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Too often people hear the “bad news” about our central city. The city of Milwaukee is filled with assets and opportunities and people who really care. LISC strives to illuminate these stories and to challenge misperceptions of our central city neighborhoods.
In this section you will find a variety of resources aimed at raising the voices and stories of people working every day to make their neighborhood a great place to live, work, play, and grow.
For most nonprofits—even the most successful ones—adding staff to expand their programs is just not an option. This year LISC Milwaukee revived the LISC AmeriCorps program and placed eight full time AmeriCorps members with community partners.
Ariam Kesete, an ACRE Program graduate, will redevelop a vacant building in the 3800 block of W. North Avenue.
The Dominican Center, Habitat for Humanity and Milwaukee Police Department accepted national MetLife Foundation Community-Police Partnership Awards for Excellence in Civic Engagement and Excellence in Neighborhood Revitalization and Economic Vitality, respectively.
Law Enforcement Officers, Resident Leaders, Businesses, a Church, and a News Reporter are Among those Recognized
Starting this weekend, LISC staff and more than 130 AmeriCorps members working with LISC partners will honor MLK Day by volunteering their time in service projects in cities and rural communities across the country.
Empty storefronts on Milwaukee’s neighborhood main streets could be refilled with local, startup businesses under a grant program local organizations are crafting.
Federal officials have doubled down on Milwaukee's Amani neighborhood with more than $740,000 in grant funding, after seeing a dramatic drop in crime as residents worked with police and took the lead on block watches, cleanups, vigils and revitalizing a park.
A 40-member volunteer committee of community leaders named 15 finalists for the Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation (MANDIs).
The MANDIs celebrate the “good news” of successful efforts to revitalize neighborhoods and strengthen the community.
In an effort to bring more activity to commercial corridors in Milwaukee neighborhoods like Sherman Park and Clarke Square, LISC Milwaukee is preparing a new generation of developers to lead projects there.
For young African-Americans like Lavelle Young, the path to becoming a real estate developer in Milwaukee is challenging — but times are changing. It was notable when all four developer teams competing to redevelop Milwaukee’s North Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Drive library included minority firms.
Twenty new students were recently announced for ACRE’s 26 week program designed to expand the representation of minorities in commercial real estate, property management, and construction management in Milwaukee.
CEO Maurice Jones lays out “audacious goals” for LISC in front of hundreds of community development partners, philanthropic and private sector leaders, and policy makers.
Since the ACRE program’s first class graduated in 2005, its impact has been seen throughout the City of Milwaukee and beyond in the work being done by minority developers, brokers and contractors.
Over the last 60 days, I have had the pleasure of meeting with 25 LISC executive directors and visiting three LISC sites, New York, Cincinnati and Indianapolis. With our numerous sites and partners, LISC has access to a wide range of “best practices.” Although every LISC site has its own unique set of circumstances and approaches, there are some strongly recurring themes.
Program Aims to Expand Minority Representation in Commercial Real Estate
In May 2016, LISC sponsored a three-day training in how to reduce and prevent crime through environmental design concepts and activation of space.
Want to build a football field? LISC and the NFL help communities with the financial and technical assistance to install play fields. Applications are due August 15th. Learn more about 2016 grants and how to apply.
To help community leaders pursue comprehensive change, LISC prepares and distributes Neighborhood Monitoring Reports containing data on neighborhood social and economic trends.
The 2015-2016 ACRE class graduated from the program at the MSOE Grohmann museum on June 7th, 2016.
Marking the culmination of a 26-week course that began last September, 20 students graduated from the Associates in Commercial Real Estate (ACRE) program on June 7, 2016.
LISC is very committed to supporting local developers who care about Milwaukee’s neighborhoods. JMC2 Investments and their property management partner TEAM Management are great examples.
For some, Holton Street is just another street in Milwaukee. But developer Darryl Johnson believes it is a sort of hidden border, and he wants to change that.
A redevelopment project aimed at transforming a long-blighted commercial stretch in Milwaukee’s Harambee neighborhood into a retail shopping center is underway.
A nonprofit development effort is set to bring new businesses, jobs and services to a long-blighted commercial stretch in the city’s Harambee neighborhood.
Donsia Strong Hill, an attorney with experience in the public and private sector, was named the new executive director of LISC Milwaukee.
