October 2016 Newsletter

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LISC equips struggling communities with the capital, strategy, and know-how to become places where people can thrive.
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E-News Update October 2016
Community Development Through a Health Lens
The factors influencing health—especially mental health—are complex, and not always easy to identify or influence. Yet LISC is committed to doing just that.

Through our Resilient Communities/Resilient Families (RC/RF) initiative in Roxbury, Dorchester, and Mattapan, we are developing a plan to address mental health concerns, particularly toxic stress affecting low-income men of color, by tackling the environmental and socioeconomic factors that are barriers to opportunity. This new focus on health complements other RC/RF work, which focuses on a range of challenges from affordable housing to jobs.

Our new health initiative is supported through a national relationship between LISC and County Health Rankings & Roadmaps—a collaboration between the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation and the University of Wisconsin Population Health Institute. With a CHR&R Community Coach and a $100,000 grant, LISC Boston is working with Boston Medical Center's Vital Village, Health Resources In Action, and others to develop a comprehensive mental health strategy focused on measurable outcomes.

The planning piece of this effort includes extensive community outreach, which we’re conducting in partnership with Codman Square Neighborhood Development Corporation, Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation, and Mattapan ABCD.  With the help and support of so many wonderful partners, we expect the program to be up and running in early 2017.  
A New Study Shows LISC’s Financial Opportunity Centers Surpass Other Programs
No single strategy combats all the complex and deeply-rooted factors of poverty. This holds true for revitalizing neighborhoods, and it’s true for individual people struggling to balance a household budget. 

To improve the financial wellbeing of low-income families, LISC has adopted a multi-pronged approach. Through our network of 80 Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs) in more than 30 cities across the country, we help people get steady, living-wage employment, boost their credit rating and increase net income and net worth. FOCs do this by offering three main services, bundled together: one-on-one financial counseling, employment assistance, and help accessing public benefits that supplement income from work. 

Now, we have promising new evidence that this strategy works: An independent study by the Economic Mobility Corporation (Mobility) has found that FOC participants have greater success in meeting their financial goals than do people in programs offering employment assistance alone. FOC clients are more likely to be employed year-round, reduce non-asset related debt and build positive credit histories.

To reach its conclusions, the Mobility study, which was made possible by a grant from the Social Innovation Fund, compared data from five FOCs and five publicly-funded workforce centers in Chicago. Researchers looked at outcomes for FOC clients who had been involved with the program for two years, and contrasted them with a similar group of job seekers who sought services from the city’s workforce centers over a comparable time period.

Data have driven the development and implementation of the FOC model from the beginning. This study raises the bar for our work, giving us more rigorous evidence of the impact of FOCs, and greater insight into how to continue refining them.

Join us for an overview of the key findings of the study at a webinar on Thursday, October 27, at 2 p.m. EDT. Register here.

Download report

Download report summary

Small Business is Booming: New Trustees and Borrowers Get Kiva Funding Through LISC
As the saying goes, "You have to spend money to make money," and we're proud to support the entrepreneurs across the country by helping them finance their business ventures. For businesses that might not yet qualify for traditional Small Business Association or bank loans, we have built a partnership with Kiva, a character-based crowdfunding platform. Our Kiva borrowers can get interest-free loans of up to $10,000, and LISC Boston matches funds raised, helping businesses reach their goals faster.

In the past month, we've seen a dramatic rise in Kiva participation. Boston Ujima Project, Center for Women & EnterpriseRoxbury Center for Financial Empowerment, and Dudley Street Neighborhood Initiative have joined Commonwealth Kitchen as Kiva Trustees, publicly vouching for borrowers on the Kiva website. Five new businesses have also joined the fundraising platform, and are already fully funded.
We're excited to make meaningful funding accessible to small, local businesses, and urge you to support them as well. If you're hungry, our Kiva borrowers have the fix: Try some lactose-free ice cream from Minus the Moo, a Green Monster Mint cookie from Top Shelf Cookies, or the roasted mango relish from Lyndigo Spice. Order catering from Fresh Food Generation, or enjoy the Ethiopian flavors of Blue Nile Foods. Shoppers, they've got you covered too: check out new fashions designed by Alleb Asor, or shop for unique handmade gifts at Hippo.

Are you an aspiring entrepreneur yourself? TLE Consulting and Sydney Janey Design can help you get your business off the ground. And if you're interested in becoming a Kiva Trustee or borrower, contact Karleen Porcena, our resident Kiva Advisor.
Lending to New Development in Rockport, MA
LISC Boston has teamed up with the Community Economic Development Assistance Corporation (CEDAC) to help fund Granite Street Crossing, an affordable housing development in Rockport, MA. The developers, Harborlight Community Partners (HCP),  will construct one building with 17 rental units for seniors, and two smaller buildings with six units for families, all targeted to residents with incomes at or below 60% of median level. Of the 23 units, 10% will also be set aside for homeless individuals and families. CEDAC will serve as the lead lender on this project with LISC Boston providing participating funds through our Equitable Transit Oriented Development Accelerator Fund (ETODAF).

