This week Operation HOPE stood with my friend and HOPE Partner, Los Angeles City Councilman Eric Garcetti, as we announced the results of the work of the Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline, and stood with families and individuals who have had their lives positively impacted, and in each case their home saved, because of our work.
What most do not know is that the Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline, which is now national, has modified or helped to restructure more than $450 million in mortgages (half a $ billion) and served more than 100,000 individuals and familes, was originally the idea of one Eric Garcetti. That's right — a politician actually doing his job, as public servant.
HOPE had launched HOPE Coalition America (HCA), now the lead partner with DHS/FEMA for emergency financial and economic disaster preparedness, response and recovery, and Councilman Garcetti had seen HCA responding to national, Presidentially declared natural disasters with our battery of financial dignity products and services, and our silver rights movement, and called to ask about a new space — "manmade disasters." Specifically, Garcetti was referring to the predatory subprime mortgage crisis.
HOPE responded to Councilman Garcetti's call, first launching a Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline just for Los Angeles, and initially assisting Spanish speaking residents of the city. Soon it expanded to all citizens, and Southern California. With the help of HUD, RCAC, Neighborworks and private companies from HSBC to Bank of America and most substantively, Wells Fargo Mortgage, the hotline expanded statewide and is now firmly national — having saved the homes of thousands.
I keep saying that America is an idea, and she is. Well, the Mortgage HOPE Crisis Hotline was also an idea — an idea by one who didn't have to do it; the Honorable Eric Garcetti. So glad that Councilman decided to be a public servant and a politician too. So glad, that my friend still believes in the power of an idea, to change our world.
This is Love Leadership in action.
John Hope Bryant is a thought leader, founder, chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE and Bryant Group Companies, Inc. Magazine/CEO READ bestselling business author of LOVE LEADERSHIP: The New Way to Lead in a Fear-Based World (Jossey-Bass) the only African-American bestselling business author in America, and is chairman of the Subcommittee for the Under-Served and Community Empowerment for the U.S. President’s Advisory Council on Financial Capability, for President Barack Obama. Mr. Bryant is the co-founder of the Gallup-HOPE Index, the only national research poll on youth financial dignity and youth economic energy in the U.S. He is also a co-founder of Global Dignity with HRH Crown Prince Haakon of Norway and Professor Pekka Himanen of Finland. Global Dignity is affiliated with the Forum of Young Global Leaders and the World Economic Forum.