At the awards gala, ACTS Housing, Moody Park, COA Youth & Family Centers, St. Anne Center for Intergenerational Care, Rodney Bourrage, Larry and Sharon Adams, and Doors Open Milwaukee accepted awards. Dawn Sanders Cavilla accepted the Vision Award on behalf of her father, the late Welford Sanders. 850 civic leaders attended the event designed to bring recognition to outstanding work in community development.
This position seeks to build and manage a real estate lending portfolio that leads to community transformation through affordable housing, commercial developments, and community facilities.
LISC's Financial Opportunity Center, offering long-term career and financial counseling to Milwaukee residents, will get $200,000 from State Farm.
This position seeks to ensure the strategic alignment of neighborhood investment and development with existing and planned law enforcement initiatives in the city of Milwaukee.
The 67th Annual Crime Prevention Awards were held on February 9, 2016 at the Wisconsin Club. The event was hosted by Safe & Sound and LISC Milwaukee, sponsored by AAA Wisconsin with support from the Milwaukee Police Department. Ten awards were given to outstanding law enforcement and community members committed to creating safe neighborhoods in Milwaukee.
Safe & Sound and LISC Milwaukee, two nonprofits who lead anti-crime and development efforts in the city, hosted the Crime Prevention Awards. The event was sponsored by AAA Wisconsin with support from the Milwaukee Police Department.
A four-story building with 56 apartments on West National Avenue in Milwaukee could mark budding local developer Brandon Rule’s first ground-up project.
Finalists in five categories will compete for the Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation (MANDI), which recognize people and projects working to make Milwaukee a great place to live, work, and play.
Awards program spotlights neighborhood revitalization
“Unsung Heroes” Selected as Finalists for the 2016 Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation (MANDI)
At a recent Neighborhood Safety Symposium held by LISC Milwaukee, national and local experts gathered to share success stories, build partnerships and discuss issues affecting Milwaukee neighborhoods. The approximately 160 attendees raised concerns about safety at the local level and the ways neighborhoods can organize to decrease crime across the city.
Milwaukee Police Chief Edward Flynn cautioned about possible increases in crime if federal inmates released as the result of a change to prison sentence calculations do not receive appropriate services.
Associates in Commercial Real Estate (ACRE) Announces New Class of 20 Students
In recent months, several prominent community-focused organizations have undergone leadership transitions. A change at the top creates the opportunity for new leaders to assess the organization’s direction, as well as the programs and initiatives affecting residents of the neighborhoods they serve.
17th Annual Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation (MANDI) sponsored by US Bank, recognize outstanding community development efforts. Nominations due Thursday October 22, 2015, at midnight.
Recognition Highlights Innovative Interventions Resulting in Reduced Crime and Increased Sense of Safety for Residents of Washington Park
Ten years of leading revitalization efforts in Milwaukee's Menomonee Valley has prepared Laura Bray to take charge of redevelopment efforts in central city neighborhoods as executive director of LISC Milwaukee.
Bray Brings Successes From Menomonee Valley to Broader Milwaukee Development
LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) announced today that Laura Bray has been hired as the new executive director for the Milwaukee office.
Program Aims to Expand Minority Representation in Commercial Real Estate
A recently revived diversity program, Associates in Commercial Real Estate, prepares Milwaukee-area students for careers in commercial real estate.
Leo Ries is capping 15 years as executive director of LISC Milwaukee this week.
The MANDIs highlight the unsung heroes working to revitalize Milwaukee’s most distressed urban neighborhoods. Winners were announced at an Oscar-style gala on April 15 to a crowd of 840 people, including non-profit, corporate and public sector leaders, at Potawatomi Hotel.
More than 1,600 members of the public voted online in the People’s Choice Award contest, which was housed at the Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service website.
Leo Ries, longtime executive director of Local Initiatives Support Corporation’s Milwaukee office, will move on from the organization at the end of April to explore a new personal and professional direction.
Long-time executive director Leo Ries moves on to new endeavors
Leo J. Ries, executive director of Local Initiatives Support Corp., is stepping down after 15 years in the post.
In recent months Riverworks has announced two significant new investment agreements to support its neighborhood development work.
City planners and community stakeholders gathered to design plans for developing underutilized properties in the South Side neighborhoods of Silver City and Clarke Square.
At their annual community gathering, Washington Park Partners emphasized the importance of resident participation in community improvement.
