LISC AmeriCorps – Host Site Applications Materials Available

Posted by on Jun 9, 2017 in Blog, Home, Uncategorized | 0 comments

AC_LISCHost site applications are now available for the FY17-18 LISC AmeriCorps year! While LISC is waiting to hear from the Corporation for National and Community Service regarding if we will receive funding, we are hopeful and want to begin the application process. The deadline for application materials is June 26 at 5pm.

LISC AmeriCorps members working with our partner organizations can take on roles such as financial counseling and job placement; housing May 20 Toledo and Detdevelopment and foreclosure prevention; or engaging local residents in volunteering to improve the safety, health and beauty of their neighborhoods. Members spearhead valuable projects; engage local residents; and gain an understanding of community development and the profound value of service.

For more information about the application process and to have materials sent to you, please contact Robyn Hall at or 419-419-0202.

Meet a current member!

TanasioTanasio Loudermill is serving at the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo working with the Old West End Neighborhood Initiatives (OWENI) community to facilitate positive change in an underserved area of Toledo’s Old West End. Already, Tanasio has worked with local artist Krysta Sa to coordinate arts programming with youth at Kent Branch Library, the hub of OWENI youth, and with Mercè Culp at Jones Leadership Academy, where students are painting mural boards that will be installed on an abandoned house in the OWENI neighborhood this spring. At Kent, area youth are encouraged to self-reflect and think about their place in the neighborhood through the artistic practices of photography, puppet-making, and collage, with their finalized work hanging in the library for all to see. Additionally, Tanasio has been working with OWENI to connect area residents to the new manufacturing jobs coming to the area, right in their backyards. The organization has been working closely with Lucas County Ohio Means Jobs and other resources for securing and retaining employment to ensure that residents are job ready.Toledo 3

Community driven at heart and a resident of the Old West End, Tanasio wishes to use his AmeriCorps term to “get things done” in the neighborhood and engage residents in a way that is impactful and lasting. Serving as a member of the Arts Commission’s Creative Placemaking team, he aims to connect residents through public art and safe spaces, as well as utilize his skills as a documentary filmmaker to capture the neighborhood revitalization and development happening in the city of Toledo through the Arts Commission.

Tanasio project

Meet AmeriCorps Member Kelly Dean

Posted by on May 25, 2017 in Blog, Events, Featured, Home, News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

10352751_1904321693127406_2582460291635015927_n (2)Kelly Dean and her husband are long-term East Toledo residents. They reside and raised their children in the same East Toledo neighborhood they met in over 25 years ago. She is proud to be able to serve with her neighbors to facilitate positive change in that community.

Kelly and AmberKelly is excited that she is in her second term as a LISC AmeriCorps member with the East Toledo Family Center (ETFC). Her service includes increasing resident engagement in the Garfield Heights neighborhood. During her first term, she worked in the Birmingham neighborhood identifying resident ambassadors, who came together to address housing, safety, and other community concerns. In partnership with East Toledo Family Center, One Voice and other groups, Kelly will continue these efforts in the Garfield Heights neighborhood. She will work with the existing ambassadors to build a team of residents to empower, educate and engage residents to find solutions.

Most recently, Kelly planned and facilitated Global Youth Service Day projects in East Toledo. Kelly says she is always ready to jump into action and “Get Things Done.”

If you are interested in learning about or hosting a LISC AmeriCorps member contact Robyn Hall at AC_LISCor 419-419-0202.

United North receives HUD-approved housing counseling agency designation

Posted by on Jan 31, 2017 in Blog, Featured, Home, Uncategorized | 0 comments

United North receives HUD-approved housing counseling agency designation

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development sponsors housing counseling agencies throughout the country that can provide advice on buying a home, renting, defaults, foreclosures, and credit issues.  Recently, United North’s ONE Village Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) joined the list HUD-approved housing counseling agencies in Toledo, providing services in the following areas: financial coaching, personal financial management/budget counseling, credit repair, home improvement counseling, pre-purchase counseling, and predatory lending education.  To kick-off 2017 the ONE Village FOC is hosting a Pre-purchase Homebuyer Education Series throughout the month of February.  For more information on the topics, dates and location, click here or call 419-724-5640.