As with all ETODAF projects, transit-accessibility is a major feature of the Granite Street Crossing development. The site is only 0.2 miles from the Rockport commuter rail station, and is within walking distance of shopping and other amenities. The project marks LISC Boston’s first and second partnerships with HCP and CEDAC respectively.

We are proud to support affordable housing in areas with limited affordable stock like Rockport through the ETODAF, which was created with funding support from The Boston Foundation, the Hyams Foundation, and MassDevelopment.
LISC AmeriCorps Alums Enter the Workforce in Boston
Following their graduation celebration in July, the 2015/ 2016 LISC AmeriCorps Boston cohort has now completed their full term of service. (Check out this beautiful summary of what they accomplished.) Many of these young leaders are committed to community development, and will be staying on as staff members within the organizations they’ve been serving.
Newly minted AmeriCorps alums who have accepted positions in the field include Donayda Salomon at Jamaica Plain Neighborhood Development Corporation, Phuong-Binh Duong at United Way of Massachusetts and Merrimack Valley, Victoria Florentino at Dorchester Bay Economic Development Corporation, Ada Flores at Somerville Community Corporation, Jamel Langston at Madison Park Development Corporation, and Kelly Rusch at Neighborhood of Affordable Housing. The other graduates are either returning to school in the fall or are currently interviewing for jobs in the community development field.
The LISC AmeriCorps program is not only capacity-building for our partner organizations, it is also “field-building” in its contribution of passionate new voices to the field of community development. We are thrilled to see so many hardworking former AmeriCorps members continue to support the organizations they’ve been a part of and we look forward to seeing what they accomplish in the future.


Citing organizational strength and sustained community impact, S&P Global Ratings has assigned a ‘AA’ credit rating to LISC, one of the only CDFIs in the country with a public rating. The S&P analysis is a "powerful validation for community development investing and its capacity to help people live better,” said Maurice Jones, LISC president and CEO.

Fairmount Indigo Corridor Job Retention and Attraction:Strategy and ImplementationOctober 25, 9-11 am, Bank of America Conference Center, 225 Franklin Street, Boston. Join public and private sector leaders for a discussion about place-based recommendations to bring these economic gains to the 135,000 residents living in the Fairmount Indigo Corridor. Attendees will receive a hard copy of the recommendations of a working group that examined how key commercial and industrial clusters in Newmarket and Readville can be strengthened and expanded to create jobs for Boston residents who need them most. Hosted by LISC Boston, The American City Coalition, and the Fairmount Indigo Network, with support from Bank of America. REGISTER.

Fairmount Indigo Network Community Forum, Saturday, November 12, 9am – 1pm, Salvation Army Kroc Center, 650 Dudley Street, Dorchester. This is a special forum to engage residents and other stakeholders, update on the various corridor initiatives and mobilize for action. Lunch will be provided.

Better Business Workshops: Financial Planning and Literacy for Entrepreneurs
Cash Flow Projections
Wednesday, October 5, 6:30-8 PM
ABDC Roxbury/N. Dorchester NOC, 565 Warren Street, Roxbury, MA

Bring your laptop and business financials to this hands-on workshop, and leave with a one-year cash flow projection. Representatives from Citizens Bank and Smarter In The City will guide you through the process of creating this important business document.
Financial Presentation Skills
Thursday, October 13, 6:30-8 PM
Fairmount Innovation Lab, 594 Columbia Road (Upham's Corner), Dorchester, MA

Hone your answers to the tough financial questions that small business lenders and investors ask when evaluating applications for funding. Experts from Citizens Bank will teach what to emphasize, what to avoid, and how to back up your ideas with solid data to increase your chance of getting funding.
All entrepreneurs are welcome, and refreshments will be served. Space is limited, so pre-registration is required for each workshop. Questions? Contact Karleen Porcena.
Brought to you by Citizens Bank and LISC Boston, in partnership with Center for Women and Enterprise, Epicenter Community, Fairmount Innovation Lab, Nuestra Comunidad Development Corporation, Smarter in the City, and TLE Consulting Group



LISC Boston
95 Berkeley Street, Suite 301
Boston, MA 02116
(617) 338-0411
Copyright © 2016 LISC Boston, All rights reserved.
You are receiving this email due to your relationship with LISC Boston.

Last Updated ( Tuesday, 04 October 2016 08:29 )  


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