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On a cool Spring afternoon in April, close to 75 people attended a Choice Neighborhood kick-off event in Mott Haven at the Betances Community Center. Long-time residents of public housing came to let their voices be heard and to participate in a community-driven planning process to develop solutions to preserve affordable housing in the tight-knit neighborhood. LISC and the New York City Housing Authority, who are partners in this process, hosted the workshop to work with community organizations, faith-based groups, parent associations, local residents and business owners to help craft a transformation plan for the neighborhood. These meetings will continue throughout the summer with the plan expected in 2014, to compete for millions of dollars in federal funds.
The wreckage and despair from Hurricane Sandy is breathtaking and the recovery threatens to be long and hard. LISC is already at work to bring help to the Tri-State area where it is most needed. We are setting up the LISC Emergency Relief Fund that will make sure people in low-income neighborhoods get the assistance they need whether from the federal government or a local hardware store. Many of those people are in neighborhoods where LISC and its community partners already have a presence and infrastructure. That means the funds can move quickly to bring targeted relief to the most vulnerable residents.
LISC New York City is launching Communities for Healthy Food NYC, a three-year healthy food initiative to help low-income families live longer and healthier. Seeded by Laurie M. Tisch Illumination Fund, our new program will expand access to healthy food in disadvantaged neighborhoods. We will incorporate healthy food strategies into every aspect of our neighborhood-based work – by educating residents, housing staff, community service providers and food vendors on nutrition, food preparation and overall health; and by locating healthy food outlets in places without them.
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