Teaming Up for Toledo – October 27th!

Posted by on Oct 26, 2016 in Blog, Featured, Home | 0 comments

Teaming Up for Toledo – October 27th!

Toledo LISC’s Spotlight on Community Development Fundraiser is right around the corner!  Please join us this Thursday, October 27th at 6pm at The Armory in the Fleetwood Building.   This year we’re shining the spotlight on neighborhood revitalization efforts happening in Toledo that spurred economic growth among Toledo’s small business community.  And what better place to host this celebration that Hensville in the heart of Toledo’s Warehouse District?!

To join us and purchase tickets click here.


Toledo LISC welcomes new Regional Preservation Director

Posted by on Aug 2, 2016 in Blog, Home | 0 comments

Toledo LISC welcomes new Regional Preservation Director

Please join Toledo LISC in welcoming Victor Abla as the Regional Preservation Director for Detroit and Toledo.  In his new role, Victor will work with Toledo partners to address the high volume of affordable housing projects that are reaching expiration and need a recapitalization in order to preserve their affordability.

Victor has served the Detroit LISC office for over 20 years in a variety of capacities, the latest as its Director of Lending & Portfolio Management. During his tenure, he has been responsible for underwriting over $35 million in lending, nearly $6 million in grantmaking, and helping to attract $55 million in LIHTC and NMTC equity to projects and organizations in Detroit. He also participated in the program design and implementation of the 0% Interest Home Repair Loan Program in Detroit. Prior to his time at LISC, Victor was a member of the first class of the LISC AmeriCorps program, placed at a CDC in Detroit.

Victor is excited to expand his affordable housing work into Toledo and connect with new partners in Ohio. He will work closely with National LISC while maintaining offices in both Detroit and Toledo.

Interested in Serving as a LISC AmeriCorps Member?

Posted by on Jul 29, 2016 in Blog, Events, Featured, Home | 0 comments

Interested in Serving as a LISC AmeriCorps Member?

IMG_0852 (2)LISC recently celebrated the graduation of our 15-16 AmeriCorps members! Members worked with over 1,300 volunteers who provided over 6,500 volunteer hours. This translates into clean-ups; art, welcoming, and sustainability engagement; youth and resident empowerment; and much more.

Partner sites are now recruiting for the 16-17 cohort! Sites currently accepting applications are listed below. Click on each site for the position description and for information on how to apply:

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Meet AmeriCorps Member Kim Sanchez!

Posted by on May 31, 2016 in Blog, Events, Featured, Home | 0 comments

Meet AmeriCorps Member Kim Sanchez!

20160514_105249 (2)Kim Sanchez has become a master of creative placemaking. Kim is a Photographer and Videographer whose work aims to connect people and tell a story. As a returning AmeriCorps member, she also engages residents in telling their own stories. Kim is taking a lead role on an innovative project funded by the Kresge Foundation and LISC. Resident artists are provided with support in engaging neighbors to create and implement an artistic project in order to connect community members and draw attention to the neighborhood. Kim is currently working alongside two artists as they build their own projects and work with residents in North Toledo and the Junction Neighborhood. About her LISC AmeriCorps position at The Arts Commission of Greater Toledo, Kim says, “In this unique position, I’m able to offer my ideas, artistic talents, and leadership skills to help the community.” Check out this video she helped residents develop.
Kim has built bridge10926449_882436898443472_8643652134609488768_ns between The Arts Commission of Greater Toledo and numerous community partners. She is serving as a resource in strengthening arts programming and incorporating art into the rejuvenation efforts of neighborhoods. In her first term, Kim coordinated the final production of the Toledo Strategic Plan for Arts & Culture, as well as its launch to the community in the spring of 2015. Now, she works with partners to understand best practices for engaging residents and works directly with resident volunteers. Kim took the lead on a transformative beautification and painting project at Frederick Douglass Community Association, coordinating over 40 students, AmeriCorps members, and residents. In the words of her supervisor, Jennifer Jarrett, “Kim has a natural ability to connect the dots and the people to make projects happen. She was a lead member of the team coordinating programming for the Glass City Film Festival, which attracted film submissions nationally and internationally. She has become a valued member of The Arts Commission during her two AmeriCorps terms, always offering thoughtful suggestions and input. We look forward to the leadership roles in our arts community that she will no doubt continue to fill.” Following her service with AmeriCorps, Kim will be employed by United North as Manager of the Ohio Theatre and Event Center.

