Bold new program, 700 Credit Score Communities (700 CSC), to bring
hope and opportunity to underserved neighborhoods
In today’s world, a person’s credit score impacts their ability to access gainful employment, safe housing, affordable insurance premiums, banking opportunities, and other makings of financial dignity. Based on the success of a monitored homeowner counseling program conducted from 2008 through 2011, 700 CSC was created to help individuals raise their credit scores to gain easier access to opportunities in addition to home buying, like a college education, economic security, world travel and retirement.
“At Operation HOPE, we believe in assisting both individuals and entire communities because when entire communities are transformed, real change can happen. The 700 CSC program aims to transform neighborhoods by replacing check cashers, title lenders, payday lenders and rent-to-own stores with credit unions and community banks, transforming liquor stores into convenience stores and grocery markets, said HOPE Founder, Chairman and CEO John Hope Bryant. “The HOPE Centers will lead our efforts to transform the client-base we serve, and the under-served communities we exist within to drive so-called ‘poor neighborhoods’ into emerging market communities of economic opportunity.”
The program is implemented through HOPE Financial Dignity Centers located in Los Angeles, Oakland, New York, Washington, DC, Atlanta, and New Orleans. Participants are organized into cohorts of 30 – 35 participants per group, with each individual receiving more than 30 hours of individual, group and online support for up to 24 months. In order to graduate, participants must attend a combination of 10 hours in-person and/or phone one-on-one counseling sessions or workshops on budgeting, credit, insurance, tax and investing, working to achieve a credit score of 700 or more.
This year, in marking its 20th anniversary, HOPE is still meeting the needs of today’s world, developing programs and practical strategies for people in under-resourced areas. Established in 1992, after the worst urban riot in U.S. history the global nonprofit continues its “silver rights” mission to assist underserved communities through financial literacy programs that increases net worth and promotes financial dignity.
In the 20 years, the organization has made “silver rights” a national priority, helped more than 2 million individuals move up the economic ladder, and has raised over a 1.4 billion dollars in historic grant funding and community investment for low-wealth communities.