During these times of severe unrest, we all need not only threads of hope, but also positive action with measurable results. Right here in our hometown of Orlando, Florida, LIFT Orlando is exactly that. This non-profit organization is making a difference in the lives of residents in the Communities of West Lakes, an underserved area consisting of five neighborhoods. LIFT works as the backbone organization within the community and has helped to develop and attract $100m of real estate development projects by listening to the needs of the community, utilizing existing community assets, and a creative solution set of donations, tax credits, bank financing and the LIFT Orlando Impact Investing Fund.
LIFT has completed the development of Pendana at West Lakes consisting of 200 mixed-income apartment units, Pendana Senior Apartments consisting of 120 affordable units for seniors ages 62 and up, and the West Lakes Early Learning Center with a 152 student capacity for children ages 6 months to 5 years. At the learning center, more than 30 new jobs were filled with teachers and staff members making an average of $4 more per hour than other local childcare providers. Currently underway is the Bradley-Otis Boys & Girls Club that will serve up to 280 children ages 6-18 years. And breaking ground later this summer is the Health and Wellness Center, a 30,000 square foot, 2-story facility providing vital health services and community resources for all West Lakes residents.
Through its strategic acquisitions of target parcels, LIFT’s purpose to ignite economic redevelopment is coming to fruition.