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In the late 1990s, LISC, with leadership support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, created the New Communities Program (NCP), a groundbreaking, bottom-up, comprehensive community planning effort in which LISC supports the development of Quality-of-Life Plans (QLPs) by community leaders and residents in Chicago neighborhoods.
In each neighborhood, a designated lead agency brings together a diverse group of organizations and residents to identify priorities ranging from better education, housing, broader job choices, safer streets, new economic opportunities and stronger personal finances. LISC invests in, coaches and champions each effort from the earliest building of local relationships, through plan creation, implementation and continual evaluation.
The process empowers neighborhoods by building capacity in existing community organizations and providing a framework through which they can assess and build on unique human, institutional and physical assets while identifying and addressing specific challenges.
The QLPs are visions for a community’s future created and owned by the community and have served as a guide for investments and actions. During the process, LISC provides capacity building, technical and financial support to its community partners.
While the particulars of each community are different, the process in every community is built on strong mutual trust and shared expectations. When residents and institutions band together they are empowered to change behaviors of both individuals and institutions for the betterment of their communities.
Once plans are completed, we continue to provide support and resources for implementation.
We've made all of our Quality-of-Life Plans since 2005 available for download.