To be effective at what we do requires having both an on-the-ground view of neighborhoods, and a panoramic take on all the forces that shape communities. It requires sensitivity to the needs and desires of residents and attention to how well our programs stick. And it requires seeing the big picture: pulling the lens back and working to shape the overarching government policies that help or hinder people and places.
To that end, LISC’s Research & Evaluation team continually gauges the factors at play in communities and measures the outcomes for people touched by our programs. Does our approach help residents of disinvested neighborhoods? Are they better off? What strategies give us the best shot at making communities better places to live? In asking these questions, and analyzing the answers, we help all our local offices and national programs gear their work to the realities expressed in data.
This research, along with input from our local offices, our rural program and our partners, in turn informs our Policy team. LISC Policy is an active presence on Capitol Hill, and works at the local and state levels, too, to rally support for the government programs that make our efforts to revitalize distressed communities possible.
Indeed, these policies and resources play an indispensable role in helping lift people out of poverty in a range of areas. And as LISC’s work has expanded from a focus on housing to embrace a holistic approach to community development, so our policy work has grown from engaging primarily with HUD to include the Departments of Education, Justice, Agriculture, Treasury and others. The breadth of our work and three decades of experience, together with the input and support of our many partners, make us a trusted leader and advocate in the field of neighborhood revitalization.