LISC National
COVID-19

Relief

Activating LISC Philadelphia's 40 year history supporting our community, we were uniquely positioned to provide disaster response, including raising funds, providing resources, mobilizing volunteers, and engaging neighborhood partners to ensure community stability.

For the first months of the COVID-19 crisis, LISC played a crucial role in helping government and others get information to residents and partner organizations. Utilizing our intermediary roles of investing, and convening, LISC mobilized grants and other resources for organizations and small businesses (prioritizing those owned by minorities and immigrants), while connecting them to opportunities via language translation services.

Learn more about LISC's Relief Efforts across each of our focus areas:

Equitable Community Development Over the past six years, LISC has intentionally invested in developing local resident leaders and their networks ofrelationships. Now, in this time of crisis, these investments have enabled us to quickly and clearly understand how our communities are being impacted and allowing their organizations to respond to this emergency with swift and agility.

Throughout the pandemic, Community Connectors have remained a vital and ongoing neighborhood resource; continuously sharing critical information in Spanish and English, distributing food and supplies, helping residents and small business owners apply for grants and cash assistance, creating grassroots relief funds, and serving as a vital bridge between our neighborhoods, institutions and city agencies. 

 
As longtime supporters of LISC, we appreciate their deep understanding of the Philadelphia community and the city’s small businesses, and we value their capacity to provide the type of comprehensive response that is needed as we progress through the COVID-19 pandemic. There is still much work to be done and LISC continues to engage with neighborhood partners to make sure that resources are getting to the Philadelphia citizens that need them most.
— Stephen Briggs-VP Community Development Wells Fargo

Affordable Housing: Reaffirming LISC’s focus on preservation, during the relief phase, we provided $260,000 in grants and for housing preservation related work (22 single family home repairs, pre-development of 68 post YR15 LIHTC units).

Policy & Advocacy: We joined PACDC and our community partners to successfully advocate for the restoration of City funding for affordable housing and priority use of CARES funding to help our partners on the ground re-position and prepare for the mid-term and future. We remain committed to ensuring our neighbors will be able to continue to stay in their homes by focusing on tenants, owners and buildings; and supporting projects that will generate revenue. "Philadelphia’s recovery from COVID-19 must put housing first" OpEd in WHYY’s Plan Philly

Economic Development: Throughout the pandemic, LISC has convened a network of commercial corridor managers to share information, generate knowledge, and build peer support. During the immediate relief phase, LISC provided language translation services, and through our national network provided $500,000 in small business relief grants. As we enter the recovery, LISC will continue to raise the capacity of corridor managers to respond to the new needs of their commercial districts; including active listening, empathetic leadership, and strategic triage for recovery.

During the relief phase of the pandemic, our Financial Opportunity Centers shifted income and wealth building programming and activiites to help clients alleviate the economic impact of COVID-19.

From March to June 2020 Finanical Opportunity Centers and Bridges to Career Opportunity supported clients:

  • Increase their average Savings to $1,737.08
  • Increase their average net income to $1,419.86
  • 40 unduplicated individuals met with FCO/BCO 5 or more times 
  • 48 Training participants received retention/advancement coaching
  • 148 Participants showed an improved FICO credit score
  • 57 People received income support counseling for the first time

Lending: The Governor’s Orders requiring the closure of all businesses not considered “life-sustaining” and requiring individuals to stay at home in the wake of the COVID-19 public health crisis resulted in many of the commercial tenants and individual residents in LISC-financed developments losing income critical to making rent obligations. To help LISC Philadelphia’s borrowers manage project and organizational cash flow, LISC approved modifications of six active loans that ranged from 60-day payment deferrals to 6-month payment deferrals dependent on the need of the individual developments.

Thank you, Wells Fargo

Wells Fargo is the lead supporter for LISC Philadelphia's COVID-19 Relief work. Wells Fargo has a long legacy of serving and supporting communities, and we have long been one of the most generous corporate foundations in the U.S. The company, through its business and the Wells Fargo Foundation, uses its resources and expertise to solve complex societal problems and pave a path to stability and financial success for underserved communities.

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