Community Wise

Seung Kim

Improving economic mobility, one family at a time

By Seung Kim
Director, Family Income & Wealth Building

The national conversation about economic inequality paints a pretty dire picture. And, given that I have spent many years focused on the challenges of the working poor, you might think my outlook is equally bleak. But it’s not. I’ve had the opportunity to see first-hand how families can turn the corner. They boost their cash flow, despite years of struggle. They improve their credit scores... More[+]

New LISC study: Employment and financial services help low-income people make progress

LISC researchers recently analyzed outcomes from 40,000 people who visited Financial Opportunity Centers all across the country as a way to improve their economic circumstances. The data show that those who took advantage of bundled services that focused on employment, income supports and financial management skills made significant, lasting progress—with incomes expanding by an encouraging 76 percent. More[+]...

What community development looks like

Chicago community organizers

Sometimes we forget to see the forest through the trees; more often, we forget to acknowledge how extraordinary the trees really are. Recently, Chicago LISC has been singing the praises of individual people and places that make up the transformative work of community revitalization, as with the Chicago Neighborhood Development Awards in February. A series of short videos and articles profile the Chicago neighborhood organizers and projects metamorphosing underserved areas and building bona fide community. More[+]...

Ex-offenders get back on track through LISC financial centers

Amos House FOC

Everyone deserves a second chance. But that can be a tall order for ex-offenders, many of whom live in the lowest-income communities and face immense hurdles getting jobs and housing. Now, according to a government report, they are frequently the victims of identity fraud as well. A Wall Street Journal article highlights the work of LISC's Financial Opportunity Centers in helping ex-offenders—who make up 30% of FOC clients—repair their credit scores, find jobs, gain financial stability and become part of their communities again. More[+]...