- About Us
- Our Model
- Our Work
- Our Impact
In 1995, the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), a community development support organization working in metropolitan areas across the country, launched Rural LISC, a national program created to expand LISC's reach beyond urban areas to include rural communities. Today, Rural LISC partners with 86 rural community-based organizations, including five financial intermediaries, helping them identify challenges and opportunities, and delivering the most appropriate support to meet local needs. Together we are working to transform communities in more than 2,100 counties across 45 states.
Recognizing that rural communities' needs are not focused on agriculture alone, Rural LISC provides a wide range of services, including training, technical assistance, information and financial support, to help rural community developers address the problems rural communities face. We use our Comprehensive Community Development Strategy to support our Partners in expanding investment in housing and real estate, increasing family income and wealth, stimulating economic development, improving access to quality education, and growing healthy environments and lifestyles.
We launch our celebration of Hispanic Heritage Month this year with the story of the Villegas family, owners of Los Originales Tacos Árabes de Puebla in Boyle Heights, Los Angeles. Natives of Puebla, Mexico, Merced and Alfredo Villegas run one of the city’s most beloved food trucks, and are emblematic of Hispanic immigrants to the U.S. who have not only enriched the cultural, social—and culinary—terrain of this country, but stoke the economy through their energetic entrepreneurship, creativity and resilience. (All photos courtesy of Inclusive Action for the City.)
Innovation and entrepreneurship are key to rural economic success, Gov. Asa Hutchinson said before a Pine Bluff economic meeting Wednesday. Hutchinson was the keynote speaker at the Rural Rise Summit, a conference that brought together about 200 policymakers and entrepreneurs from 37 states to share techniques for rural areas seeking ways to jump-start their economies.
In an interview with Shelterforce editor Miriam Axel-Lute, Jim King of FAHE in Appalachia and Bill Bynum of HOPE in the Mississippi Delta, two longtime LISC partners, discuss the challenge of persistent poverty in rural communities. Investing in rural areas—and dispelling stereotypes about them—they argue, is critical for the health of the entire country.