Latest News

Twin Accounts: Building Credit While Saving

Two big challenges facing many low-wealth families are poor credit scores and the lack of savings to address emergencies or other longer-term goals. The Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) and Financial Health Federal Credit Union in Indianapolis have teamed up to do something about that. Working closely with financial coaches in the Centers for Working Families network, the partners launched Twin Accounts.™ Borrowers must be in an active coaching relationship, with a clear set of financial goals, and have the ability to pay $25.00 per month. The borrower takes a loan for $300 which is immediately deposited into a “locked” savings account. The … Continued

‘Bridges to Career Opportunities’ Provides Education, Job Skills

‘Bridges to Career Opportunities’ Provides Education, Job Skills In 2017, LISC will fund four Centers participating in “Bridges to Career Opportunities” – an initiative combining adult basic education with job skills training for low-wage workers.  This is the second year of funding for the program. Grants totaling $570,000 will support training services for 262 people in fields ranging from health and hospitality to logistics and manufacturing. How can I get involved? The Centers welcome volunteers from these sectors to speak with trainees about job opportunities and career pathways.

Webinar: Report on Evaluation of LISC’s FOCs

LISC invites you to join us for an overview of the key findings of a two-year study of LISC’s Financial Opportunity Centers (FOCs). The independent study by the Economic Mobility Corporation has found that clients of FOCs are more likely to be employed year-round, to reduce non-asset related debt and to build positive credit histories than comparison group participants. First Steps on the Road to Financial Well-Being: Final Report from the Evaluation of LISC’s Financial Opportunity Centers Thursday, October 27, 2016 2:00 pm  |  Eastern Daylight Time (New York, GMT-04:00)  |  1 hr 30 mins Register

2015 LISC Indianapolis Annual Report

2015 a momentous year for LISC In 2015 LISC Indianapolis invested more than $15 million into Indianapolis neighborhoods in grants, loans, and equity. This supported 30 different non-profits, assisted 2,905 families and 102 businesses, built 91 homes, and improved 437,000 square feet of commercial space. We also support programs that enabled 528 family members to obtain jobs, over 500 families to increase their income, and the creation of 83 new neighborhood jobs. Please click here to read the 2015 LISC Indianapolis Annual Report.

Chasing the Dream: A Center for Working Families Success Story

Michael is a married father of three sons ages seventeen (17), seven (7) and two (2) years old. He is a lifelong resident of the southeast side of Indianapolis. Michael is extremely motivated and wants to ensure a quality life for his family. In August 2015, having worked temporary jobs for some time, Michael decided it was time for a change. He had become increasingly concerned about his family's financial wellbeing. His wife Sylvia had been taking online college courses in Accounting, but that had put the family in serious financial debt since she was attending a proprietary college. Now, … Continued


HISTORY OF CWF IN INDIANAPOLIS The first Center for Working Families in Indianapolis was sponsored by the Annie E. Casey Foundation at George Washington High School in the Near West neighborhood (2004-2006),  with a focus on family financial literacy.  It was an outgrowth of the Foundation’s investment in “Community Schools” – public schools that function as hubs for neighborhood life, where families can participate in a variety of family-strengthening activities.  In 2007 the CWF moved to nearby Hawthorne Community Center, where financial literacy and coaching were bundled with employment services and income supports funded by the Local Initiatives Support Corporation … Continued

LISC, Social Innovation Fund join forces to open new career opportunities for unskilled workers in Indianapolis

A federal program that fuels grassroots solutions to community challenges is helping close the skills gap that traps millions of people in poverty, even in a growing economy. The Social Innovation Fund (SIF)—part of the Federal Corporation for National and Community Service—has awarded funding to the new Bridges to Career Opportunities program at three Centers for Working Families (CWFs) in Indianapolis. The Bridges program is overseen by LISC Indianapolis in order to help low-income workers build the skills necessary to earn a living wage. Coaches at three community centers will teach core skills like math, reading, and English as a … Continued


LISC Indianapolis has received a grant totaling $100,000 from the Nina Mason Pulliam Charitable Trust. The grant will be used to expand the Centers for Working Families’ Bridges to Success program to provide bridge employment skills training. Built on a model developed by the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Centers for Working Families (CWF) provides people with the tools they need to increase their income, reduce expenses, and build wealth for their families. The CWF network in Indianapolis is composed of eight neighborhood-based centers that transition families from living paycheck to paycheck to investing in their future. The Bridges for Success … Continued

