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Neighborhoods can’t thrive without safe environments for children, families and businesses. For more than a decade, LISC Chicago has engaged young people in neighborhoods through various sports, education, health and safety-related programs. They include Hoops in the Hood, Cubs Charities Diamond Project and the NFL Grassroots Program.
Hoops in the Hood, a sports-based, community safety initiative that creates safe spaces for youth to interact and build positive relationships with peers and caring adults while making visible use of public spaces and fostering a sense of community. The summer basketball program is currently in 17 neighborhoods, many of which block off “hot-spots” for games. Local control is a key part of the program. Communities pick the locations and times for the program and choose the activities. In some neighborhoods the location is always the same, while others move each week to a new block, Chicago park or local gym.
Over the years, more than 26,000 kids have participated in Hoops programs, learning leadership skills, social responsibility and teamwork, and thousands of other residents have coached, watched their kid play, danced, laughed or simply spent a night out with their neighbors.
Cubs Charities Diamond Project, expands opportunities for children to play baseball and softball, creates or preserves green space in underserved neighborhoods, and fosters a love for the game. Through the Diamond Project capital improvement fund, Cubs Charities provides resources to nonprofit, neighborhood-based organizations to support projects that enhance the quality, safety and accessibility of local baseball and softball fields or indoor training facilities with the technical assistance of LISC Chicago.
LISC Chicago has partnered with Cubs Charities on the Diamond Project since 2014. Currently, there are 60 active Diamond Project across Chicago.
NFL Grassroots Program, a partnership of the National Football League Foundation and LISC, which funds the construction of neighborhood football fields. The program provides non-profit, neighborhood-based organizations with financial and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety and accessibility of local football fields. The National Football League Foundation provides funding. LISC provides technical assistance and manages the program.