Financial Literacy Services and Homeownership Support Provided to Families and Aspiring Entrepreneurs at No Cost
ATLANTA, Aug. 30, 2023 /PRNewswire/ — Operation HOPE, Westside Future Fund (WFF), and Cadence Bank are excited to announce they have united efforts to enhance essential financial literacy and homeownership support services to the historic Westside communities of Atlanta. This partnership, aimed at transforming lives and increasing access to resources, underscores the pressing need for growth and financial literacy in these historically significant neighborhoods at no cost to program participants.
Since January 2023, Operation HOPE has been working hand-in-hand with Westside Future Fund and Cadence Bank to amplify their outreach and capacity to strengthen communities in Atlanta’s historic Westside. The collective endeavor revolves around the award-winning HOPE Inside program, which provides access to vital financial coaching services. The newly established HOPE Inside location at 970 Jefferson Street, NW, a non-profit hub owned by WFF, will serve as a beacon of hope for the community, with Cadence Bank serving as the primary funding partner.
The HOPE Inside program stands as a proven model of community uplift, catering to adults, youth, and small business owners by offering financial dignity, coaching, and programming. With the recent establishment of its 200th location, this partnership continues to support Operation HOPE’s mission to transform underserved communities.
“This is the neighborhood where the venerable Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and his wife Coretta raised their family. With the support of partners like the Westside Future Fund and Cadence Bank, Operation HOPE will double down on helping to restore its vibrancy,” said John Hope Bryant, Chairman, Founder, and CEO of Operation HOPE. “This partnership will serve as a proof case for the power of public-private collaboration and how we can make a positive impact on underserved communities, together.”
WFF is a place-based nonprofit dedicated to advancing a compassionate and equitable approach to neighborhood revitalization of five historic Westside neighborhoods: English Avenue, Vine City, Ashview Heights, the Atlanta University Center, and Just Us. WFF’s signature program, Home on the Westside, empowers legacy residents to rent, buy and retain quality affordable housing. This program stems from WFF’s mixed-income goals, established in 2017, which include: 1,500 high-quality, affordable units serving families at 60 percent AMI and less, 250 new single-family homes with down payment assistance for mortgage-ready buyers, and the establishment of the Anti-Displacement Tax Fund for legacy resident homeowners. To date, the organization has completed 646 rental units, sold 35 homes, and provided 133 legacy residents with property tax assistance. This is made possible by philanthropic partners including Cadence Bank, which in addition to sponsoring the HOPE Inside program has provided key down-payment assistance for WFF’s Home on the Westside.
“Financial literacy is a key resource for securing stable housing. I’m grateful for partnerships with organizations like Operation HOPE, and Cadence Bank which allow us to provide additional support to the residents we serve,” said John Ahmann, President and CEO of Westside Future Fund.
Mercedes Settles, the dedicated HOPE Inside Coach for Westside Future Fund, expressed enthusiasm for the partnership stating, “The HOPE Inside program provides much-needed access to resources for community growth. There’s an old adage that says, ‘It takes a village’ and our goal is to truly help this community secure a stronger financial future and thrive.”
According to the Westside Future Fund, this metro-Atlanta area has also witnessed significant financial disparities, characterized by lower income levels, limited access to financial resources, and lower homeownership rates compared to other parts of the city. By offering free financial coaching and education, the partnership aims to empower individuals to make more informed financial decisions, which can positively impact the Westside and surrounding communities.
About Operation HOPE, Inc.
Since 1992, Operation HOPE has steadfastly advanced America from civil rights to “Silver Rights,” empowering millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation through its visionary community uplift model, HOPE Inside. Lauded as the Innovator of the Year by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has impacted over 4 million individuals and facilitated over $4 billion in economic activity within disenfranchised communities. This transformative approach has converted check-cashing customers into banking clients, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into successful owners, minimum wage workers into living wage consumers, and uncertain disaster victims into financially empowered survivors. Recognized with Fast Company’s World Changing Ideas Award for fostering entrepreneurship, and honored with the prestigious 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by Charity Navigator, Operation HOPE continues to level the economic playing field for underserved Americans. Recently, HOPE launched The 1865 Project, an initiative designed to drive economic equity. For more information: OperationHOPE.org. Join the conversation on social media at @operationhope.
About Westside Future Fund
Westside Future Fund (WFF) is a place-based nonprofit dedicated to advancing a compassionate and equitable approach to neighborhood revitalization of five historic Westside neighborhoods: English Avenue, Vine City, Ashview Heights, Atlanta University Center, and Just Us. WFF’s signature initiative, Home on the Westside, empowers legacy residents to rent, buy and retain affordable housing. WFF drives transformational change by championing four key impact strategies: mixed-income communities, cradle-to-career education, safety and security, and health and wellness. To learn more, follow us on Facebook (@westsidefuturefund), Instagram (@westsidefuturefund), and Twitter (@WFFAtlanta), or visit westsidefuturefund.org.
SOURCE Operation HOPE, Inc.