LISC Hampton Roads increases local impact through strategic partnerships

Published 7:00 pm Tuesday, October 5, 2021

Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC) Hampton Roads, the local office of the nation’s leading community development investment organization, is expanding its footprint in Hampton Roads to forge resilient and inclusive communities of opportunity. Leveraging a $100 million joint effort with Sentara Healthcare and Optima Health, LISC Hampton Roads will invest in local social determinants of health, like affordable housing, small businesses, and programs that enhance quality of life.

Since January of 2020, through funds raised from donors and supporters — including corporations, government entities and individuals — LISC has invested more than $8.2 million to improve educational, employment and health outcomes for under-resourced communities and supporting recovery efforts for some of the hardest-hit small businesses during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Last fall, LISC Hampton Roads partnered with the Hampton Roads Workforce Council and the Urban League of Hampton Roads to implement Bridge 757 — a local model of LISC’s national  Financial Opportunity Center program that helps chronically unemployed and underemployed adults train for, land, and advance in jobs in local growth industries by helping them overcome the roadblocks to success, build effective money habits and focus on the financial bottom line. The program targets families living on a low to moderate income and those who face the highest systemic obstacles to opportunity.


Email newsletter signup

Bridge 757 provides personalized financial coaching including credit repair and counseling, income support, career services, budget preparation counseling and employment services.

As part of the Virginia Beach Pandemic Relief Partnership — a collaboration with the United Way of South Hampton Roads, the Foodbank of Southeastern Virginia and the Eastern Shore, and the Hampton Roads Workforce Council funded by the City of Virginia Beach — LISC Hampton Roads provided $10,000 grants to support more than 700 small businesses impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic.

“LISC Hampton Roads is on a mission to address social determinants of health through partnerships with community-based organizations that offer the services underinvested communities need to thrive,” said Naomi Gunnell, senior program officer, LISC Hampton Roads. “Our work is focused on dismantling the systemic barriers to employment, healthcare, housing, and entrepreneurship which have been exacerbated by the COVID-19 pandemic; and we are committed to leveraging the capacity of our partners to advance these efforts and create inclusive communities of opportunity across our region.”

To find out more about these programs and other initiatives, visit