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May 19 2016

Operation HOPE Partners with the Atlanta Police Department, Atlanta Police Foundation and SunTrust on Financial Empowerment Programs for APD Employees

HOPE Inside Atlanta Police Department brings free financial education and counseling services to APD employees as a wellness benefit.

ATLANTA – May 19, 2016 – Global financial dignity and economic empowerment nonprofit, Operation HOPE, Inc., has partnered with the Atlanta Police Department, Atlanta Police Foundation and SunTrust Banks, Inc. to open a HOPE Inside office at Atlanta Public Safety Headquarters. HOPE Inside APD brings free financial education and counseling services to APD employees as a wellness benefit. SunTrust  and the U.S. Economic Development Administration are sponsors of the new office.

Leaders gathered today to celebrate the opening of the office and the significant impact the services provided will have on the financial health of the employees involved, and by extension, the financial wellbeing of the city as a whole.

“Personal money problems stress and distract employees on the job, and employers are now making the business case for financial wellness programs to address everything from absenteeism to garnishments and retirement plan loans,” said Operation HOPE Founder, Chairman, and Chief Executive Officer John Hope Bryant. “We commend the leadership at APD and the Atlanta Police Foundation for taking this step to contribute to the financial wellness of their staff and are honored to partner with them to empower their employees who serve this great city.”

Operation HOPE Financial Wellbeing Coaches will lead the programs on site at Atlanta Public Safety Headquarters. Programming at HOPE Inside APD is tailored to help employees manage finances and credit to construct a more secure financial future for themselves and their families. Programs include credit counseling and money management, homeownership coaching, and foreclosure prevention assistance.

“Financial literacy is an integral component for individuals on the road to economic empowerment,” said APD Chief George Turner. “Through this unique partnership with Operation HOPE, SunTrust and our Atlanta Police Foundation, we are pleased to bring this life-changing opportunity to the employees of the Atlanta Police Department.” We have new talent entering our workforce every day and I want to ensure we provide them with tools for success; and financial freedom is a key component.”

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.

There are currently 42 open HOPE Inside locations, with commitments for more than 130 new offices within the next 18 months. HOPE Inside APD and HOPE Inside Hyatt Regency Atlanta, are two special hybrid installations that bring financial literacy and empowerment resources to the workplace as an employee wellness benefit.

“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.

HOPE Inside APD is part of Operation HOPE’s recently launched Atlanta Uplift 2020 initiative, developed to escalate the organization’s core financial literacy and empowerment programs throughout the city to strengthen low- and middle-income families and help build and economy that works for everyone.

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About Operation HOPE

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. 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 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

Follow Operation HOPE on Twitter @operationhope

About Atlanta Police Department

The mission of the Atlanta Police Department, which has an authorized strength of 2,034 sworn officers, is to create a safer Atlanta by reducing crime, ensuring the safety of citizens and building trust in partnership with the community.

For more information: www.atlantapfd.org

Follow the Atlanta Police Department on Twitter @Atlanta_Police

About Atlanta Police Foundation

The Atlanta Police Foundation was established in 2003 to provide vital support to the Mayor, the Chief of Police and the Atlanta Police Department. The organization is based on a public-private partnership model that has worked to secure and leverage private resources to fund high priority projects designed to enhance the City of Atlanta’s ability to fight and prevent crime. As a result of the work of the APF, since 2003 there has been an increase in the number of police officers on the streets and an increase in the engagement of Atlanta’s business community and neighborhood residents in fighting crime. Additionally, the City has experienced a 58 percent reduction in the violent crime rate and a 41 percent reduction in crimes overall. Our programs are strategically focused to complement the Atlanta Police Department’s vision of becoming the safest, large city in America. We give high priority to programs that address the need for more police visibility and improved police operations. We also provide strategic counsel for the APD and aid in bringing private and public sector resources together for short and long-range security planning for the City.

For more information: www.AtlantaPoliceFoundation.org

Follow the Atlanta Police Foundation on Twitter @atlpolicefdn

About SunTrust Banks, Inc.
SunTrust Banks, Inc. is a purpose-driven company dedicated to lighting the way to financial wellbeing for the people, businesses and communities it serves. Headquartered in Atlanta, the company has three business segments: Wholesale Banking, Consumer Banking and Private Wealth Management, and Mortgage. Its flagship subsidiary, SunTrust Bank, operates an extensive branch and ATM network throughout the high-growth Southeast and Mid-Atlantic states, along with 24-hour digital access. Certain business lines serve consumer, commercial, corporate and institutional clients nationally. As of December 31, 2015, SunTrust had total assets of $191 billion and total deposits of $150 billion. The company provides deposit, credit, trust, investment, mortgage, asset management, securities brokerage, and capital market services. SunTrust leads onUp, a national movement inspiring Americans to build financial confidence. Join the movement at www.onUp.com

About U.S. Economic Development Administration

As the only federal government agency focused exclusively on economic development, the U.S. Department of Commerce’s Economic Development Administration (EDA) plays a critical role in fostering regional economic development efforts in communities across the nation. Through strategic investments that foster job creation and attract private investment, EDA supports development in economically distressed areas of the United States. Guided by the basic principle that communities must be empowered to develop and implement their own economic development and revitalization strategies, EDA works directly with local economic development officials to make grant investments that are well-defined, timely, and linked to a long-term, sustainable economic development strategy.

For more information: www.eda.gov