For the first time since the MetLife Foundation and LISC began presenting Police-Community Partnership Awards to local organizations around the U.S. in 2002, three groups in the same city received recognition.
Milwaukee has garnered three MetLife Foundation Community-Police Partnership Awards, the most any city has received since the national awards program began in 2002.
The Milwaukee Police Department, Riverworks Development Corporation and Holton Youth + Family Center received competitive national awards (amounting to $15,000 each) from MetLife Foundation and the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) for their exemplary partnerships to improve community safety.
Two of the awards recognize the Riverworks Development Corporation and Holton Youth and Family Center Collaborative, which have focused on the Harambee and Riverwest neighborhoods. The third award celebrates United Methodist Children's Services on behalf of Washington Park Partners.
The MetLife Foundation and LISC have given Community-Police Partnership Awards since 2002 to initiatives that produce tangible results. This year, more than 560 police departments and community organizations nationwide applied for the 11 awards. Milwaukee is the first city to have three honorees in a single year.
ACRE offers African-American, Latino, Asian-American and other minorities in Milwaukee a chance to learn about real estate development, property management and construction management.
ACRE prepares students to work in real estate development, and property and construction management. The program aims to improve diversity in the city’s real estate industry, which is 95 percent Caucasian.
The successful program training minorities in real estate, disbanded in 2010, is being revived by a group of partners.
The much-loved, but long-dormant Associates in Commercial Real Estate real estate training program will be revived this year under a partnership that includes LISC Milwaukee, Marquette University and the Milwaukee School of Engineering.
Community opposition tanked a liquor license for The Divas Zone, a proposed tavern in a building located across the street from True Love Missionary Baptist Church and a daycare center. The building has been the site of a number of disturbances.
A new city park, a program that collects surplus food for the hungry, a North Side redevelopment project and a health-conscious affordable housing project were honored at the annual MANDI 2014 dinner on April 9th at the historic Pfister Hotel.
Leo Ries, executive director of LISC Milwaukee, who has worked in community development for more than 35 years, said the Zilber Neighborhood Initiative was "a game-changer in community development in Milwaukee" because the $50 million commitment drew the attention of others.
Ten years ago, the 2700 block of N. King Drive was mainly a collection of empty and underused buildings. A decade later, the block between W. Hadley and W. Center streets is in the middle of $25 million worth of new apartments and commercial space, an effort led by the nonprofit Martin Luther King Economic Development Corp. and its executive director, Welford Sanders.
Local Initiatives Support Corp.'s Milwaukee office is taking the lead on redeveloping the Associates in Commercial Real Estate program to train minorities for career paths in commercial real estate and connect them to industry professionals.
The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is filling a gaping hole in the financial market with a new line of small business loans designed to give much-needed support to entrepreneurs who set up shop in low-income communities.
Harambee struggles with many issues common to Milwaukee's inner city. Yet in the last few years, the neighborhood has been home to tens of millions of dollars in investment, new developments, increasing resident involvement and revitalization efforts. Lake Effect's Stephanie Lecci goes on LISC Milwaukee's tour of Harambee.
Why has Milwaukee not suffered the rate of population loss and housing abandonment found in most legacy cities? Todd Swanstrom, professor at the University of Missouri-St. Louis, provides some answers.
AmeriCorps members used their Monday off to build and inspire with their service project, "A Day On – Not a Day Off."
Finalists for the 2014 Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innnovation announced on December 11th.
LISC recently announced 16 finalists for the 2014 MANDI Awards, which will mark the awards program's 15th anniversary.
During a two-hour bus tour of the neighborhood hosted by LISC Milwaukee, a group of community leaders, policy makers and politicians heard from community leaders about a handful of initiatives along Martin Luther King Drive.
Over the past few months, the HGNI and its coalition members have been working diligently to assist and partner with resident groups and other organizations in Harambee, asking what it can do to facilitate positive change in the area.
Mayor Barrett welcomed 10 new LISC Milwaukee AmeriCorps Members at their fall orientation. AmeriCorps members are supporting financial literacy, access to jobs, community outreach and more! Learn about Corps member and Naval Reserve Veteran Emma Chavez.
National LISC has announced that Ellen Gilligan, CEO and president of the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, has been named to its Board of Directors.
LISC Milwaukee wants to break down the negative stereotypes surrounding Milwaukee and helps revitalize our distressed neighborhoods. Lake Effect's Stephanie Lecci speaks with Christopher Boston and Dawn Hutchison-Weiss.
