Our Stories

In This Season of Giving, Take Action!

This Giving Tuesday, we are reflecting on what we've accomplished in 2019 thanks to the support of our donors and partners. To that end, we're highlighting three key areas of our work: supporting entreprenuers, closing the skills gap and investing in safety and justice programs—all of which were made possible by our supporters' investments. 

Don't miss these incredible snapshots of how our work plays out on the ground, and join us in catalyzing opportunity in communities across the country with a contribution.
 


Community-Police Partnerships Fight the Opioid Epidemic Where It Lives
A recent flurry of media coverage has shone a spotlight on the decline in opioid overdose deaths in Dayton, Ohio, a city that has been at the epicenter of the crisis. In an article for Next City, Mona Mangat, national director of LISC's Safety & Justice programs, and Matthew Perkins, a senior program officer and criminologist, parse the crucial ways a DOJ grant and technical assistance from LISC helped the community of East Dayton tackle opioid-driven crime and disorder—a local approach hundreds of communities can learn from. Read the Story [+]...

The Justice League
In less than three years, the RVA League for Safer Streets, a basketball-plus-education program for young men from Richmond communities with high crime rates, has had an extraordinary peace-making impact in the lives of participants—and on the city at large. Its founders were informed by experience and insight wrought by decades behind bars, which is why the League is dedicated to keeping people out of prison, and helping those who are returning to become successful members of their communities. The article that follows contains audio quotes from the League's founders about pivotal experiences in their lives in and outside of prison. Read the Story [+]...

In a Corner of Tulsa, One Neighborhood Has Become a Valley of Hope
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. Read the Story [+]...

Entrepreneurs of Color Fund Expands its Footprint in Chicago
JP Morgan Chase and Fifth Third Bank announced on Wednesday that it will invest $9.1 million in minority-owned small businesses in Chicago neighborhood through its Entrepreneurs of Color Fund. LISC will continue to guide program mentorship, alongside our partner Acción Chicago. LISC senior director Steve Hall emphasized how the fund can help transform communities and forge opportunity: “It’s important for safety. It’s important for quality of life. And it really impacts the youth of those neighborhoods," he said. Read the Story [+]...

Constructing Resilience, Two Years After María: Q&A with Javier Zapata-Rodríguez
The deputy director of economic development for PathStone Corporation and a LISC Rubinger Fellow, Javier E. Zapata-Rodríguez has an insider's view on how the fallout from hurricane Maria has shaped economic development in Puerto Rico, the imperative of supporting small business on the island, and how Puerto Ricans have galvanized to build resiliency for themselves, two years after the megastorm made landfall. Read the Story [+]...

Starbucks Invests in Chicago’s Entrepreneurial Spirit, With Help from LISC
Did you hear what’s brewing in Chicago? Starbucks Coffee Company announced a $10 million investment to drive economic opportunity in the city’s underserved communities. The funds, which are slated to help finance more than 500 loans to support small businesses and create jobs, will be disbursed among four community lenders with expertise in those neighborhoods, and LISC Chicago is one. The investment “will deliver clear benefits to residents, while making our neighborhoods safer and stronger,” said LISC Chicago ED Meghan Harte. Read the Story [+]...

This Is What Closing the Skills Gap Can Look Like
Chicago, like so many cities in the U.S., has jobs that need filling, and would-be workers who need the skills to build careers. A must-read article from Chicago’s WBEZ dives deep into how community organizations like the Jane Addams Resource Corp, our longtime partner and manager of a LISC-backed Bridges to Career Opportunities program, connect people with the technical and soft skills needed to land, and grow in, good, 21st-century manufacturing jobs. Read the Story [+]...

From Recidivism to Rebuilding Lives: Q&A With Kelly Orians
Kelly Orians is an attorney, a 2019 Rubinger Fellow and the co-director of the First 72+, a ground-breaking New Orleans re-entry program for people returning from incarceration. Orians spoke with LISC about the state of criminal justice in Louisiana, the challenges and successes her clients experience, and how her organization is helping lift the burden of entrenched bureaucracy and predatory debt that keeps so many people from gaining real freedom after release. Read the Story [+]...

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