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Philadelphia LISC is one of 31 local offices of Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a national nonprofit community development organization and CDFI. Overall, LISC has invested $17.3 billion in neighborhoods and rural communities across the United States.
In Philadelphia, LISC is a catalyst for community change, working with partners on the ground to strengthen neighborhoods and improve the lives of residents. We combine corporate, government, and philanthropic resources and have invested more than $400 million (and leveraged $1.4 billion) in Philadelphia's neighborhoods to build or preserve more than 8,150 affordable homes and to develop more than 2 million square feet of retail, community and educational space since 1980. Our goal is to create neighborhoods of choice and opportunity, where every resident has a chance to thrive.
As a teenager, Da’Quan Wilson was homeless, sleeping in friends’ apartments, at relatives’ homes and even in a cemetery. Today, he works as a “Community Connector” with LISC Philadelphia partner People’s Emergency Center (PEC), reaching out to young people who may be undergoing the same sorts of challenges he once did. In the following interview, which appeared on Generocity.org, Wilson shares his story and his conviction that young people must be part of the conversation about how to end youth homelessness.
LISC provided a $1.2 million business loan to enable nonprofit First Step Staffing to acquire a Philadelphia staffing firm. In Philadelphia, FSS will provide 750 jobs and supportive services to homeless, returning citizens, and veterans looking to reenter the workforce. LISC’s loan is part of a total of $4.85 million in CDFI loans. Nonprofit Finance Fund (NFF) is the lead lender with Reinvestment Fund, PIDC and LISC as participating lenders, each at $1.2 million.
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.
ArtPlace America announced that The Village has been chosen from nearly a thousand applications to receive $500k funding through its 2017 National Creative Placemaking Fund. LISC has provided support of The Village's arts-based community development work for nearly five years. This grant is a huge win for the Village, the Fairhill-Hartranft community, and for Philadelphia at large.
Mobile homes could help solve the affordable housing crisis and help people recover from disasters. They should not be synonymous with slurs.
Investing in small businesses is key to fueling local economies and creating opportunity. LISC supports emerging entrepreneurs other lenders may deem too risky and, in the process, helps open doors for economic development, wealth building, social connection and creativity in communities across the country. In celebration of Small Business Saturday (Nov. 25), we're taking a look at the big impact these investments make.