By Tim Ryan

In the ever-evolving landscape of Hampton Roads, Virginia, the spotlight today is on LISC Hampton Roads, the regional branch of the national nonprofit Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC). LISC is a powerhouse in community development, operating in more than 35 locations across the United States. Its mission? To partner with residents and other organizations to create resilient and inclusive communities that offer a wealth of opportunities.

Mission-Driven Strategies for Holistic Community Development

LISC Hampton Roads aims to fortify existing partnerships while actively seeking new collaborations to magnify their positive impact on local communities. One of the cornerstones of their strategy is to build leadership and capacity among their partners, setting the stage for collective success.

Moreover, they are committed to equipping local talent in underinvested communities with essential skills, laying the foundation for competitive job markets and economic growth. From investing in businesses to housing and other community infrastructures, LISC is unwavering in its pursuit to stimulate economic, health, safety, and educational mobility for the people it serves. The organization also plays a significant role in shaping policies that spread prosperity and well-being on multiple scales, from local to national.

A Milestone for Innovation and Inclusivity in Hampton Roads

The most recent feather in LISC Hampton Road’s cap is their significant $3 million loan contribution towards the “Unity Place at Kindred” project. This groundbreaking development, led by Brinshore Development, LLC, is transforming over 26,000 square feet into versatile ground-floor commercial, community, and business incubator spaces. But that’s not all. The project also involves the development of 140 housing units as part of a broader strategy to redevelop the former Tidewater Gardens public housing site in Norfolk, Virginia. This ensures that former residents have the opportunity to return to a revitalized community with affordable rent options.

Fueling the Innovation Economy of Hampton Roads

It’s crucial to understand that investments like these aren’t merely about brick and mortar; they are about planting seeds of innovation and entrepreneurship that will sprout into the economic tapestry of Hampton Roads. By focusing on mixed-use, mixed-income spaces, LISC Hampton Roads is creating fertile ground for business incubators, fostering a vibrant environment where startups can thrive.

This level of infrastructural development serves as a catalyst for the regional innovation economy. It attracts skilled talent and entrepreneurs, who in turn create jobs and contribute to the well-rounded growth of Hampton Roads. The approach aligns perfectly with the goals of Innovate Hampton Roads, as both organizations see the synergistic benefits of blending community development with economic innovation.

LISC Hampton Roads’ recent investment, in collaboration with partners like the City of Norfolk Government, U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, and others, marks a watershed moment in shaping a resilient and prosperous future for Hampton Roads. Together, they are not just building structures; they are molding communities of opportunity.

Through these focused initiatives and investments, LISC Hampton Roads is not only honoring its mission but also amplifying the voice of innovation and entrepreneurship in the region. And in doing so, it’s setting a model for how to holistically invest in the future—one community at a time.