2020 Community Impact Grant
Legal-name: Linc Housing Corporation
Address: 3590 Elm Avenue
City: Long Beach
Ranking-title: Rebecca F. Clark, President and CEO
Contact-First-name: Stacey Slevcove
Title: Corporate Development Manager
Grant_purpose: Linc Housing requests grant support to launch programs for formerly homeless and extremely low-income youth at Spark at Midtown.
Mission: Linc Housing’s mission is to build communities and strengthen neighborhoods for people underserved by the marketplace.
What-is-project: Linc will plan, pilot, and build out youth empowerment programs based out of Spark at Midtown in Long Beach. This will include both services provided by Linc to young residents of our affordable housing property and a wider network of supportive programs offered at new community-serving facilities on the ground floor, including the YMCA Youth Institute.
Spark will be Linc’s flagship affordable housing community in our hometown of Long Beach. It was designed to address housing, health, and economic needs in central Long Beach. The building includes 95 new apartments, 47 of which will be supportive housing for individuals and families who have experienced homelessness. Located along the Metro Blue Line, Spark will have a new YMCA Youth Institute service center, demonstration kitchen, Dignity Health clinic, bike services, a small business/social enterprise café, a mini park, and flexible meeting/program space. Spark began construction in March 2019 and is expected to be completed in April 2021. Along with providing affordable housing for low-/extremely low-income households, community development will benefit the neighborhood including its racially diverse census tract with a 24.5% poverty rate (ACS 2017).
Project goals include bringing on a resident services coordinator to launch resident services at Spark; creating a management plan for ground floor facilities; working with existing and new partners to detail programs to be offered in Spark’s demonstration kitchen, mini park, and meeting room; and connecting Linc, YMCA, and other partners’ programs to support youth. Linc’s programs will include an after-school program for elementary school-aged Spark residents, including children who have experienced homelessness and extremely low-income children. Linc’s after-school programs typically include academic tutoring, mentoring, STEM enrichment activities, arts activities, nutrition programs, and health and wellbeing activities. YMCA Youth Institute programs at Spark will connect vulnerable teenagers to their impactful services.
Community kitchens, like the one at Spark, are dynamic spaces that can be used for job training, small business incubation/development, nutrition education, preparation of free/donated meals, and better connecting fresh food providers to low-income communities. In addition to being available for Linc programs, the kitchen will be used by community partners such as the LB Dept. of Health and Human Services, CSULB, LBCC, LB Economic Development Dept./Pacific Gateway, 5000 Pies, and the Long Beach Grocery Cooperative. Linc anticipates nutrition and cooking classes tailored for youth will be available through these partnerships.
Lastly, a flexible meeting space will be available for youth empowerment programs, including meetings and activities coordinated by other Long Beach nonprofits. Interested agencies include LB Forward and their coalition members and Best Start Central Long Beach.
How-will-you-succeed: During the grant period, Linc staff and consultant(s) will develop and advance the following aspects of the youth empowerment initiatives:
• Working with partners (committed and new) to outline future programs and services in more detail, including connecting eligible Linc residents to Youth Institute programs, developing youth-focused programs for the mini park, culinary job skills training opportunities, broader workforce development initiatives, and programs supporting entrepreneurship
• Solidifying a management plan for the spaces and partnerships
• Identifying and bringing on evaluation consultant to assist with program development
• Securing a café tenant (social enterprise or socially minded/minority-owned small business) and explore the potential involvement in of YMCA youth in establishing this new business (graphic design/marketing, translation, restaurant industry job skills, etc.)
• Gauging interest via surveys and piloting programs with initial Spark residents who will move in December 2020/January 2021
• Evaluating and preparing for other funding opportunities
• Connecting these programs with job readiness related programs and services offered to youth and families participating in the YMCA of Greater Long Beach’s Community Development Branch’s programs, including the Youth Institute and Change Agent Productions (social enterprise media company) which will be onsite.
Linc Housing has resident services staff focused on data management who will assist in implementing data collection for youth empowerment programs targeted to Linc’s residents. Partner organizations will be expected to provide available data on the impact of programs hosted at Spark, such as the Youth Institute working with CSULB for program evaluation. This program has a proven track record of providing academic and social supports and a unique pathway to high school graduation and post-secondary education for urban youth.
Planning efforts supported by this grant will ensure strong coordination and set up programs to achieve strong impact and attract additional funding. Consulting support through a pending grant from another funder would further assist Linc in developing and implementing an evaluation plan based on the specific partners confirmed, populations served, and services offered at the Spark’s ground floor facilities.
The building’s operating budget and local subsidies will support most ongoing resident services expenses. Linc’s corporate office team will assist staff at Spark with the management of youth empowerment partnerships and programs. Capital One has committed $30,000 per year for 10 years in support of Linc’s Spark programs.
Linc will communicate about our progress and impact at Spark through our email and hard copy newsletters, website, annual impact report, and social media.
Who-are-you: Linc Housing builds, renovates, and preserves sustainable affordable homes for seniors, families, and special needs populations throughout California. Linc’s mission is to build communities and strengthen neighborhoods for people underserved by the marketplace. Linc communities are known for excellent design, outstanding management, and life-enhancing services. In recent years, Linc has focused on creating more supportive housing and has committed to properties being community assets – serving residents and surrounding neighborhoods by providing community amenities for better health and economic mobility. With more than 8,000 affordable apartment homes and more than 300 supportive housing units developed, the organization is proud to be the “linc” between hope and home for those in need of affordable housing.
Linc’s resident services division, initiated in 2004, helps residents improve household stability and quality of life by addressing social, educational, financial, and healthcare needs through direct services and partnerships. Linc volunteers donated more than 3,745 hours in 2019 supporting ten daily after-school programs, more than 60 health and wellbeing activities, six job readiness workshops, six bi-weekly food banks and numerous community-building activities. Linc Housing’s resident services team has significant experience establishing and managing programs for vulnerable youth – from running after-school programs and summer programs for low-income youth in our affordable housing communities throughout the state to case management for formerly homeless transition age youth living at The Palace in Long Beach. Linc gathered significant feedback from partner organizations, community groups, and neighbors in Long Beach at various stages of Spark’s development.
President and CEO Rebecca Clark has more than 30 years’ experience in creating strong communities and healthy residents through affordable housing. Her experiences include leading nonprofit companies, consulting on governance and organizational development, driving public policy outcomes, and effecting necessary systemic change. Chief Operating Officer Suny Lay Chang has nearly 20 years of professional experience in affordable housing, community development, and strategic management. Linc’s Board of Directors offers a wide range of experience in areas such as housing development, asset management, legal services, finance, management, policy, and service delivery.
Now in our 36th year, Linc is experiencing significant growth in our pipeline of affordable and supportive housing. In recognition of recent accomplishments, Linc was awarded Developer of the Year by Southern California Association of NonProfit Housing in October 2019. Spark at Midtown in Long Beach, described above, was named a Gold Nugget Award of Merit Honoree in the category of Best on-the-boards affordable housing community in 2019.