Toledo LISC is currently accepting applications for the 2016-17 program.Contact Robyn Hall at or 419-419-0202 for application materials. AmeriCorps funding has not been AC_LISCannounced, but we are hopeful regarding the LISC application.

A Winning Formula = The Arts + Small Businesses + The Ohio Theatre & Event Center

Posted by on May 19, 2016 in Blog, Events, Featured, Home, News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

The first annual Glass City Film Festival (GCFF) kicking off today (May 19-21) is the perfect 2015-2016 season wrap-up for the historic Ohio Theatre and Event Center. The Ohio Theatre has experienced record attendance from a diverse audience during the 2015-2016 season, which focused on providing access to original arts programming– from storytelling to concerts to film festivals. This year was also remarkable for the Theatre in leveraging partnerships with local businesses. As a vibrant space linking creativity, culture, and business, the Ohio Theatre is clearly a driving force for the revitalization of the Lagrange Street Business District.

poster_4-21Beginning today, the Glass City Film Festival will offer an array of entertaining and thought-provoking films created by talented filmmakers from the region and beyond. For its premiere year, GCFF will feature 30 independently-made films from 11 U.S. cities, 8 countries, and across various genres. Not only will attendees view great films from around the globe, they will also be able to enjoy treats from local small businesses like Boochy Mama’s Probiotic Tonic and Antojitos Laredo Tacos. A unique element of GCFF – and a common thread in the Ohio Theatre’s programming – the festival intentionally includes building a more welcoming and inclusive community with an Islamic Understanding Film and Panel Discussion. The Islamic Understanding component leveraged other partnerships to make a more robust experience, including henna, jewelry vendors, and B-Bop Records.

The Ohio Theatre is known for its ongoing support of local businesses and continuing collaborations with community organizations and non-profits—like the Arts Commission of Greater Toledo—resulting in fresh arts programming for the community.  One such example is Spoken Toledo.  Launched last year, Spoken Toledo is now the Ohio Theatre’s premier quarterly storytelling event, featuring true stories told by Toledoans in combination with unique, locally sourced goods from area businesses. The most recent Spoken (March 2016) was a collaboration with the Toledo-Lucas County Sustainability Commission and Northwest Ohio Food Council. With the storytelling theme “you are what you eat,” the event leveraged food for patrons and prizes for storytellers, including selections from local farmer Josh Nicholson (popcorn), Humblebee Farm (cotton candy and gift certificates), Claudia’s Preserves (jams), Black Kite Coffee & Pies (gift certificates), and Jupmode (prize bags).OTEC LOGO

Another example of diverse arts programming incorporating small businesses support is the Ohio Theatre’s annual partnership on the Toledo International Film Festival (TIFF) with Welcome Toledo-Lucas County—a collaboration of partners working to build a more welcoming and inclusive community for immigrant and people of diverse cultures. The 2nd annual TIFF wowed the audience with an offering of compelling international films coupled with free food samplings from local ethic or immigrant-owned restaurants: Manos Greek Restaurant, Mi Hacienda Mexican Restaurant, Takacs Grocery & Meats, Koto Buki, and So Sweet Lebanese & French Pastries. In conjunction with TIFF, the theatre also received a significant donation to feature craft brews from a local distillery, Toledo Spirits.

These are just a few examples of how the Ohio Theatre is lifting up local small businesses, developing diverse partnerships, and leading the ONE Village neighborhood’s transformation through arts and culture.

