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The only thing standing between many families and a descent into homelessness and poverty is trained legal representation. In courtrooms every day, the fight for basic human needs is played out in cases against landlords who have served eviction notices, employers that have withheld wages, state agencies that have denied benefits and various other civil matters. Yet unlike in criminal court, there is no constitutional right to an attorney in a civil suit. This puts people who cannot afford representation at a severe disadvantage in cases that could alter the courses of their lives.

For more than a half century, New Haven Legal Assistance has worked to balance the scales of justice by providing free legal counsel to vulnerable clients.

“We are building on the history that we’ve created, a history of being rooted in the community and putting our clients first,” says Executive Director Alexis Smith. Continue reading: 

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Neighborhoods: What is Working

When Disaster Hits, Your First Responder Probably Will Not Be a First Responder

The FIRST assets in a disaster are neighbors. In fact, it turns out that while your neighbors have everything to do with your immediate chances in a disaster, your neighbors and their collective extended connections determine how well and how fast your community will recover.

Organizational Culture of Fear: The Shadow Side of US Culture

Don't let the title mislead you. Peter's intimate conversation with life, career and business coach CJ Liu is profound, touching and funny. Ostensibly a discussion of Peter's book Flawless Consulting, CJ says at the end, "We didn't talk about the book at all." Instead, the conversation ranged from personal transformation, integrating who you are with what you do and outlets for pain and rage to freedom, authenticity, courage and the power of co-creation--plus yoga, cartoons, parenting and much more.

The Problem With Problems

One of the reasons we may have so little productive citizen creativity at the local level is that people buy into the belief that the purpose of getting together is to deal with a problem. There is another purpose that is probably more important: engagement that mobilizes citizen creativity and contributions.

Open Street Project

Join us for an Open Streets Study Tour October 6th-8th!

The Open Streets Project is partnering with the non-profit organization New Brunswick Tomorrow to deliver an educational Open Streets Study Tour in New Brunswick, NJ from October 6th - October 8th. The Study Tour will feature classroom sessions, networking opportunities, a behind the scenes tour of New Brunswick’s industry leading Ciclovia.

The post Join us for an Open Streets Study Tour October 6th-8th! appeared first on Open Streets Project.

Open Streets Project Revamped

The Open Streets Project has undergone some changes over the last year. We bid a sad farewell to project co-founder, the Alliance for Biking & Walking, who are moving on to other things, and we happily welcomed a new partner, international Open Streets leader 8 80 Cities. We are excited for all the possibilities and energy this partnership will bring.

The post Open Streets Project Revamped appeared first on Open Streets Project.

Local Initiatives Support Corporation

Ten Talented Local Leaders Win LISC Fellowship

They come from all corners of the country, and all share a deep commitment to helping their communities thrive. Meet the inaugural class of the Michael Rubinger Community Fellowship. Named after LISC’s longtime CEO, who retired last summer, the fellowship recognizes their accomplishments to date, and invests in their growth as leaders and in the future of community development. “They are the staying power of what we do,” Rubinger said.  “We owe it to our field to find new ways to build and nurture them.”

In Flint, an Avenue Leading to Safety

For decades, the residents of Flint, Michigan have endured high rates of crime alongside devastating unemployment, depopulation and blight—and recently, a severe water crisis on top of that. But the energy and commitment of neighbors, business people and key anchor institutions are transforming the historic University Avenue corridor. Crime there, in turn, has plummeted. A Department of Justice community safety grant, with training and technical assistance from LISC, has ramped up those efforts and is helping make the corridor a model of problem-solving, and optimism, for all of Flint.

A Hive of Small Business Activity in Boston

In celebration of Small Business Saturday (Nov. 25), we're profiling emerging enterprises in the communities where we work that have benefited from LISC small business lending and support. In Boston, Northeastern University and LISC have launched the Impact Lending initiative to spur women- and minority-owned businesses and local economies that surround the university. Honeycomb Café, a bustling new locavore restaurant in South Boston’s Dorchester area, offers a picture of impact lending at its finest.

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