During this challenging time, partners like U.S. Bank have stepped up and leaned in, offering support to the people and places that need it the most. LISC is thankful for U.S. Bank Foundation’s recent $500,000 grant to support our COVID-19 recovery efforts, a significant and early investment in our COVID-19 Relief and Recovery Fund that helped mobilize other funders.
The grant is helping meet the immediate and short-term needs of community-based Small Business Support Organizations and the entrepreneurs they serve. To ensure that recovery is inclusive in the COVID-19 era, and that the communities where LISC works are included in economic recovery, LISC is leveraging U.S. Bank Foundation’s support to:
This investment is the culmination of a partnership dating back to 1988. Over the years, U.S. Bank has provided critical support for LISC’s comprehensive work, including our efforts in the areas of affordable housing, economic development, and capacity-building. LISC is grateful for the bank’s leadership on our Board and Local Advisory Committees, and for reminding us all that “hope isn’t quarantined” and “caring isn’t postponed.”
U.S. Bank is driven by the desire to make communities stronger – it’s at the heart of everything they do.
When LISC announced a $3M partnership with Ally last December to help aspiring homeowners and micro-entrepreneurs in Charlotte, Detroit, Jacksonville, FL, and Philadelphia realize their dreams, we had no idea that just a few months later a pandemic would turn the world upside down and illuminate systemic inequities and racial disparities in health access and outcomes, as well as the shortfalls of societal safety nets. Many of the frontline essential employees working in healthcare, food, transportation, and other critical industries, are low-wage people of color whose communities are experiencing disproportionate rates of COVID-19 infection and death due to structural barriers to resources and opportunities.
LISC quickly realized that COVID 19’s economic fallout has upended the lives of those who were already financially vulnerable pre-pandemic. This includes participants served through LISC’s partnership with Ally, which offers a bundled set of financial and business coaching services informed by LISC’s Financial Opportunity Centers (FOC) network. Participants, who were focusing on becoming financially stable and increasing their savings and assets, have had to put their homeownership and entrepreneurial plans on hold due to job loss or household instability.
Staying true to its mission of being an ally to communities in need, Ally has pivoted its partnership with LISC to enable our community partners to provide immediate emergency assistance to their clients, helping residents remain in stable housing, feed their families, access childcare, and apply for unemployment. Additionally, Ally’s flexible support is enabling partner organizations to implement the technology upgrades necessary to facilitate client contact and engagement during this time of social distancing.
“Our program with LISC gets to the heart of Ally’s Corporate Citizenship efforts – building economic mobility and addressing inequality in the communities where we live and work,” said Alison Summerville, business administration executive and head of Corporate Citizenship at Ally. “The pandemic has effected everyone and we want to help ensure that LISC partner organizations are able to continue to help their clients with both their short and long term needs.”
But while we focus on the here and now, we will not lose sight of the original intent of the partnership. Once the crisis wanes and recovery begins, we will focus again on helping clients with low to moderate incomes achieve financial stability and realize their aspirational goals of becoming successful homeowners and entrepreneurs.
Ally has demonstrated its commitment to equity and support to communities that are less likely to have access to the capital needed to foster innovation. LISC is thankful to have Ally as a steadfast partner for inclusive economic opportunity.
Ally is driven by a deep belief in helping people achieve their financial dreams. Ally affirms this belief by supporting efforts that increase economic mobility for individuals, families, and communities.
Across the country, COVID-19 has upended the lives of many residents and small business owners in the communities that LISC supports, many of which are historically disinvested. LISC quickly mobilized to support the people and communities already at the margins of care and resources by creating the Rapid Relief and Resiliency Fund, and we reached out to our partners for support.
MetLife Foundation answered LISC’s call to action with a $500,000 commitment to support our COVID-19 response efforts — specifically to provide relief funds to communities across the nation with a particular focus in New York State. LISC will leverage its network of Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs) to provide emergency cash assistance to help neighborhood residents meet immediate needs. FOCs are trusted, accessible, and culturally sensitive community-based organizations that deliver integrated services in the areas of career coaching, financial coaching and credit building, and access to income supports. The national network of over 100 FOCs serves over 24,000 individuals in 30 cities each year.
With already compromised financial health, the financial gains made by the low-wage workers that were benefiting from the services of the FOCs prior to “social distancing” are in jeopardy due to reduced or loss of income, housing insecurity, the need for childcare amidst school closures, inaccessibility of social safety nets, and other economic challenges and household strains caused by the pandemic.
