Dear valued client and industry partners and HDS Family,
This year we celebrate 22 years of commitment to affordable housing and community development, bringing technology and service solutions to this industry. Our mission for over two decades has been to support this market and the initiatives of our agency clients and partners. We thank you for being part of our success and value the trust you have placed in us while supporting your business and community goals.
The HDS Companies team that includes Housing and Development Software, eHousingPlus and the HDS Foundation is 22 years strong. Today more than ever, we are committed to continue to strengthen and grow these business lines in support of yours. Community is at the core of who we are, and today, we the HDS Team invite you to celebrate our vision for the future.
“Far and away the best prize that life offers is the chance to work hard at work worth doing.”
We are excited to announce that as of yesterday, June 1st, we are officially moved into our new headquarters in Miami Lakes, FL. Please make sure you UPDATE our new address as noted below, and distribute as needed to your departments. Our telephone numbers and email addresses will remain the same.
This has been a milestone in the making over the past year. COVID-19 restrictions and our own Risk Management and Mitigation Plans have changed our plans for celebration, so we will save it for a later date when we can share this with our Employees, Our Clients and Partners.
We will continue to support you as we have done without interruption, and are available if you need assistance through our normal channels. For more information please contact Natalie Stevenson at 954-217-9597 x204 or at Natalie.Stevenson@hdsoftware.com.
The HDS Companies Operations continue at100% remote since we deployed our Business Continuity Plan in the face of the COVID-19 risk, in March, 2020. Our staff will continue to work on this platform until further notice.
Set your IPhone’s, Androids, and laptops for June 8th – 12th to tune in to this summer’s I’m Determined Summit hosted online! This youth and parent summit is an annual event sponsored by the Virginia Department of Education (VDOE) and the Partnership for People with Disabilities. Normally, youth with disabilities from across the commonwealth come to this summit to network and discuss issues of importance to youth and young adults (13 – 21 years old) with disabilities. Due to current circumstances, COVID-19, the 2020 Youth and Parent Summit will be going VIRTUAL.
This year’s theme will focus on five essential skills to help improve self-determination:
- Goal Setting and Attainment
- Decision Making
- Problem Solving
Sessions will be readily available beyond the week of the event to allow those who could not attend to still access the information. This event is open to all who wish to participate at NO COST.
As Autism Awareness Month comes to a close, we continue to shine a light on individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the possibilities that they create through their differing abilities. Throughout the month, HDS Foundation has shared community resources, stories about our grantees, and profiled a young adult who was part of our ASDY-Tech Employment Program.
While many of our Community-Based Instruction events for our grantee B.R.I.D.G.E.S. programs at Cypress Bay High School and Homestead Senior High School had to be canceled amid the COVID-19 pandemic, our students have been participating in our program virtually via Zoom Communications. Our teachers are hosting virtual mock job interviews and require for students to get dressed up just like they would for an in-person interview. Students have been learning how to complete job applications and resume building.
The HDS Foundation’s unique niche focus is on aiding young adults to make the transition from high school to post-secondary education, gainful employment, and independent living. The Foundation recently launched a new program called Toolbox for Success. This multi-level tool helps ASD families by providing resources for the many complex components involved with transitioning autistic teens and young adults. These components range from communication, personal appearance, social skills, situational skills, dressing appropriately, educational qualifications, and job skills. The information is pared down, helping parents to pick and choose the components that their child can work through at his or her level.
Our HDS Companies has also participated in raising awareness during Autism Awareness Month. We lit-up the exterior of our Miami Lakes Corporate Offices in Blue, and our team members wore Blue on World Autism Awareness Month. We invite you to view the Latin Business Today interview with Cristina Miranda Gilson, CEO of HDS Companies and founder of the HDS Foundation. During the interview, Cristina shared her views, HDSF resources, as well as her personal experiences raising her daughter, who is a thriving young woman attending the University of North Florida and living independently on campus.
To view the interview of our CEO, Cristina Miranda Gilson, with Latin Business Today on this matter, click here or follow us on social media!
Campaigns like our “Shine a Light on Autism” help spread information across the globe of the outcomes of Autism. They also help distribute appropriate information regarding matters such as early diagnosis, therapies, transitions, post-secondary education, employment, and the journey to independent living. About 1 in 54 children have been identified with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) according to estimates from the Center for Disease Control’s (CDC) Autism and the Developmental Disabilities Monitoring (ADDM) Network.
