2010 Annual Report

2010 Highlights

Goal 2: Family Income & Assets


  • 59 Financial Opportunity Centers Opened
  • 72% of the Enrolled Clients Improved Their Net Income
  • 42,000 People Served by Financial Opportunity Centers

It’s not enough to have a decent, affordable home. If we are to truly revitalize low-income communities we need to connect families with opportunities to stabilize their financial outlook. They need to build marketable job skills and get help with job placement. They need to gain the financial literacy that help them to more effectively manage their income, reduce their debt and build their assets. Residents can lay the groundwork for a more prosperous future when armed with the right coaching, counseling and financial tools. And in doing so, they can help build a stronger Sustainable Community.

LISC supports proven and successful programs that open doors to higher-wage, higher-skilled jobs; encourage entrepreneurship; and expand small businesses.

  • Washington, DC
  • Houston, TX
  • Chicago, IL
Atlas Stagecraft Training Program

Open since 2006, The Atlas Performing Arts Center has been a leading force behind the revitalization of the H Street Corridor in Northeast Washington. DC LISC was an early investor, providing technical assistance and capacity building grants to set up the infrastructure for the day-to-day management of the theatre.

In 2010, the Atlas furthered its commitment to the community and local arts organizations by creating the Stagecraft Job Training and Apprenticeship Program. Outside of university settings, no such comprehensive training course is available in the DC area. DC LISC provided a $25,000 grant and other ongoing support of the Atlas and this program, including producing an audio-visual presentation promoting the program.

The nine-month program began in July 2010 and is training 15 unemployed or underemployed individuals in highly-demanded technical theatre skills that provide living wage employment. The skills include carpentry, lighting, and sound and projection technology.

Houston Food Bank

The Houston Food Bank is the largest source of food for hunger relief charities in 18 southeast Texas counties. With a network of nearly 500 food pantries, soup kitchens, and other agencies, they feed a total of 137,000 people each week, providing more than 65 million pounds of food and prepared meals annually.

With the help of $11 million from LISC New Market Tax Credits, its impact is now even greater. Houston LISC helped the food bank acquire and rehabilitate an old warehouse facility, expanding their capacity to distribute 50 million more pounds of food per year, making it the largest food bank warehouse in the country.

But access to healthy food is just one aspect of Building Sustainable Communities. Houston Food Bank is also offering community services such as nutrition education, culinary arts classes, social services, and hands-on job training. It is focused not just on how many pounds of food it can drop off in a community, but how it can help improve residents' quality of life.

FamilyNet Centers

The Centers for Working Families play an increasingly important role in LISC Chicago’s comprehensive community development endeavors. Beyond their traditional roles for providing employment services, income support, and financial counseling, they have extended their services to include FamilyNet Centers. The FamilyNet Centers are a part of LISC Chicago's Smart Communities program, which works to ensure digital access for children and families, businesses, agencies and other institutions in five neighborhoods where LISC is Building Sustainable Communities.

The FamilyNet Centers provide families access to computers, free internet, and computer training programs. Programs have been designed to provide computer training to 2,000 residents, provide 360 businesses with technology assessments, link 120 youth to digital summer jobs, and award 1,500 computers to program graduates.

The Centers reinforce investments in affordable housing, education, economic development and healthy living within their communities and help raise standards of living for the residents who live there.