Obama’s Ivy Tech Visit Spotlights Community Development Partnerships

  It’s exciting to see President Obama celebrating the work of a great partner to LISC like Ivy Tech. The President’s highlighting of the impact that a community college can have on a community has been reflected in how Ivy Tech has been part of local comprehensive community development efforts. The Ivy Tech campus is located in the Mid-North Quality of Life neighborhood, and the college has joined with residents and organizations like the Indianapolis Children’s Museum of Indianapolis, Mapleton-Fall Creek CDC, and Near North Development in implementing many community improvement goals. Three years ago, LISC invested $11.2 Million in Federal New Market … Continued

United Way of Central Indiana Endorses Centers for Working Families Model

LISC and United Way collaborate to pave path forward for working families in Indianapolis Ann Murtlow, President and CEO of United Way of Central Indiana (UWCI), announced a partnership with LISC to benefit working families in Indianapolis. Since 2007, LISC has invested $4.5 million to implement the CWF model in Indianapolis. Indianapolis Foundation, an affiliate of Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF), has funded CWF since 2007 through the Family Success Initiative, providing annual operating grants to the CWF network. LISC currently operates six CWF neighborhood centers and a center at Ivy Tech Community College, providing bundled services to empower working … Continued

Centers for Working Families Begin Second Year of “Bridge Works” Initiative

  LISC-sponsored Centers for Working Families have begun the second year of the Bridge Works initiative.  Two centers will each receive $40,000 from Accenture to refine and expand academic-occupational “bridge” programming. These programs help low-skilled working adults to improve literacy and technical skills leading to better jobs in targeted sectors of health care and manufacturing. Indianapolis is one of just six cities in the LISC national network to receive funding to support “bridge” training initiatives. The centers to receive the additional resources are Mary Rigg Neighborhood Center and Southeast Community Services. To learn more about the Bridge Works initiative and … Continued

The Working Poor Should Be Better Off

“The working poor should be better off than the non-working poor.” So says my good friend and tireless champion for the dispossessed, Gregg Keesling, who runs a very successful social enterprise employing ex-offenders here in Indianapolis. It’s a theme that resonates across the network of LISC-sponsored Financial Opportunity Centers (known as Centers for Working Families in Indianapolis). There’s much rhetoric about why the poor stay poor, but the FOCs are seeing people every day who work for living but seem to get nowhere. It’s a complicated dynamic – partly behavioral but mostly about lack of assets – social capital, educational attainment, … Continued

NYT Magazine Highlights LISC’s Twin Accounts Program

The New York Times Magazine highlights LISC’s Twin Accounts program in the article: “How Credit Card Debt Helps the Poor.” Without access to credit, low-income working families face limited economic opportunity. Landlords, employers, and insurance companies look at credit scores as part of their decision making process. Individuals with low credit scores lack access to quality rentals, are unqualified for certain jobs, and are required to pay deposits for utilities. The LISC supported Centers for Working Families work with people to get jobs, reduce debt, and build savings. One of its most important services is helping people gain access to … Continued

The State of Financial Security of Hoosier Families

The Centers for Working Families is LISC’s platform in lifting up low-income families out of poverty and into the economic mainstream by helping families increase earnings and develop assets. The CWF program was featured as part of a guest blog on the Institute for Working Families website to show the need for both private and public sectors to come together and restore economic mobility to Hoosier families. From the Institute for Working Families Blog: GUEST BLOG: New Scorecard Confirms Nearly Half of Hoosiers in a Persistent State of Financial Insecurity By Anne Guthrie: Anne is the Center for Working Families (CWF) … Continued

Centers for Working Families Launches Website

The Centers for Working Families (CWF) program, with the help of The Indianapolis Foundation, an affiliate of the Central Indiana Community Foundation (CICF), has launched its new website: Designed to educate, create awareness, and enlist CWF support, the site focuses on program components and the impact it’s having on participants. CWF has seven locations throughout the city providing career and personal financial services that focus on the financial bottom line for low-to-moderate income individuals and families. This means changing people’s financial behavior in a way that encourages them to make a long-term commitment to increasing income, decreasing expenses, and acquiring assets. “CICF is … Continued