“LISC has demonstrated time and again their ability to quickly reach communities in need with the right resources and services. We’re proud to continue this partnership to help hard-working people get through these difficult times and have opportunities to be successful in the future,” said Dennis White, President and CEO of MetLife Foundation.
MetLife Foundation has been a long time LISC partner, supporting financial health programming through the FOC network since 2013 with, now, a total of $8.25MM in grant support. With MetLife Foundation’s new infusion of resources, the FOCs can respond even more effectively as their community members seek ongoing FOC services as well as help with emergency rental assistance, food pantry, tax prep, and access to benefits.
Additionally, MetLife Foundation’s support will enable LISC to build the FOCs’ capacity to provide high- quality remote services to clients, which will play a critical role in the recovery efforts as individuals increase income, pay off debt, and rebuild savings. As FOCs leverage technology and develop new modes of service delivery, this improved infrastructure will help maintain a continuity of services—and diversify service options to better meet client needs—for the foreseeable future when social distancing guidance remains in effect, and beyond.
LISC is grateful for MetLife Foundation’s support and our nearly 40-year partnership in building strong, resilient communities.
MetLife Foundation partners with organizations around the world to create financial health solutions and build stronger communities, engaging MetLife employee volunteers to help drive impact.
The Kresge Foundation and LISC have a longstanding and significant partnership. We are grateful for Kresge’s work to expand opportunities in America’s cities through its grantmaking and social investing.
In addition to generous contributions that advanced LISC’s programming into its hometown of metropolitan Detroit, Kresge’s Arts & Culture Program was instrumental in the launch of our national creative placemaking initiative to scale our comprehensive community development approach and fund the Healthy Futures Fund.
Our partnership continues with a recent $1.1 million grant representing Kresge’s renewed commitment to LISC’s national creative placemaking program. Over the next two years, our creative development activity will be integrated within our economic inclusion agenda, with a focus on connecting arts organizations to LISC’s Financial Opportunity Centers (FOC) and Bridges to Career Opportunities (Bridges) programs.
A select group of organizations will be connected with the robust tools and resources in our FOC network that today includes over 95 community-based organizations. The national LISC creative placemaking and financial opportunities teams will collaborate to identify and support organizations in this space. Together they will issue a national RFP, select groups that could expand their impact with focused technical support, convene training‐engaged arts and cultural organizations as a cohort of learning, and provide technical assistance.
“We have been working in partnership with LISC for 8 years to support their efforts to embed creativity into their operations and programs to strengthen the communities they serve. We’re pleased to continue this partnership to advance creative approaches that empower residents to drive change and restore wellness in their neighborhoods,” said Regina Smith, Managing Director of Kresge’s Arts & Culture Program.
Our creative placemaking activities and aspirations align with our core philosophy, and with Kresge’s Arts & Culture Program’s goal to position culture and creativity as drivers of more just communities. We are grateful for the Foundation’s continued support at both the local and national levels, including the leadership of Rip Rapson, President and CEO of The Kresge Foundation, on our national board; Benjamin S. Kennedy, Vice President of Kresge’s Place-Based Practice, on LISC Detroit’s Local Advisory Committee; and Regina Smith, Managing Director of Kresge’s Arts & Culture Program.
The Kresge Foundation’s programs seek to expand opportunities for low-income residents so they can lead self-determined, healthy lives and contribute to the decision-making processes that affect their neighborhoods and personal wellbeing.
LISC is committed to helping residents get what they need to become – and stay – healthy. This includes job opportunities, financial stability, quality education, safe places to exercise, affordable housing, reliable transportation, and access to a primary health care provider and to nutritious foods.
With support from the Episcopal Health Foundation, LISC is addressing these aforementioned social determinants of health and how they intersect with health systems change in Houston. The Episcopal Health Foundation seeks to strengthen systems of health by catalyzing health systems to be accessible, equitable and deliver health, not just healthcare.
The Episcopal Health Foundation has provided LISC with more than $730,000 to advance health equity in Houston. The Foundation’s most recent multi-year grant continues efforts to support community members living and/or working in thirteen under-resourced Houston neighborhoods with capacity building leadership trainings focused on health equity. The primary goal is to train neighborhood-based leaders in understanding the social determinants of health, their impact, and what drives change.
