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.
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.”
Since 2012, LISC Philadelphia has been supporting and honing the Community Connectors program, forging a model for resident engagement rooted in local places, that leverages local knowledge and strengths. An article in Generocity delves into the workings of the program, the neighborhood people who make it tick and how LISC’s sustained partnership has helped improve community connection, safety and wellbeing across the city.
In New Haven, CT's Newhallville neighborhood, residents saw great potential for a place for children and adults to meet, play and learn about the native environment. Through the DOJ Innovations in Community Based Crime Reduction initiate grant, LISC backed a coalition of residents, advocates, law enforcement and others to transform the former drug market into a bona fide community gem. And to top it off, the grant helped fund local children to make a film about the project. Watch it here!
Since 2016, LISC has served as the technical service provider for a DOJ Community-Based Crime Reduction grant to Tulsa, OK. Three years, $500K and countless strategy sessions later, a community is reclaiming its home from crime and disorder. LISC Safety & Justice team member James Stark recently visited the community (now dubbed “Hope Valley”) and saw a transformation worth replicating in communities across the country.