LISC National
Our Work

Sports Programs and Youth


Neighborhoods can’t thrive without safe environments for children, families and businesses. For more than a decade, LISC Chicago has engaged young people in neighborhoods through various sports, education, health and safety-related programs. They include Hoops in the Hood and the NFL Grassroots Program

Chicago youth taking in the skyline view at the 2017 Hoops in the Hood Cross-City Finals at Grant Park.
Chicago youth taking in the skyline view at the 2017 Hoops in the Hood Cross-City Finals at Grant Park.

Hoops in the Hood

Hoops in the Hood, a sports-based, community safety initiative that creates safe spaces for youth to interact and build positive relationships with peers and caring adults while making visible use of public spaces and fostering a sense of community. The summer basketball program is currently in 17 neighborhoods, many of which block off “hot-spots” for games. Local control is a key part of the program. Communities pick the locations and times for the program and choose the activities. In some neighborhoods the location is always the same, while others move each week to a new block, Chicago park or local gym.

Over the years, more than 30,000 kids have participated in Hoops programs, learning leadership skills, social responsibility and teamwork, and thousands of other residents have coached, watched their kid play, danced, laughed or simply spent a night out with their neighbors. 

NFL Grassroots Program

NFL Grassroots Program, a partnership of the National Football League Foundation and LISC, which funds the construction of neighborhood football fields. The program provides non-profit, neighborhood-based organizations with financial and technical assistance to improve the quality, safety and accessibility of local football fields. The National Football League Foundation provides funding. LISC provides technical assistance and manages the program.