LISC’s SVP of economic development Bill Taft, LISC LA executive director Tunua, Thrash-Ntuk and Hanna Love of Brookings' Metropolitan Policy Program offer a concrete outline for how local organizations, stakeholders and policy makers can help spark economic vibrancy and inclusion in historically under-invested communities. Invoking the myriad causes of LA’s homelessness crisis, the blog for Brookings offers a multi-pronged place-based and people-centered approach that is forging authentic change in South LA, and in parts of Philadelphia and Indianapolis, too.
“It is time not only to invest more, but also invest differently, in the well-being of American workers, especially the significant pool of untapped talent that already exists,” said LISC CEO Maurice A. Jones and Citi EVP Ed Skyler in a joint op ed published in USA Today. They urge employers and nonprofits to look closely at the success of community-based Bridges to Career Opportunities programs as a model for helping unemployed and underemployed workers break down barriers to quality jobs, while helping businesses fill millions of open positions that they need for growth. Citi Foundation has partnered with LISC on a $10 million grant to fuel 40 Bridges programs across the country.
In a wide-ranging conversation with Nonprofit Quarterly, LISC COO Annie Donovan delves into LISC’s 40 years of connecting capital to disinvested places, and people to opportunity. From spearheading a “comprehensive” approach in community development, to elevating health and racial equity in its investments, to forging a $500M affordable housing fund for the Bay Area, LISC continually refines and augments its work. The commitment to truly upend inequalities demands intentional action, says Donovan, which has led LISC to take on “more capacity building, more support for advocacy. That is how you create systems change.”
In celebration of Black History Month, the National Housing Conference is highlighting six Black leaders, including our president and CEO Maurice A. Jones, who are “making history today in housing policy, advocacy, research and community development.” The affordable housing organization gives props to Jones for his work forging economic opportunities and helping build resilient and inclusive communities as part of his “lifetime of service.”
An in depth feature on Curbed.com details how mission-based groups, especially churches, are skilling up to turn their under-used land into affordable housing and other facilities their communities desperately need. And LISC initiatives in San Antonio, New York and the Bay Area are leading the charge. “Churches really feel the impact of the displacement issue in their communities,” says LISC Bay Area’s Laurel Engbretson in the article. “There’s a higher level of energy to get involved in this, because they understand the larger market context.”