Over the years, Lisbon Avenue Neighborhood Development Corporation or (LAND) has earned a reputation for being a catalyst for neighborhood revitalization. Working in collaboration with residents, businesses and community agents, LAND prides itself on fostering economic sufficiency and community well-being.
LAND is a nonprofit organization that has been in existence for more than 22years. Located in the Washington Park area, on 37th and Lisbon Avenue, LAND’s services include economic and community development through the rental of commercial property, Home Source, the Minor Home Repair Program and Community Organizing. Through these services, LAND works with organizations, institutions, businesses, and residents to improve the quality of life. LAND currently has two dedicated staff who work tirelessly with volunteers to achieve many of its goals and objectives.
LAND’s efforts in community organization include working with the community of close-knit residents to host neighborhood clean-ups, neighborhood beautification projects, community meetings to address residents’ issues and concerns, and community events to provide education and resources. With a focus on family, friends and supporters often attend LAND-hosted events just to enjoy the free food, fun, entertainment, activities and while sharing community resource information.
LAND was first conceived in 1988, when a group of neighborhood residents and area churches joined together to address some of the problems of the neighborhood around Lisbon Avenue and 35th Street. With only a few dedicated residents, LAND eventually grew to one of the larger community development agencies in the city, developing a number of programs, such as:
HomeSource Center, a home supply warehouse that solicits donations of new and used limited items and, in turn, distributes them to low-to-moderate-income residents for a saving of 50-90%; LAND’S Prepared Readiness, a program for executive directors, pastors, and small businesses in the neighborhood founded to raise awareness of the community’s lack of preparedness and to create connectivity among organizations in the community; Community Organizing which helps residents assist each other in forming block clubs, clean-ups, and work tenaciously to identify resident concerns for safety and community involvement; and seek resolution to problems associated with crime, dilapidated housing, and sanitation; Landlord/Tenant Compact that trains and encourages volunteer residents to network and work on community issues, such as neighborhood concerns, neighborhood vision and the next steps; Service Learning Partnerships that include collaborations with the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and Marquette University.
These partnerships provide students with opportunities to engage in community practicums where they receive hands on, life- experiences working in a nonprofit setting, providing services to the community. The Service Learning Project with Milwaukee Public Schools provides students with opportunities to learn about their environment, agriculture, recycling, government, laws; the importance of providing services to their community; exposure to life altering experiences; and many other resources; and LAND’s Safe Alternative Youth Project offers services to youth ages 10 to 17, providing an Environmental & Community Education Project that includes workshops, field trips, and the creation of a garden on the vacant lot between 36th and 37th and Lisbon.
Though LAND’s focus and services have grown over the years, the agency is still—at heart—a grassroots organization who overarching goal is teaching neighbors to be good neighbors.