Today, our Autism Awareness banner went up outside of our new office building in the Town of Miami Lakes, and we lit up the exterior of our building blue. Our HDS team members, the HDS Contenders, proudly wore blue shirts along with their HDS Autism Awareness Ribbon and got their selfies on.
Wondering how you can help Shine a Light? Here’s how! Share your stories and show your support of inclusion by swapping out your standard (front) outdoor light bulb(s) with a blue colored light bulb(s) and keep them lit for the entire month of April! Make sure to tag us, @HDSFoundation, on your posts for a chance to show up on our social media feed.
How can you Shine a Light on Autism and help the HDS Foundation? It’s easy! If you are a frequent Amazon shopper, sign in through AmazonSmile.com and select the HDS Foundation as your charity of choice. From there, any purchases made through AmazonSmile will donate a small proceed to our nonprofit. For more information about how the HDS Foundation celebrates Autism Awareness, follow our social media pages @HDSFoundation!
On Tuesday night, the HDS Foundation took our “Toolbox for Success” to Cypress Bay High School for the ESE Post-Secondary Transition Expo. This expo was geared specifically towards ESE students who are not pursuing a traditional 2- or 4-year college program upon graduation and are looking for alternatives to the traditional college route.
The HDS Foundation mission is to provide services and resources to families, while also supporting the initiatives that create independence and employments skills for students. This year’s theme is the “Toolbox for Success.” The toolbox includes a variety of tools that represent important factors for students to be successful. For example, the drill represented parents and family; the wrench represented support systems; the hammer represented self-advocacy, and so on.
The HDS Foundation provided folders, pins, totes, and an abundance of resources for parents and their children. The folders were illustrated by the Cypress Bay High School B.R.I.D.G.E.S. class where each student drew a picture that represented what they would like to pursue as their post-secondary journey. As parents arrived, folders and totes were handed out for them to gather information from each vendor. The pins that were created were used to represent the tools that went inside the toolbox of success. These were handed out to children while HDS staff member, Natalie Stevenson, explained what each tool symbolized.
As parents stopped by the table, HDS Foundation staff member, Liz Falk, proceeded to explain the different resources we had to offer. It was shocking to hear how many parents did not know about the different options they had for their child. One young mother came up to the table and made a statement that resonated with us. She stated, “How can I ask any questions, if I don’t know what there is out there or what to ask?” In other words, there are not a lot of resources that are readily available about transitioning from high school to post-secondary. However, this transition expo was an eye opener for her, giving her the opportunity to learn more about the options she now has for her child but didn’t know before.
Overall, this was a successful event for the HDS Foundation, parents, and Cypress Bay High School. Many parents became more aware of resources that are available for them to help their child succeed.
The HDS Foundation will soon have the resources page available for you!
Super Fest – an inclusive football and cheerleading clinic along with a gameday experience held the day before the Super Bowl. This event gives children the opportunity to feel a part of the football weekend. With that being said, give your child the chance to experience the excitement of the Big Game Weekend by signing up for the Annual Inclusive Super Fest!
The HDS Foundation will be presenting at the Cypress Bay High School ESE Post-Secondary Transition Expo on Tuesday, February 11, 2020. This informational night is geared for ESE students who are not pursuing a traditional 2- or 4-year college program upon graduation. Come out and join us to learn more about the various options your child has after high school.
Light it up with HDS Companies this Saturday, November 30th from 5:00 to 9:00 PM at the annual Miami Lakes Festival of Lights! For more than 36 years, Main Street has been the ultimate shopping, dining, and entertainment destination attracting generations of distinguished locals and travelers to its enchanting setting. This gathering not only celebrates the holidays, but also supports small businesses and all they do for the local communities while offering family fun for everyone. HDS Companies is excited to be sponsoring and attending this magical holiday themed event for the first time! We are thankful for this opportunity and thrilled to participate in all future community events.
This fun filled event will begin with the Lighting of Main Street! The HDS Marketing Department have been preparing specifically for this day and will be handing out candy cane themed glowsticks for the lighting ceremony. You don’t have to feel left out, so make sure to stop by our booth located in between Salsa Fiesta and 100 Montaditos to grab your own glowstick! After the lighting of the beautiful oak tree, the party will officially get started! Santa will be available for photos at the Santa House, there will be a live DJ, photo stations, performance by students from local schools, face painting, arts and crafts and MORE!
Bring your families and enjoy the twinkle of all lights. HDS hopes to see you there! 😊