Community-builder LISC moves to United Way building

The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (L ISC) of Greater Cincinnati and Northern Kentucky and the United Way of Greater Cincinnati have always had a close relationship. Now, they are neighbors.

LISC, the nonprofit community development group, moved into the United Way building at 2400 Reading Road, in Walnut Hills, in late April after calling the Emery Building, at 100 E. Central Parkway, home for the past five years.  

“We couldn’t really expand and do better neighborhood development work where we were,” says Kathy Schwab, LISC executive director. “This was perfect: It was newly renovated, the expense was really neutral and it was better space for us. Most importantly, it was more accessible for the funding community.’’

LISC is a national nonprofit group that fosters development in city neighborhoods through technical help and financial investments. Last year, they helped prevent local foreclosures, invested in housing for homeless veterans and helped open Gabriel’s Place, among a myriad of other projects to support health and safety, education and youth, economic development, housing development and improving family incomes.

In 2011, the group invested $2.7 million locally and leveraged $39.5 million. Since 2000, the nonprofit has invested $51.9 million and has leveraged $286.1 million. The staff works with local community development groups including the Cincinnati Development Fund and NeighborWorks.

Schwab and three other staff members packed themselves up and moved themselves into the building with the help of a local moving company. A new employee started last week in the new second-floor office. The full-time staff will be joined this summer by two interns and a VISTA AmeriCorps member to work with the group’s Financial Opportunity Centers and also with LISC’s AmeriCorps program.

Schwab said the move means she will be closer to other community development organizations in the city. She is also excited about the opportunity to collaborate with the United Way’s grant writer to win federal grants tied to community development.

“Greater Cincinnati has a great community development infrastructure,’’ Schwab says. “We already do collaborative projects … It will be so nice to be housed with the United Way . . .where we can share space and be supportive of others.”

By Chris Graves
Chris Graves is the assistant vice president of social and digital media at The Powers Agency, a public relations and advertising agency.
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