act, she took him under her wing and provided him with job training and now he is gainfully employed. “I’m grateful for the chaos that happened in my life,” she said. “I’m happy that I was homeless at one point because it taught me how to have compassion for others. If certain things did not happen in my life, I wouldn’t be as powerful as I am. Power comes from your pain and your ability to relate.”

Hoskie believes that ownership and entrepreneurship will be instrumental in helping close the racial wealth gap and overcoming gentrification. “Generational wealth is something that we have to become more serious about,” said Hoskie. “We need to control our money and start our own businesses. I don’t agree with gentrification and I think it’s awful that people who have been living in communities for a long time get priced out and can no longer afford it. However, when you own where you live you won’t fall victim to it, you can win from it.” She also says it’s important for aspiring investors to take a global approach to real estate and explore land banking in other countries.

All in all, the mother of three hopes that her book will help readers shift their mindsets when it comes to cultivating generational wealth. “There are so many things that we can use as excuses to hold us back but there is power in pushing through,” she said. “I want readers to know that anything is possible and the only limits they have are the ones they hold in their mind. If a girl from the hood like myself, who had nothing given to her, can do it there is no excuses for anyone else.”

As far as what’s on the horizon for Hoskie, there is a film about her book in the works and she will embark on a book tour to share her insights and experiences at historically Black colleges and universities.


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