‘Helping people and places prosper’
One group helped close The Last Place on Earth, which sold synthetic drugs. Another group is helping build the Steve O’Neil Apartments for families struggling with long-term homelessness. Both groups won a Building Healthy Communities award at a Duluth LISC celebration luncheon in April.
This year’s recipients are 1 Roof Community Housing, Center City Housing Corp. and CHUM for the Steve O’Neil Apartments; and the City of Duluth, City Attorney Office and Duluth Police Department for their community safety and revitalization efforts in Downtown Duluth.
The event center at the Clyde Iron Works was full to capacity with more than 300 attendees from local business leaders, city and elected officials to nonprofit and philanthropic groups.
Duluth LISC is an affiliate of the national LISC (Local Initiatives Support Corporation) network. Their mission is to help nonprofit community development organizations transform distressed neighborhoods into healthy and sustainable communities.
Duluth LISC celebrated its 17th year, having invested $75.6 million into the economy in an effort to revitalize Duluth’s core neighborhoods: Hillside, Lincoln Park, Morgan Park and West Duluth.
The event, coined “Helping People and Places Prosper,” featured Sister Kathleen Hofer, O.S.B. as the keynote speaker. Hofer, a founding board member of Duluth LISC, focused on the organization’s impact and how its mission resonates with the Benedictine values of hospitality, respect, justice and stewardship.
“It is sometimes hard to see that if we collaborate with others rather than compete, we can all benefit to an even greater extent. LISC has helped to make this happen in Duluth by working with all community development organizations and facilitating more collaboration,” Hofer said.
1 Roof Housing, Center City Housing Corp and CHUM were recognized for construction of the Steve O’Neil Apartments, 115 W. Fourth St. The 44-unit complex is responding to long-term homelessness and will provide hope and stability to Duluth’s struggling families. Onsite, dedicated supportive services will see families have help as they work to improve their lives. Six units of family emergency shelter will meet an unfilled need in the community. Together the three organizations worked with multiple private, non-profit and public partners to pool resources for the construction of the $12.7 million development. The name is a tribute to County Commissioner and long-time housing activist Steve O’Neil.
City of Duluth, City Attorney Office and Duluth Police Department took a proactive approach to the eroding business environment and deteriorating safety in Duluth. The closure of Last Place on Earth required the City and its departments to work statewide to address growing concerns associated with synthetic drug abuse and its damaging effects on individuals and families.
Duluth LISC has three core programs:
At Home in Duluth Building Sustainable Communities comprehensive revitalization, affordable housing development and preservation, and building the capacity of local community development organizations to carry out these programs.