LCW had its beginnings in the early 1980s struggle to build affordable housing in North Lawrence, and has built or renovated over 400 units of affordable housing for the people of Lawrence.
Since an organizational rebirth in July of 1999, we have become a powerful vehicle for community revitalization, attracting over $100 million dollars in local, regional, and national public and private investment and catalyzing collaborative, community-wide revitalization efforts. See the achievements and collaborative efforts over the past 20 years.
- Grown our membership base from 0 to over 5,000 residents and stakeholders.
- Successfully completed 215 new units of affordable homeownership and rental housing for low-income families on formerly vacant, abandoned, tax-title, historic, and brownfields properties, with 200+ in the pipeline.
- Created, with partner Groundwork Lawrence, four new neighborhood parks/ playgrounds on formerly abandoned or contaminated sites.
- Completed Our House, an innovative neighborhood educational and community center in the former St. Laurence O’Toole school building.
- Created Asset Building programs for over 1,000 adults annually, offering matched savings, financial education and coaching, home-ownership education, foreclosure intervention, computer basics, ESOL, workforce training, leadership development, and other workshops. IDA graduates have collectively saved over $1.6M and AB graduates in total have leveraged over $100 million in local asset purchases and investments.
- Implemented Movement City, our evolved STEAM and creative expression-focused after-school program serving 150 youth annually. 95% of program graduates continue to college; program staff and instructors draw strongly from alumni ranks.
- Engaged over 1,100 families in NeighborCircles and over 800 families in Community Education Circles, which are national models for resident and parent engagement, and spreading throughout the Lawrence Public Schools.
- Won awards from CHAPA and the Governor’s Office for our Reviviendo Gateway Initiative, a smart and equitable growth strategy for revitalizing the City’s Mill District, downtown, and adjacent residential areas, driven by a broad coalition of residents, businesses, and public officials. RGI laid the foundation for thriving and emerging adaptive mill re-use projects in the City.
- Launched the Lawrence Financial Stability Center in partnership with the United Way and local nonprofit and public partners to create a one-stop shop for financial coaching, income support, educational advancement, workforce development, and peer support.
- Won first place in the FRBB Working Cities Challenge competition to support the Lawrence Public Schools Turn-Around and the economic advancement of Lawrence families; have since placed over 200 parents in jobs and connected nearly 230 more to training and educational opportunities, while attracting follow-on funding and catalyzing systems-wide changes in local public education and workforce development institutions.
- Lawrence Working Families Initiative: LWFI is a cross-sector partnership that involves nearly 20 local employers (including Lawrence General Hospital, 99 Degrees Custom, and Greater Lawrence Family Health Center), a dozen local nonprofit agencies, a number of public sector partners (including the Lawrence Public Schools, the City’s Planning and Development Department, Northern Essex Community College, and the MassHire Career Center). LWFI makes employment and family engagement the cornerstones of its comprehensive strategy to increase family economic success, support the Lawrence Public Schools (LPS) Turnaround goals, and increase quality of life for Lawrence families. LCW is the lead agent. Together we are working to transform the educational and workforce development systems in the City.
- The Lawrence Partnership: LCW is a founding member of this public-private economic development partnership which is focused on “Lawrence jobs for Lawrence people” through better alignment and design of workforce training programs, significant employer engagement, and small business development and capitalization. LCW’s Executive Director, Jessica Andors, sits on the Partnership’s Executive Committee and Venture Loan Fund Committee. Partners include a dozen local/regional banks and credit unions, local Latino-owned businesses such as Silverio Insurance, Estrella Law Offices, and Nuñez Properties, major institutions such as Lawrence General Hospital, The Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, and Northern Essex Community College, large local employers such as GemLine, and public officials. This collaboration is key to our systems change goals.
- Lawrence Financial Stability Center: Forged in 2013, this collaborative effort with the United Way of Massachusetts Bay & Merrimack Valley brings a “bundled” services approach to family economic advancement focused on the Lawrence population, a core piece of investing in people.
- North Canal Coalition: Led jointly by LCW and Groundwork Lawrence, this coalition of North Canal/Mill District property owners and stakeholders works to solve common problems around district infrastructure and physical conditions, and promotes joint marketing and public events. Key to investing in place.
- Physical and Financial Health Working Group: Collaboration between LCW, Greater Lawrence Family Health Center, and the Mayor’s Health Task Force seeking to improve the socioeconomic position and health of low income GLFHC patients in Lawrence, MA through integration of financial and health services. Key to systems change.