Dcanacostia_hope_centerContact: Renate Geerlings, 202-448-3133, rgeerlings@qorvis.com

WASHINGTON, July 10 /U.S. Newswire/ — Marking the one-year anniversary of the Washington, D.C. HOPE Center in Anacostia, national 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 and beyond, 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, giving them the dignity they so deserve," 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, ETRADE FINANCIAL Corporation. "ETRADE 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 ETRADE FINANCIAL, Dell, U.S. Department of Labor, U.S. Economic Development Administration, 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, First American Corporation, GE Consumer Finance, the National Capital Revitalization Corporation, Toyota and Verizon made the summit possible.

"We are grateful to Operation HOPE for locating its center in historic Anacostia, where the need is great," said Councilman Marion Barry. "HOPE made an immediate impact on the community, bringing its mission of silver rights to the residents of Ward 8, offering opportunity and providing resources to those who will benefit most. Operation HOPE plays an extremely important role in Ward 8, and we look forward to a long and fruitful relationship."

Since its grand opening last year, the center has become central to HOPE’s ongoing Silver Rights movement in the Mid- Atlantic region.

About Operation HOPE:

Operation HOPE, Inc. is America’s first nonprofit social investment bank and a national provider of financial literacy and economic empowerment programs. It works to bring self-sufficiency and a sustained spirit of revitalization to America’s inner-city communities. The three key programs, which serve as the foundation for delivering HOPE’s financial literacy programs, are HOPE Coalition America, Banking on Our Future, and neighborhood HOPE Centers. To date, HOPE has created more than 800 new homeowners and 250 small business owners, more than $125 million in funded loans, and more than $240 million in commitments for homeownership and small business loans from their 250 bank and corporate partners. Operation HOPE has helped thousands of Katrina victims with emergency financial counseling as well as helped thousands more through a partnership with former President Clinton and the Clinton Foundation to claim EITC benefits Katrina victims rightly deserve from the federal government. At the core of HOPE’s mission to eradicate poverty and empower the wealthless is a movement to establish "silver rights" or the right to financial literacy, access to capital, and equality of opportunity for the underserved. HOPE and its programs can be found online at http://www.operationhope.org.


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