The Harris’ newfound happiness is largely thanks to a powerhouse team of development investors, co-led by Martin Luther King Economic Development Corp. (MLKEDC) and Impact Seven.
Young African-American professionals do not see the Milwaukee region as a place that holds much promise for them. What do we need to do to make Milwaukee a desirable place for them?
SafeGrowth Initiative, sponsored by LISC Milwaukee, part of a broader safety strategy that deploys more officers, encourages residents to help keep their streets safe, provides leadership, and brings more help from the State.
SafeGrowth training offers police officers, community prosecutors, organizers, and residents a chance to learn and practice how to reduce crime through environmental changes.
With support from the Greater Milwaukee Foundation, LISC led a delegation of 35 leaders from Milwaukee to the city of Indianapolis to discuss and compare with local leaders their results of Comprehensive Community Development efforts. Included were representatives from twelve neighborhoods including Building Neighborhood Capacity Program, The Greater Milwaukee Foundation Healthy Neighborhood Initiative, The LISC Sustainable Community Initiative, United Neighborhood Centers of Milwaukee (UNCOM) agencies and the Zilber Neighborhood Initiative.
Layton Boulevard West Neighbors recently unveiled a unique bike-shop-on-the-go, a tricycle equipped with tools and supplies to keep neighbors peddling and to inspire new enthusiasts.
Although Luzi has been involved with numerous neighborhood development projects, his biggest impact has come through the meal program, which provides about 23,000 meals to 14,000 people each year.
John Connelly, LISC's new director of community safety, has begun to spearhead collaboration between organizations, the police and district attorney's office to reduce crime and address public safety challenges in the neighborhoods served by LISC Milwaukee.
The Milwaukee Police Department is aligning with community developers to improve safety in Milwaukee's Washington Park neighborhood to promote economic growth.
LISC Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Police Department announced a partnership to improve safety in targeted urban hotspots.
New Community Safety Coordinator, John Connelly, Hired
Milwaukee is the recipient of a national grant designed to improve the city’s Washington Park neighborhood.
LISC Milwaukee and the Milwaukee Police Department are funding a new community safety coordinator to work between neighborhood groups and the police.
It is possible to physically rebuild a community and organize neighborhoods to prevent crime from happening and to respond with resilience and determination when it does. The Milwaukee Police Department believes in that idea, too - so much so it has boldly put up $50,000 to co-fund a position that will bring neighborhood development and police work together in the name of safe streets. This new position has been filled by Community Safety Officer John Connelly, who will be working out of LISC's Milwaukee office.
The Clock Shadow Building won the State Farm Building Blocks Award at the 2013 MANDI.
Glover has been active with LISC in Milwaukee for the past five years and, in addition, serves as chair of the audit committee for LISC's national organization.
Located just north of downtown and nestled in densely populated neighborhoods, the Historic King Drive BID offers great potential for developers and investors. Under the board leadership of Welford Sanders, the BID just kicked off a planning process to bring together architects, developers, financial institutions, and city officials to identify development hotspots and create site designs. The process is being managed by Community Design Solutions from the School of Architecture and Urban Planning at the UW-Milwaukee and funded by the BID, LISC, and the Mandel Group.
Since 2004, LISC has focused financial and technical resources into the Washington Park neighborhood east of the park. After several years of planning and hard work the neighborhood is seeing some remarkable results. Just last week, Habitat for Humanity announced a $20 million investment in Washington Park to build and rehab 150 homes. This is a major investment toward the neighborhood's goal of improving housing conditions for residents.
Washington Park, on Milwaukee's west side, received the Brewers Community Foundation Public Space Award in the 2013 MANDIs.
MANDI Award winners and finalists - videos posted in Milwaukee Neighborhood News Service
Since 1980, LISC Milwaukee has used $100 million from investors, lenders and donors and offered technical assistance to help bring new housing and commercial development to many of Milwaukee's disadvantaged neighborhoods.
The awards are sponsored by U.S. Bank, in partnership with LISC Milwaukee.
LISC Milwaukee will serve as the fiscal agent for Washington Park Partners and will provide technical assistance for the grant initiative.
LISC Milwaukee will serve as the fiscal agent for Washington Park Partners and will provide technical assistance for the grant initiative.
