LISC National
What We Do

Community Services League

Community Services League (CSL) offers fully integrated services that combine income supports, employment coaching, financial coaching, and housing counseling in an effort to help families reach three main economic milestones:  increased income; increased net-worth; and improved credit. We believe that all families need to have access to asset building tools that can promote sustained personal economic stability and growth.  This is the power of Community Services League.

In January 2017, CSL entered a partnership with Preservation of Affordable Housing (POAH) to expand our Financial Opportunity Center to Hawthorne Place Apartments - a 745 unit / 2000 resident income based housing property located in Independence.  Through this partnership, CSL will not only help families improve their overall financial stability, but also work toward homeownership.

CSL is working hard to provide families access to credit to improve their lives, and get at one of the root problems that keep people in poverty. A couple years ago, we partnered with Holy Rosary Credit Union to launch our own small-dollar lending program. Over the last 24 months, we have made 65 loans totaling more than $251,000. We have lent money to refinance toxic loans, purchase vehicles, pay back taxes, and other imperative items. The average client seeking to refinance a loan came to us with an interest rate of more than 200%. No one in our program pays more than 19% interest, even though the average credit score of our participants is less than 600. By having a strong wrap-around support system, we have only had three defaulted loans out of the 65 we have issued, which is a default rate of less than five percent.

A client of Community Services League
A client of Community Services League

Low-income families need access to lines of capital (credit) to invest in themselves and their futures just as much, if not more than their middle- and wealthy-class counterparts. To build a thriving community, we must find solutions to these challenges. Along with other partners, CSL wants to be a voice for equity among all people.

Learn more about Community Services League and the work they do in Kansas City by visiting their site. 

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Trese Robinson, Program Officer