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In the late 1990s, LISC WNY's sister organization LISC Chicago, with leadership support from the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, created the New Communities Program (NCP), a groundbreaking, bottom-up, comprehensive community planning effort in which LISC supports the development of Quality-of-Life Plans (QLPs) by community leaders and residents in Chicago neighborhoods.
Since the 1990s, various LISC communities around the country have adopted Comprehensive Quality of Life planning into their everyday functions. Although the term we use here in WNY is different - Comprehensive Livability Investment Plans (CLIPs) - the end result is the same.
In each neighborhood, a designated lead agency brings together a diverse group of organizations and residents to identify priorities ranging from better education, housing, broader job choices, safer streets, new economic opportunities and stronger personal finances. LISC invests in, coaches and champions each effort from the earliest building of local relationships, through plan creation, implementation and continual evaluation.
This process empowers neighborhoods by building capacity in existing community organizations and providing a framework through which they can assess and build on unique human, institutional and physical assets while identifying and addressing specific challenges.
CLIPs are visions for a community’s future, created and owned by the community, and serve as a guide for investments and action. During the process, LISC provides capacity building, technical and financial support to its community partners.