Our Stories

4.28.2017 -

“If You’re Looking to Change Your Life, This Is the Place to Come To”

Jovan Sams discovered his passion for mechanics as a teen growing up in Chicago’s Jane Addams projects. But the lingering cloud of a felony conviction kept him unemployed for six years and led to bankruptcy. Fortunately, he connected with a LISC-supported Bridges to Opportunity program and took advantage of “everything they had to offer.” Now he works a good-paying union job with the Chicago Transit Authority, and has a robust credit score to boot. A video from North Lawndale Employment Network, where Sams turned his life around, tells the story.

4.20.2017 -

Crossing the Bridge to Financial Stability in Houston

For more than a century, Houston’s Wesley Community Center has lent a hand to people making their way out of poverty. With a LISC-supported Bridges to Career Opportunities program, the agency has amped up its strategies for helping clients take the reins of their financial lives. One man’s experience shows how it works.

Building Bridges to 21st-century Careers

Yohannes Kassaye is a client of JVS (Jewish Vocational Services) in Boston, whose Bridges to College and Careers Pathways program helps topple barriers to employment for low- and moderate-income residents. This free 23-week college prep program segues into a professional curriculum at community colleges that prepares people to work in growth industries short on talent. LISC has committed $675,00 over three years for the JVS Bridges initiative. Kassaye, a native of Ethiopia, describes how the program helped him realize a dream of working in science and health—and how doors keep on opening.

3.23.2017 -

How to Reduce Crime with #SafetyPartners

On March 22nd, in partnership with the Bureau of Justice Assistance at the U.S. Department of Justice, LISC hosted a dialogue about successful strategies for helping communities that struggle with high rates of crime get on a path to safety and economic opportunity. In the weeks prior to the event, we shared research, blog posts and videos that showcase the work of the Byrne Criminal Justice Innovation Program in three communities across the U.S.

3.22.2017 -

“What Was Done, Was Done Right”

LISC Rhode Island worked with the residents of Aleppo Street and the Providence Police Department to help turn a blighted, chronically unsafe area into a neighborhood of opportunity. By forging a partnership based on a community contract, residents, police and investors worked to reverse decades of problems. Captain Dean Isabella of the Providence PD, a native of the area, describes the transformation.