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May 02 2016

Operation HOPE Launches Detroit Uplift 2020 to Aid Economic Recovery of Local Residents

Detroit Uplift 2020 will escalate the organization’s core financial literacy and empowerment programs throughout the city to strengthen low- and middle-income families and help advance financial inclusion.

DETROIT – May 2., 2016 – Global financial dignity and empowerment nonprofit Operation HOPE, Inc., has launched the Detroit Uplift 2020 initiative in collaboration with the City of Detroit, the Mayor’s Office, Skillman Foundation, and other strategic partners. Detroit Uplift 2020 will focus and intensify the organization’s deployment of free financial education and empowerment programs—credit and money management counseling, small business development coaching, and youth financial literacy and entrepreneurism, within local communities, particularly Brightmoor, Chadsey Condon, Cody Rouge, Northend Central Woodward, Osborn, and Southwest Detroit.

“Without a doubt, Detroit is a city on the rise. It is at the very center of the American success story—the American up-from-nothing story, the American comeback story,” said Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer John Hope Bryant. “We look forward to impacting the Detroit area by equipping people with the financial tools and training required to realize their aspirations and ensure their financial wellbeing.”

Over the next four years, Operation HOPE will activate:

- 20 new HOPE Inside locations

- 20 HOPE Business in a Box Academies

- 20 HOPE B-Business Compact Schools Sites

- 20 HOPE Banking on Our Future ‘Signature’ Schools

Detroit Uplift 2020 is part of a powerful national effort, focused on sustainable, transformational, community change at scale—it fosters the strategic packaging and distribution of Project 5117 programs throughout the country to help revive the economy, particularly in hard-hit urban cities now consumed with neighborhood ills like predatory lending and low credit scores. The Uplift 2020 push is launching now in Detroit, Las Vegas and Atlanta.

“With a HOPE Inside location already operational in Detroit, and additional commitments for others, we are excited to work with our growing list of Detroit-based HOPE partners who plan to advance financial inclusion in this great city.” Bryant said.   

Traditionally constructed as offices within existing bank branches, government facilities, and other community locations, the HOPE Inside model continues to demonstrate great success around the nation. Every HOPE Inside holds consumer credit counseling certification, CFPB, FDIC, U.S. SBA, EITC, and FEMA applications and partnerships, and most locations are HUD approved counseling offices. Through the HOPE 700 Credit Score Communities initiative, the focus on raising client credit scores to 700 is at the foundation of all HOPE Inside programming.

“Our counseling services help bridge the gap between being unqualified and being bankable, so in many ways the HOPE Inside model operates as the ‘private banker to the less than affluent’—the working poor, the working class and the struggling middle class,” Bryant said. “We work to get bankers out of the ‘no’ business, and into the ‘yes’ business, by helping to rehabilitate the credit, financial, and overall wellbeing profile of the HOPE client, and the future bank borrower.”

There are currently 45 open HOPE Inside locations, with commitments for more than 130 new offices within the next 18 months. Two special hybrid installations also opening in April—HOPE Inside Hyatt Regency Atlanta, and HOPE Inside Atlanta Police Department, will bring financial literacy and empowerment resources to the workplace as an employee financial wellness benefit.

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About Operation HOPE, Inc.

Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to "silver rights" with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved—powering the broadest financial inclusion network in the country. Through its core programs, the nonprofit has provided financial dignity and economic empowerment to over 2.6 million individuals worldwide, and $2 billion in economic activity for the disenfranchised—turning check cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, and minimum wage workers into living wage consumers. Project 5117 is Operation HOPE’s multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth, and stabilize the American dream by boosting credit scores. Operation HOPE recently received its second consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator—further establishing it as a best-in-class organization. For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org