The 2013 MANDI Awards selected ACTS Housing as a finalist in the BMO Harris Bank Cornerstone Award category honoring an organization that has demonstrated commitment, persistence and effectiveness over time.
Sponsored by U.S. Bank, in partnership with LISC Milwaukee, the MANDIs recognize individuals, organizations, and corporations who are strengthening Milwaukee’s central city neighborhoods.
A schoolyard transformed into a lush green space, an organization that provides access to high quality health care, and a rent-to-own loft development with a farmers market are among the 16 finalists for the Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation (MANDI).
On November 19th, Lindsay Heights' neighbors and community members attended the semi-annual Report to Community – an update on the neighborhood's Quality of Life Plan.
One year after unveiling Layton Boulevard West's Quality of Life Plan, LBWN celebrates accomplishments at the neighborhood's annual gathering.
Through LISC’s Sustainable Communities Program, Washington Park Partners was selected to pilot the idea.
Milwaukee increasingly forced to demolish houses
In 2009, the NFL donated an official play field to Journey House through LISC’s “Power of Play” program, a national partnership between the NFL and LISC. Journey House has raised $8.9 million of the $11 million needed to fully install the play field, and soon Clarke Square, where Mitchell Park is located, will become the first neighborhood in the US with an official play field with NFL logos.
LISC Milwaukee provided a $10,000 grant to support a green roof for the development.
LISC provided a $72,000 loan to help finance Joe Dahl's project.
Development brings 24 affordable housing units and a farmers' market to Milwaukee’s south side.
The Silver City Business District, Martin Luther King Drive, and North Ave and Fond Du Lac Marketplace BID are working hard and showing positive results.
Layton Boulevard West Neighbors Inc. is among Milwaukee’s most active community development corporations under the leadership of executive director Charlotte John-Gomez.
There's a big debate going on about the appropriate role of government in our society. It's the big issue underlying the current presidential election. Do we have too much government in our lives or too little?
When the Main Street Milwaukee program suffered a funding cut earlier in 2012, the commercial corridors it supports throughout the city were threatened. That is, until LISC Milwaukee decided to step in.
Leo Ries, Executive Director of LISC Milwaukee, answers questions about the organization's role in community development efforts throughout Milwaukee.
LISC Milwaukee proudly presents our new strategic plan. The plan pushes for proactive, focused, and data-driven action in key program areas.
LISC Milwaukee rounded up companies to support the program, which costs $2,000 per intern. Participating companies include the Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin, U.S. Bank, Harley-Davidson Inc., Roundy’s Inc., Marquette University and Northwestern Mutual.
The non-profit in charge of this program – Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) is hoping this will help the distressed communities of Milwaukee.
LISC Milwaukee announces the hire of Marjorie Rucker as their new Commercial Revitalization Specialist.
To avoid having a large blighted property, Riverworks Development Corporation teamed up with Horizon Development Group Inc. to convert the factory into Riverworks Lofts, a 36-unit apartment building. It marks the first housing development undertaken by Riverworks Development, as well as the first apartment building in Riverwest financed through a program that provides federal tax credits for such projects.
Winners of the 13th Annual Milwaukee Awards for Neighborhood Development Innovation, or MANDI Awards, were announced at a gala event at the Pfister Hotel, Wednesday night, March 28th.
Op-Ed on building relationships across tribal lines and MANDI is example.
Story about Washington Park's New Neighborhood Plan.
Story featuring the Kilbourn Bank building project, a MANDI Finalist.
The Federal Home Loan Bank of Chicago is a $73 billion wholesale bank serving the needs of member housing finance institutions located in Illinois and Wisconsin.
If we want Milwaukee and the surrounding region to thrive economically, we have to do a better job of managing our investments in the redevelopment of our central city.
Milwaukee’s first Community Development Symposium, organized by LISC Milwaukee, aimed at taking a broader look at central city revitalization in Milwaukee.
Leo Ries, executive director of LISC Milwaukee, calls for the "collective impact" approach.
“Work is being done, but change is not happening.” That opinion, shared by one participant at a “listening session” conducted by LISC Milwaukee, sums up the impetus behind a recent symposium on central city revitalization attended by neighborhood leaders, real estate developers, lenders and city officials.
Great profile on new developers out of Marquette's Associates in Commercial Real Estate Development program (ACRE). LISC is proud to support their work.
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