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August 14 2013

Operation HOPE Offers Financial Literacy Services to Westchester County, New York

Financial recovery and guidance program through contract with Department of Social Services

Westchester County, NY -- August 13, 2013 -- Operation HOPE, a global nonprofit agency, has set up shop in Westchester County to provide financial literacy and other help managing money to youth and other low-income residents, County Executive Robert P. Astorino announced. 

Astorino said that through a contract, Operation HOPE is working with the county’s Department of Social Services and the Westchester-Putnam One-Stop Employment Center, at no cost to the county or to people who seek its services. 

“Operation HOPE has the same goals we do– to make communities stronger and to make their residents self-reliant,” said Astorino. “This contract with Operation HOPE brings new financial learning programs to Westchester residents, with an emphasis on financial disaster recovery and preparedness.”   

The organization, founded in 1992, will work from two locations: The One-Stop’s main office, 120 Bloomingdale Road, White Plains, and the DSS Mount Vernon District Office, 100 E. First St., Mount Vernon. The offices will be fully operational by Aug. 26. 

At HOPE Coalition America (HCA) offices, trained financial professionals provide financial literacy classes and one-on-one counseling for organizing personal information, establishing a budget, reviewing insurance coverage, disaster recovery budgeting, cash flow management, accounting services, tax assistance, financial statements and projections, banking relationships, loan applications and financial guidance for individuals and small businesses. Clients are also given assistance on how to secure a loan. 

HCA is Operation HOPE’s financial preparedness and disaster recovery division. To date, it has assisted more than 300,000 individuals and communities with financial preparedness, disaster recovery and “financial triage” – assessing financial need, identifying the most pressing problems and providing assistance when possible. 

Since its formation in 2001, the result of a partnership with the Department of Homeland Security and FEMA, HCA has responded to 35 disasters. 

Commissioner of Social Services Kevin McGuire said of the program: “Operation HOPE is able to provide multifaceted financial services with a caring touch, coupled with financial education for children and adults.” 

Fred D. Smith president HOPE Coalition America, noted that people are still recovering from Superstorm Sandy. “At HOPE Coalition America, we recognize the importance of continuing to provide assistance as recovery efforts persist, and are pleased to partner with Westchester County to help ensure that everyone in the area is able to fully recover.” 

For more information visit www.operationhope.org. You may also contact Lisa Swanson of DSS’s emergency operations at (914) 995-5420 or by email at lqs5@westchestergov.com; or Lawrence Blaber, Jr., of Operation HOPE at (929) 400-3129 or by email at lawrence.blaber@operationHOPE.org