- About Us
- Our Model
- Our Work
- Our Impact
Rural LISC is proud to recognize Capital One for its ongoing support of programs catalyzing affordable housing and economic growth in rural America. In 2016-2017, Capital One provided Rural LISC with three generous grants to support a mobile Financial Opportunity Center in rural Appalachia, a rural CHDO (Community Housing Development Organization) training curriculum for rural CHDOs and community-based organizations in Louisiana, and workforce development and affordable housing production capacity building for two partner organizations in Louisiana.
The mobile Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) is the rural version of LISC’s successful FOC model, which delivers integrated services across three core areas: 1) employment placement, job retention and skill improvement; 2) financial coaching and education; and 3) access to income supports. Each FOC is traditionally operated by one community-based organization and housed in one facility located in a dense, urban neighborhood that residents can easily access. “However, in rural America,” explains Suzanne Anarde, LISC Vice President and Rural LISC Director, “many community-based organizations are small in both size and capacity while serving a much larger physical service area. And due to the lack of resources available to these organizations and the sprawling geography they serve, a traditional, brick and mortar FOC might not operate as efficiently in a rural community.” She adds, “That’s why we believe that mobile Financial Opportunity Centers can have such a tremendous impact in rural America, much as they already do in urban areas.”
“Capital One became an early funder of the FOC pilot program as part of our wide-ranging support of Rural LISC efforts to address persistent poverty in rural areas,” said Lydia Jackson, CRA Business Development Officer at Capital One. “Capital One grants have supported FOC pilot-program planning and funding of the two implementation sites. We are proud to play a key role in establishing mobile centers that deliver critical employment, income-support and financial services to residents of rural areas.”
Rural LISC's goal is to expand the FOC model in 2018 to meet the needs of its partners and their unique communities, and help rural residents secure and grow employment, build credit and assets, and achieve long-term financial stability. Rural LISC's approach is to build out the rural FOC network in three delivery models that include traditional site-based FOCs and two distinct mobile FOC structures. In this rural FOC planning effort, Rural LISC is working with Fahe (Federation of Appalachian Housing Enterprises), a partner organization with a unique collaborative model of over 50 rural community partners across Appalachia, to develop a mobile FOC where a coach will “rove” between sites to service rural residents who are often located in a large geography.
Rural CHDO Training
With the support of Capital One, Rural LISC established a Rural CHDO Training, the Housing Development Training Institute (HDTI), which leverages the existing resources of Capital One’s Louisiana Housing Fellowship Program and, at the same time, meets the goal of improving housing development capacity in rural parishes for selected Capital One partners. There have been two successful trainings in 2016-2017, educating some 42 participants from 12 rural CHDOs and community-based organizations across the state. The first two training topics in the six-part series included accessing the HOME program to increase affordable housing development in rural Louisiana. In 2018, with a renewed grant from Capital One, topics will include advanced CHDO homebuyer development and advanced CHDO rental housing development training.
Louisiana Capacity Building
Also in Louisiana, a $20,000 grant from Capital One is providing capacity building support to NOVA Workforce Institute of Northeast Louisiana and Southern Mutual Help Association, two rural community-based partner organizations that are working to improve the conditions of low-income residents throughout the state.
Capital One grant funding is helping NOVA to build a strong educational base which creates the foundation for a successful and sustainable initiative moving people and communities out of poverty. And with its workforce development trainings, NOVA elevates the life and work-readiness skills of the residents of the Delta Region, which allows them to help fill employers’ needs for a trained workforce.
At Southern Mutual, Capital One’s grant funds are assisting with the Teche Ridge development, an innovative smart-growth neighborhood, the first of its kind in Louisiana’s rural Acadiana region. With Capital One’s support, Rural LISC has assisted Southern Mutual through capacity building grants, predevelopment grants, low cost loan funds, specialized technical assistance and training. A 2017 Healthy Housing grant is enabling Southern Mutual to integrate healthy housing principles into the first five homes in Teche Ridge; and an Arts and Culture Cohesive Economic Development grant is helping advance Southern Mutual’s Arts and Culture Initiative, which seeks to articulate, elevate and disseminate the coastal Louisiana story of “place.”
Through Capital One’s support, low- and moderate-income individuals and families in Louisiana and Appalachia are receiving affordable housing, workforce development and financial literacy skills to break the cycle of poverty.
Visit the Capital One website for more information.