PHOENIX, April 22, 2015 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The Caterpillar Foundation is giving a major boost to plans to revitalize disadvantaged communities in Phoenix with a $1 million grant to the Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC)—the largest single contribution in LISC's 22 years of work in the Valley of the Sun.
This is the first time the Caterpillar Foundation has invested in community development efforts in the Phoenix area. LISC will use the money to help expand employment and financial security for low-income families, as well as to transform blighted land into vibrant community space that adds value to the surrounding area.
"This money will help make sure important development projects can move forward and help hundreds of people build a better life," said Terry Benelli, executive director of LISC Phoenix.
"The Caterpillar Foundation is focused on addressing the root causes of poverty," said Michele Sullivan, president of the Caterpillar Foundation. "With LISC's expertise, we can work together to transform poverty-stricken neighborhoods into healthy and sustainable communities. This investment will help put people in the Phoenix area on the path to prosperity."
The Caterpillar Foundation and LISC first teamed up in Peoria in 2012, when the global heavy-equipment manufacturer helped the national nonprofit open a new program office to support housing and economic development efforts in the small, central Illinois city.
"Caterpillar has proven itself to be a remarkable partner, one willing to be innovative and think long-term about the future of neighborhoods that many have given up as lost," said Michael Rubinger, president and CEO of LISC, which has invested some $14.7 billion in distressed neighborhoods since 1980. "Caterpillar has a different vision—one that says even troubled areas can be revived. We're so grateful to them for their commitment."
In Phoenix, the Caterpillar Foundation investment will provide general support for programs focused on reviving neighborhoods as well as fund several major projects—including the area's first LISC Financial Opportunity Center (FOC). The FOC will help low-income residents find good jobs, manage debt, build stronger credit and budget for the future. It's a model LISC has employed at 75 Centers nationwide, helping tens of thousands of people access services so they can change their economic outlook.
The Caterpillar Foundation commitment will also support a new Native American community center in the Glenrosa neighborhood of Phoenix. The Center will replace an abandoned property with vibrant, multipurpose space—including a commercial kitchen that will help train entrepreneurs in catering and other food-related enterprises.
"These are projects that would have difficulty moving forward but for the capital Caterpillar is contributing," noted LISC's Benelli. "With this support, the Caterpillar Foundation will have a lasting impact on the quality of life across the Valley and help lift disadvantaged communities."
LISC combines corporate, government and philanthropic resources to help nonprofit community development corporations revitalize distressed neighborhoods across the country. Since 1980, LISC has invested $14.7 billion to build or rehab 330,000 affordable homes and apartments and develop 53 million square feet of retail, community and educational space. For more, visit www.lisc.org.
About the Caterpillar Foundation
Caterpillar Inc. supports the philanthropic efforts of the Caterpillar Foundation. Founded in 1952, the Caterpillar Foundation has contributed more than $600 million to help make sustainable progress possible around the world by providing program support in the areas of environmental sustainability, access to education and basic human needs. To learn more about the global impact of the Caterpillar Foundation, please visit www.caterpillar.com/foundation.
For more information, contact:
Terry Benelli, LISC Phoenix executive director
602-252-6313 or [email protected]
SOURCE Local Initiatives Support Corporation