Facebook + LISC: A Historic New Partnership

Posted by on Aug 1, 2017 in Blog, Featured | 0 comments


Community Groups and Facebook Team Up with LISC to Drive $75 Million to Help Meet Demand for Affordable Housing in Silicon Valley

LISC to manage and grow Catalyst Housing Fund from $18.5 million to $75 million

Housing Trust Silicon Valley joins partnership as local collaborator and capital contributor


EAST PALO ALTO and MENLO PARK, CA, August 1, 2017 — The Catalyst Housing Fund has tapped a national nonprofit with close ties to the Bay Area to grow its capital base to $75 million and invest in quality affordable housing developments that address pressing needs in East Palo Alto and Menlo Park.

The Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC) will manage the start-up fund that was recently seeded with $18.5 million from Facebook in partnership with key community organizations and the cities of East Palo Alto and Menlo Park. LISC plans to quadruple the size of the fund over five years working with its national network of corporate and philanthropic partners and drawing on expertise gained over its 40 years of community development work – including more than $13 billion in affordable housing investments.

According to the partners, collectively known as Envision Transform Build-East Palo Alto (ETB), the Catalyst Housing Fund expects to begin financing affordable housing projects this fall. Housing Trust Silicon Valley will contribute capital and lending capacity to help support this effort.

“We welcome LISC to this partnership with our local communities to help address our region’s affordable housing crisis,” said Elliot Schrage, Facebook vice president for public policy and communications. “LISC’s success in bringing new voices, ideas, and investments to the Catalyst Housing Fund will help the fund reach its $75 million target and accelerate development of affordable housing for our neighbors. The future of Silicon Valley as an engine of economic opportunity depends on harnessing our shared interest and scaling effective community partnerships like this one.”

“It’s taken us a lot of hard work to get here, and we’re excited to begin working with LISC on rehabilitating, preserving, and building affordable housing,” said Tameeka Bennett, ETB spokesperson. “For us as community groups in East Palo Alto, it was important to choose a fund manager that can not only scale the fund up for maximum impact, but one that is invested in providing local programs for non-profit organizations to increase capacity and shore-up infrastructure on the ground. It was also important for us to find an organization that was willing to come in and partner with our community. LISC offers programs and services that we believe East Palo Alto and other surrounding communities can benefit from. It is our hope that similar communities challenged by displacement and gentrification will be inspired to use this model to make a dent in the regional housing crisis.”

“We’re one step closer to battling the regional housing crisis with LISC joining the partnership to help grow the Catalyst Housing Fund,” said East Palo Alto Mayor Larry Moody. “The people of East Palo Alto and our neighboring communities deserve affordable housing options right here in the neighborhoods they call home. This growing partnership shows that through collaboration we can find solutions to challenges in our region.”

“We are honored and excited to be chosen to help this incredible coalition of community groups, including Facebook, bring quality affordable housing to East Palo Alto and Menlo Park,” said Maurice Jones, LISC CEO. “Quality housing accessible to the entirety of the diversity represented in a region is an essential ingredient of a healthy, growing community with broadly shared prosperity.  We look forward to helping to leverage resources and expertise from the community and across America to this pioneering effort.”

Last winter, ETB, Facebook and the two cities announced a partnership to address regional challenges like affordable housing, legal support for tenants, transportation equity and access economic opportunities. Since the announcement, the partners have provided $500,000 to Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto to support Belle Haven and East Palo Alto residents threatened with displacement from evictions and other forms of landlord abuse. In addition, the partners donated $250,000 to Rebuilding Together Peninsula to rehabilitate or reconstruct homes in East Palo Alto and Belle Haven. Together, the partners are continuing to broaden their capacity for impact. The founding community groups in this partnership are Youth United for Community Action, Faith in Action Bay Area, Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto, and Comité de Vecinos del Lado Oeste, East Palo Alto. ETB was assisted by the ACLU Foundation of Northern California, Public Advocates Inc., and the Law Office of Julian Gross who works for PolicyLink.


Youth United for Community Action: is a grassroots community organization created, led, and run by young people of color, majority from low-income communities, provides a safe space for young people to empower ourselves and work on environmental and social justice issues to establish positive systemic change through grassroots community organizing.

Faith in Action Bay Area: part of the PICO National Network, is a regional network of faith communities from San Francisco to Mountain View. Through leadership development, civic engagement, and lifting up of our faith values FIA has increased funding for affordable housing, expanded health care for children, helped pass criminal justice reforms and protected immigrant rights.

Community Legal Services in East Palo Alto: is a community-based organization that provides legal assistance to low-income individuals and families in East Palo Alto and the surrounding community. Their practice areas include housing, immigration, and economic advancement, and they provide legal assistance and advice to over 6,000 residents in need per year.

Comité de Vecinos del Lado Oeste, East Palo Alto: is a committee of neighbors dedicated to tenants’ rights, no displacement, and affordable housing.

Facebook: Founded in 2004, Facebook’s mission is to give people the power to build community and bring the world closer together. People use Facebook to stay connected with friends and family, to discover what’s going on in the world, and to share and express what matters to them.

Housing Trust Silicon Valley: brings together resources and partners to meet housing needs in Silicon Valley and the Greater Bay Area ranging from people experiencing homelessness to rent burdened working families to first-time buyers struggling to save for their down payment. Since 2000, the Housing Trust has invested $131 million to create and preserve 15,000 affordable homes.

LISC: With residents and partners, LISC forges resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity across America – great places to live, work, visit, do business and raise families. Since 1980, LISC has invested $17.3 billion to build or rehab 366,000 affordable homes and apartments and develop 61 million square feet of retail, community and educational space.

Interested in Serving as a LISC AmeriCorps Member?

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

LISC AmeriCorps is now recruiting AmeriCorps members to serve for 10 months at partner sites across the community. LISC AmeriCorps members serve in the vital roles of job placement and Toledo 5engaging 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, as well as the profound value of service.

While in service members receive a living stipend and upon completion an education award that can be used toward qualified loans or future schooling.

MLKSites currently accepting applications are listed below. Click on each site for the position description and for information on how to apply. With questions about LISC AmeriCorps contact Robyn Hall at rhall@lisc.org or 419-419-0202.


The Arts Commission of Greater Toledo – Arts-focused community engagement with an emphasis on creative placemaking and job access in Toledo’s Old West End Neighborhood Initiatives (OWENI) area.

DownTown Toledo Development Corporation – Engage neighborhood organization(s), gather data, and create text and graphics for an adoptable neighborhood plan.

Sustainability Commission in the Board of Lucas County Commissioners – Engage neighborhood residents in sustainability projects, conduct public education and outreach, and build local foods initiatives.

Lucas Resident Services Corporation – Work with local partners and FOCs to connect residents to employment opportunities and facilitate employment readiness sessions.

Welcome Toledo-Lucas County in the Board of Lucas County Commissioners – Engage volunteers and lead projects for the Workforce and Economic Development, as well as Language Access committees.


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 rhall@lisc.org 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 rhall@lisc.org 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 rhall@lisc.org 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: http://ohiotheatretoledo.org/.