Operating outside the confines of County Hall, the Empowerment Trust is a quasi-public nonprofit created by Miami-Dade County in 1998 to manage funds from one of the largest federal poverty programs since Lyndon Johnson's Great Society.
The 18-member board is made up of community activists and local leaders. But the day-to-day operations are handled by a staff paid by the county.
Since 1998, the trust has received more than $60 million in federal, state and local funds to fight poverty in Miami-Dade.
The trust provides grants, loans and technical assistance to businesses and social-service agencies for job creation, employment training, housing and health services.