LISC National


LISC is taking action to ensure that we continue to support the people and places where we work. We will do so while protecting the health of our LISC team and contributing our utmost to help slow the spread of the virus, while mitigating its economic impact in our communities.

Building Strength and Equity

One of the most devastating aspects of the Covid-19 crisis is the disproportionate impact it is having on communities of color—a clear outcome of discrimination and underinvestment that long predates the pandemic. LISC's urgent response to the fallout for these communities includes intentional efforts to bridge the gaps that created this disparate impact in the first place. And these actions are not limited to the lifespan of this pandemic—our strategy is designed to help communities and people recover, and to build the strength and resiliency that will carry us all into a more equitable and just future.

Challenges & Solutions

Philadelphians who were economically vulnerable before the pandemic now face an even more uncertain future. Many have lost their jobs and don’t know where their next paycheck will come from. Those who still have jobs – many of which cannot be performed remotely – struggle to find childcare and safe, reliable transportation. Although costs such as federal student loans may be deferred, and foreclosures and evictions may be suspended, these expenses must be paid eventually. This means mounting debt for people who were already treading water financially long before Covid-19 reached our shores.

Many small businesses that were forced to shut down temporarily are at serious risk of closing permanently. These enterprises are the lifeblood of communities, providing critical goods and services as well as jobs to locals. Unfortunately, many already operate on narrow profit margins. Small businesses desperately needed emergency assistance to bridge the gap and stay afloat.

Community organizations that people turn to in times of need lack sufficient resources to keep up with skyrocketing demand. These groups are not only called upon to serve more people; they must also operate in a new way, delivering services remotely to ensure everyone’s safety. Efforts to help people meet longer term, aspirational goals – for example, training for a new career or saving to buy a home – must be put on the back burner. The focus now is on meeting residents’ basic needs such as through emergency rental assistance, access to food and child care, and help applying for unemployment.