History & Mission

SONY DSCEven before establishing a physical presence in Indianapolis, LISC was already working to improve neighborhoods here. Back in the late 1980s, a task force formed by Indianapolis Mayor William Hudnut identified 30,000 substandard houses in our city, and a group of community development pioneers, with the help of National LISC, set out to address this issue.

Then, to address the ongoing needs of our neighborhoods, LISC Indianapolis was formed in 1992. We created a local advisory board and worked to secure the support of local individuals, corporations, and foundations that care about neighborhood issues. We also worked to develop and grow the local community development corporations that actually do the hard work necessary to revitalize our neighborhoods.

 The LISC Indianapolis Mission

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Indianapolis is the local office of a national organization that helps resident-led, community-based development organizations transform distressed communities and neighborhoods into healthy ones — good places to live, do business, work, and raise families. By providing capital, technical expertise, training, and information, LISC supports the development of local leadership and the creation of affordable housing; commercial, industrial, and community facilities; businesses; and jobs. In short, we help neighbors build communities.

LISC plays a central role in several collective impact initiatives in Indianapolis and these partnerships are its primary means of creating and implementing programs. Collective impact is the commitment of a group of actors from different sectors to a common agenda for solving a complex social problem3. Recognizing that large- scale social change requires broad cross-sector coordination, it is largely through various initiatives that LISC helps people and places prosper in Indianapolis neighborhoods. While LISC contributes leadership and functions as the backbone for these initiatives, many implementation partners play significant roles in the execution of these aspirational and transformative initiatives.
As the backbone organization for these initiatives, LISC:
  • Helps guide the initiative’s vision and strategy
  • Supports and encourages aligned activities, connecting and convening stakeholders
  • Builds public will
  • Advances policy
  • Mobilizes resources
  • Establishes and monitors shared measurement practices
LISC also provides the following direct program activities to these initiatives:
  • Technical Assistance on Real Estate projects
  • Technical Assistance on Capacity Building and Organizational Development
  • Loan Capital
  • Grants
  • Equity Investments
LISC will measure our impact by tracking investment and progress in each of the initiatives below using the following outcomes:
Livability: Creating healthy, active and beautiful places
Opportunity: Fostering entrepreneurship and employment
Vitality: Reviving a growing and diverse population
Education: Offering excellent lifelong learning opportunities.
We examine our strategic priorities by focusing first on the overall framework of Quality of Life Neighborhoods. Our involvement in each subsequent initiative-Great Places 2020, FOCUS:Works, Indy Food Council, and Center for Working Families is targeted in these Quality of Life Neighborhoods. Finally, we identify Community Development and LISC infrastructure strategic priorities that are necessary to make all of this happen.