In recent decades, the historically under-invested Bayview neighborhood of San Francisco has had few opportunities to offer its youth. But a creative new program, “Project Wreckless,” is enlisting at-risk young people to rehab classic cars, and offers job training, scholarships and mentoring to boot. All in a formerly abandoned ex-factory that’s beginning to look pretty spiffy, thanks in part to a façade grant from LISC.
Supporting programs that fuel economic opportunity and raise standards of living should be a bipartisan goal. In the wake of the State of the Union address, LISC’s senior vice president for policy, Matt Josephs, looks at the policies that advance common goals, with a lasting impact on the quality of life for all Americans.
Leading up to Super Bowl Sunday, Maurice Jones, LISC’s CEO and president, reflects on the parallels between our 20-year partnership with the NFL Foundation and his own experiences playing high school football. The 350 fields we’ve created with the NFL Grassroots Program make clear that the value of playing fields extends well beyond the importance of physical fitness: they provide space for youth development, bring communities together, and nurture transformative relationships.
In order to preserve a major portion of its decaying public housing stock, the City of San Francisco is using HUD’s Rental Assistance Demonstration program to convert thousands of homes to non-profit ownership. LISC has helped guide the rehabilitation of these neglected units, with community developers and residents leading the way.
Official unemployment rates may be low, but they don’t reflect the number of people out of the workforce, underemployed or lacking the skills to get good jobs. “We need to disaggregate these numbers,” LISC CEO Maurice Jones said in a front page article in The Guardian newspaper. By 2025, the US will have 16 million ‘middle skill’ positions in need of workers, Jones explained, noting “[t]hat’s not going to happen organically.” Training and connections to opportunity are imperative to lift everyone’s boat.