The leadership trainings build participants’ knowledge and understanding of health inequities at the neighborhood level, increase the leadership capacity of the participants, and provide a forum for engagement and collaboration across neighborhoods. The trainings emphasize a different social determinant each year.
“If we’re really going to find solutions to the complex health challenges confronting Texans who are most in need, then we have to get their input on what has to change,” said Elena Marks, EHF’s president and CEO. “The changes needed to improve health go far beyond only getting access to a doctor. Our investment with LISC is helping community members push for new ideas to address the underlying neighborhood conditions that contribute to poor health.”
Together with the Episcopal Health Foundation’s support, LISC is developing a new cohort of leaders who are serving as ambassadors in the fight to address the challenges and barriers faced by people seeking to become and stay healthy in under-resourced neighborhoods. LISC is grateful for our partnership with the Episcopal Health Foundation.
The Episcopal Health Foundation is improving health, not just healthcare, in Texas by strengthening systems of health, activating communities, and investing in early childhood brain development.
LISC is grateful for our continued partnership with the Citizens Charitable Foundation. The Foundation’s most recent grants are helping to refine the Health Bridges to Career Opportunities programs and enhance our existing pilot program for long-term career development and wage advancement in three sites – Boston, Philadelphia, and Rhode Island.
Built on the framework of our national Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) model and our career pathways and training initiative, Bridges to Career Opportunities (Bridges), the post-placement coaching strategy builds participants’ financial stability through advanced coaching and employer engagement, while the Health Bridges program provides critical training in health-related fields.
The Citizens Charitable Foundation‘s willingness to support innovative programming in Boston, Philadelphia, and Providence enabled LISC to launch and test effective implementation strategies in these three geographies. In addition, the Health Bridges program created a cohort of three organizations in these markets working on health-related career pathways, leading to jobs in biotechnology, emergency medical services and medical assisting. With Citizens’ renewed support, LISC is embarking upon a second year of programming, which will help us and our partners advance the existing work and implement program enhancements to build the three sites’ capacity.
“The funding of these programs by the Citizens Charitable Foundation represents a long-term commitment Citizens Bank has made to give back to the communities it serves,” said Barbara Cottam, Head of Corporate Affairs and President of the Citizens Charitable Foundation. “Our partnership with LISC will help ensure that people have the skills necessary to reach their potential in the economy of tomorrow.”
The Citizens Charitable Foundation focuses its giving in three areas: helping people manage their money, the fight against hunger, and strengthening communities. The Citizens Charitable Foundation strives to improve the lives of our fellow citizens through building partnerships with public, private, and community partners to develop neighborhoods, transform lives, and stimulate economic renewal.
LISC is thankful for our long-term partnership with TD Charitable Foundation. The Foundation’s most recent grant supports implementation of our comprehensive approach to equitable community development in twelve markets of common interest – Boston, Charlotte, Connecticut, Delaware, Greenville, Hartford, Jacksonville, New York City, Newark, Philadelphia, Rhode Island, and Washington, D.C. In each site, we are focusing on affordable housing production and preservation, helping to make quality, affordable housing available to all residents—from seniors to veterans to the formerly homeless.
LISC views safe, affordable housing as the foundation for sustainable, economically vibrant and diverse neighborhoods and key to individual health and well-being. Increasing the supply of and access to affordable housing remains the cornerstone of our mission and our local offices actively deploy place-based strategies to address this need. Thus, the majority of the funds from TD Charitable Foundation will support our ongoing, local, on-the-ground affordable housing preservation and development implementation strategies in these markets, including expansion efforts in Delaware, Charlotte and Greenville. TD Charitable Foundation’s flexible support enables LISC offices in each market to target their greatest affordable housing needs.
“Having access to affordable housing is not only critical to one’s financial health, but also to one’s overall well-being. The Foundation is committed to supporting individuals and families in the communities in which we live and work. Through our strategic partnership with LISC, we’re working to sustain long-term social and economic growth,” said Paige Carlson-Heim, Director, TD Charitable Foundation.
TD Charitable Foundation has been an important partner of LISC for nearly a quarter of a century, providing grants, loans, and equity investments to communities as well as volunteer service on our Local Advisory Committees.
TD Bank’s community investments are aligned with TD Bank's Social Impact platform, The Ready Commitment, focused on addressing the four interconnected areas of greatest concern to those residing in North America: financial security; the environment; creating connected, inclusive communities; and better health.