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July 06 2006

Anacostia DC HOPE Center Educate 10,000 Residents, Providing Financial Literacy Skills to Its Underserved Community

Operation HOPE is the leading driver of economic empowerment to the disadvantaged in this country
(Washington, D.C.) July 6, 2006 --- Marking the one-year anniversary of the Washington, D.C. HOPE Center in Anacostia, non-profit organization Operation HOPE today announced that it has provided financial literacy education and counseling to more than 10,000 residents. The facility, which employs eight full-time people, has been essential in promoting economic empowerment to local Ward 8 constituents, helping the residents gain homeownership and small business loans.  
This past year, the Anacostia – Washington, DC HOPE Center:
• Educated more than 6,736 youths on financial literacy through the Banking on Our Future program;
• Assisted 7 families purchase their first home through the Operation HOPE home buyer program totaling $1,025,000 in new mortgage loans and an additional 39 approved mortgage loans;
• Counseled more than 1,200 community members about credit budget and savings that allows them to have better credit in hopes of purchasing a new a home;
• Enrolled more than 174 people in the Workforce Development program, a program designed to provide the community with new job skills to coincide with a growing and evolving job market.  To date HOPE has had 25 successful graduates and 18 of the graduates have been placed in a job;
• Enrolled 71 people in the Operation HOPE Small Business program with 4 business loan approvals and two small business loans already funded;
• Signed up 335 active members for its Credit Counseling program;
• Enrolled 186 individuals in the Computer Education tutorial with over 3,100 local residents participating in the Digital Empowerment program;
• Co-hosted a local Anacostia Economic Summit with D.C. Mayor Williams that included participation from business, political and community leaders and key note speeches from Federal Reserve Board Chairman Ben Bernanke, World Bank President Paul Wolfowitz and U.S. Comptroller of the Currency John C. Dugan.
“We are pleased to have been able to serve so many people East of the River,” said Operation HOPE founder and CEO John Hope Bryant. “We are looking to double our efforts as well as work in collaboration with the many community leaders who have been working for many years to empower Anacostia.”
According to the Washington, D.C. Tax and Revenue Office, while property values shot up to an average of 21.8 percent citywide last year, they rose 30 percent in Anacostia. City officials say about $2 billion in public and private investment is revitalizing Anacostia, which has been Washington\'s lowest-income area for decades. 
“The Anacostia – Washington, DC HOPE Center is teaching individuals every day to take control of their financial future, helping them realize the value of managing their finances to achieve their goals,” said Arlen Gelbard, Chief Administrative Officer, E*TRADE FINANCIAL Corporation.  “E*TRADE FINANCIAL is proud to support Operation HOPE and the work of the Anacostia HOPE Center, helping deliver on the dream of homeownership and the promise of financial independence.”
The Anacostia – WDC HOPE center is supported through funding and in-kind contributions by private corporations and government sponsors, including E*TRADE FINANCIAL, Dell, Department of Labor, Economic Development Authority, Countrywide Bank, Intuit, M&T Bank, and Microsoft.
The center co-hosted, along with the District of Columbia Mayor’s Office, the recent successful Anacostia Economic Summit, which brought decision-making business, community and government leaders to address revitalization and growth in the area. Contributions from Citigroup, General Electric, the National Capital Revitalization Corporation, Toyota and Verizon made the summit possible.
Since its grand opening last year, the center has become central to HOPE’s ongoing Silver Rights movement in the Mid-Atlantic region.