For more information about the Ohio Theatre and to buy tickets for the Glass City Film Festival, check out their website:

Toledo FOC Network 2016 Tax Season Wrap-Up

Posted by on May 11, 2016 in Blog, Featured, Home, News, Uncategorized | 0 comments

Toledo FOC Network 2016 Tax Season Wrap-Up

Each year, the Toledo Financial Opportunity Center (FOC) Network coaches participate in the Ohio Benefit Bank (OBB) tax program as OBB Tax Counselors. During the 2016 tax season, the coaches in the Toledo FOC Network worked double-duty, providing one-on-one financial coaching services as well as free tax prep services for new and existing clients alike. In 2016 alone, the FOC network coaches prepared 1,085 free tax returns, resulting in over $1.4 million in federal tax returns for local residents.

This year also brought one of our local FOC partners state-wide recognition and resulted in a special shout-out to one coach in particular.   The ONE Village Financial Opportunity Center of United North was ranked #6 in the Top 15 OBB Tax Site Locations this Tax Season! Financial Coach Nicole Reno with the ONE Village FOC was ranked #4 on the “Tremendous 12” Top OBB Tax Counselors this Tax Season list. 

Financial Coach Nicole Reno was ranked #4 in OBB's "Tremendous 12" Tax Counselors.

Financial Coach Nicole Reno was ranked #4 among OBB’s “Tremendous 12″ Tax Counselors.

Nicole personally prepared over 300 tax returns while simultaneously providing one-on-one financial coaching and counseling services to her regular clientele and facilitating financial education workshops in the community.  When asked about her tax-time feat, Nicole played down the recognition.  “I didn’t even know there was a ‘Tremendous 12’ list.  I just wanted to help as many people as I could keep their entire refund and not lose it to high-cost refund anticipation loans or outrageous tax prep fees. I’m just grateful to have made such an impact.”

“Our purpose for providing free tax prep through the Ohio Benefit Bank tax program is two-fold,” explained Michelle Wasylecki, FOC Manager at United North. “First, we provide these services to existing clients as a way to help them receive the cash infusion they need to achieve their goals.  Second, we use the OBB tax program as a tool to engage new residents in the full array of FOC services—moving them from tax prep to income supports counseling, and on to financial and employment coaching and counseling.”  According to Ms. Wasylecki, common uses of tax refunds by FOC clients include, securing transportation (both car purchase and repair), paying off debt, establishing savings, and making down-payments on home purchases.

For the full report, check out the Toledo FOC Network 2016 Tax Season Wrap-Up.

Meet LISC AmeriCorps Member Kelly Dean!

Posted by on May 4, 2016 in Blog, Featured, Home, News | 0 comments

AC_LISCKelly Dean is “Getting Things Done” in East Toledo, specifically in the Birmingham neighborhood! Kelly and her husband are both lifelong East Toledo residents, where they met and raised their children. Their children are now grown and because of Kelly’s involvement, their older daughter has purch10352751_1904321693127406_2582460291635015927_n (2)ased a home in East Toledo. Kelly hit the ground running in her LISC AmeriCorps service, as she has already worked to secure 10 vacant properties, facilitated 4 lot clean-ups, and coordinated the transformation of an overgrown sidewalk from impassible to inviting. Kelly has done an amazing job securing partnerships and is encouraged by how organizations, like the T. Whitehead Recover Center, and neighbors are invested in Birmingham.  Kelly serves with East Toledo Family Center (ETFC), where she previously gained experience as a volunteer surveying houses, and is supported by the Birmingham IMG_20160409_082021 (2)Development Corporation. She has also surveyed homes for the Land Bank. Kelly says that through service she aims to “empower” so that individuals “can be more proactive on issues in our community.” Her supervisor, Jodi Gross at ETFC, describes how Kelly has been able to build bridges to the Birmingham leaders and neighborhood in a way that is strengthening the voice of all of East Toledo. Jodi explains further, “that Kelly is a down to earth resident who can relate to all stakeholders.” She understands that you have to be willing to work right along- side residents to get things accomplished.   Most recently, Kelly played a key role in East Toledo’s Global Youth Service Day efforts, where almost 500 volunteers came out to help with clean-up.  IMG_20160416_105113566