LISC National
Where We Work

West Philadelphia

West Philadelphia is a diverse, close-knit and vibrant community home to family-friendly parks and schools, celebrated eateries, and an active arts and culture scene. A rich history of community organizing and development has created a welcoming, environment for families, students, working people, and professionals. 
Yet half of West Philadelphia residents still live in poverty, and unemployment hovers near 20%. Population loss and concentrated poverty have had a profound impact on the physical and social fabric of the neighborhood, such that crime and drug related activities continue to compromise quality of life. 

Make Your Mark & We Are Mantua Community Plans
Through SCI West, LISC is focused on Mantua and the Lower Lancaster Avenue area, including the Belmont, West Powelton, Saunders Park and Mill Creek neighborhoods. Currently, LISC works alongside People’s Emergency Center enacting the "Make Your Mark" plan and Mount Vernon Manor's“We Are Mantua!” Transformation Plan.


Promise Zone and Promise Neighborhoods

The West Philadelphia Promise Neighborhoods grant was funded by the U.S. Department of Education for five years (2016-2021). The project is led by Drexel, in partnership with the City of Philadelphia, the School District of Philadelphia (SDP), People’s Emergency Center, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and over 100 other organizations and service providers.

In 2014, the LISC-led collaborative helped make the SCI-West area a federal “Promise Zone,” which attracted roughly $30 million of federal, state, and private anti-poverty funds in its first year. In 2017, a collaborative led by Drexel and the City of Philadelphia, won a five-year Promise Neighborhood award totaling $30 million to support cradle-to-career education strategies in the SCI-West area. Instead of providing new programs or services, the West Philadelphia Promise Zone helps existing organizations work together to increase opportunities for residents living, working, and going to school within its boundaries. 

2020 Promise Neighborhood Funding Opportunity 

SCI-West Core Partners: