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Martin Luther King Jr. Day might have been a holiday for some, but the members of LISC Jacksonville's AmeriCorps Team along with hundreds of volunteers turned it into a day of service to help others. More than two dozen community service projects were completed.
Projects were focused around the Springfield, East Jacksonville, New Town and Northwest Jacksonville neighborhoods. Volunteers increased financial awareness, cleaned up buildings and streets, landscaped blighted areas, distributed electric blankets and food to those in need, panted murals and more.
Jacksonville possesses a neighborhood hidden in plain view that contributes hundreds of millions of dollars in local economic impact. Bolstered by an influx of new businesses reimagining industrial buildings, the area once known as Honeymoon Yard has the potential to become a regional destination. With the support of LISC Jacksonville, area business owners are formally organizing in an effort to capitalize on the area's assets, strategically market the area and improve infrastructure that has gone neglected for decades.
Joel Bookman, one of the consultants hired by LISC Jacksonville to conduct a market analysis of the neighborhood states: " the area is a strong economic engine, not just for Northwest Jacksonville, but for all of Jacksonville. With this kind of existing baseline to build upon, the area's future could rapidly improve with the help of an organized business association that could advocate for infrastructure improvements, develop branding opportunities and collaborate on joint marketing initiatives."
On November 16, Bank of America announced Local Initiatives Support Corp. (LISC) Jacksonville as the 2016 Neighborhood Builders Award recipient for Northeast Florida. LISC is being recognized for its work in transforming challenged urban neighborhoods into communities of opportunity--good places to live, work, do business and raise a family.
Through the Neighborhood Builders program, Bank of America provides LISC with a unique combination of leadership development, $200,000 in flexible funding, a network of peer organizations across the United States, and the opportunity to access capital in order to expand its impact in the Jacksonville community.
With its Neighborhood Builders grant, LISC plans to open the first Financial Opportunity Center in Florida in New Town, a historically disadvantaged neighborhood. The objective of the Financial Opportunity Center is to help residents achieve the core principals of financial sustainability — living wage jobs that can lead to home ownership. Financial Opportunity Centers are the ideal resource for neighborhood and community building.
On November 17 LISC Jacksonville recognized individuals, organizations and government leaders who have made significant contributions to comprehensive development in Jacksonville's urban core neighborhoods. Award recipients received a piece of artwork by Jacksonville artist Marsha Hatcher, designed and created for the event. Awards were presented as follows:
Delores Barr Weaver received the Igniter Award for serving as a catalyst for urban neighborhood revitalization. Mrs.Weaver pioneered the renewal of a Northwest Riverside neighborhood through the condominium-conversionof John Gorrie Junior High School.
First Coast YMCA received the Building Block Award for advancing the city's urban core through a major urban development project. The organization contributed to the redevelopment of Jacksonville’s Brooklyn neighborhood by building the new Winston Family YMCA.
Edward Waters College received the EPIC Award for enhancing community and incorporating two or more of the five pillars of LISC’s Building Sustainable Communities
model. The college provided leadership and resources for the revitalization of the New Town neighborhood and Kings Road commercial corridor.
Black Sheep Restaurant Group received the Champion of Main Street Award for providing advocacy and leadership in strengthening Jacksonville’s urban core communities, focusing on reviving commercial activity. The group served as a major catalyst in the renewal of Five Points.
Mayor Lenny Curry, Councilman Garrett Dennis and the Eureka Gardens Tenants Association received the Power of Community Award for bringing together diverse voices to improve the community. They transformed the living conditions for more than 800 residents in Eureka Gardens, one of the city’s most challenged urban housing developments.
Copyright © LISC 2016