LISC has invested deeply in the health and wellbeing of people in the places where we work for 40 years. But we’re upping the ante. President and CEO Maurice Jones calls partners to join us in upending health disparities through tailored investments in communities, and designing a plan to assess the health outcomes of our broad work in economic dev [...]
This is the story of Michael Elliot, who was homeless and fighting cancer when his life took a sharp turn for the better. Through a unique partnership with ProMedica Health in Toledo, where he was receiving treatment, Elliot was introduced to a LISC Financial Opportunity Center. There, he worked with a financial coach, who helped him secure a safe, affordable apartment and even begin saving money—all within a few months. Said Elliot, “It’s the greatest thing in the world that I have a place to call home.”
You can feel the change, say residents. Police data show it, too. In just one year, crime and violence have dropped precipitously in Englewood, a Chicago neighborhood where LISC has long partnered with local leaders, according to an article in the Chicago Tribune. How did it change? A concerted mix of strategic policing and community engagement, says Julia Ryan, LISC’s VP for health & safety—the very approach LISC supports in Englewood and dozens of communities across the country.
PUSH (People United for Sustainable Housing), a long-time LISC partner, has made extraordinary gains in disinvested parts of Buffalo by developing green affordable housing, workforce programs, community cohesion and even a land bank. An article in Next City plumbs the group’s mission and inventive strategies to boost prosperity for residents while trying to prevent displacement. Over the past decade, LISC has invested nearly $12 million in grants and equity in PUSH projects.
In response to a New York Times article on the role of citizens in crime reduction, Julia Ryan, LISC’s vice president of health and safety, wrote a letter to the editor underscoring the importance of community nonprofits and residents in the success of these efforts. Ryan points to LISC research that proves community-led strategies work and calls for appropriate investment in community-led revitalization.
At the recent Opportunity Finance Network annual conference in D.C., LISC and partners hosted a panel that dove into the ins and outs of underwriting Pay For Success transactions. Borrowing strategies from traditional debt financing, the panelists walked the audience through the special considerations that can make for a successful Pay For Success deal.