The national nonprofit announced four new branches to its growing portfolio of nearly 300 offices serving 1,000+ locations across the U.S.

Operation HOPE, a national nonprofit dedicated to helping low-and moderate-income Americans thrive in an ever-changing economy, today recognized the 159th anniversary of the Freedman’s Bank by announcing its newest HOPE Inside locations. Continuing its impressive growth streak, the organization is expanding its national footprint to the communities of Sacramento, Kansas City, Tampa, and Minneapolis. Operation HOPE uses its HOPE Inside locations to deliver no-charge financial coaching to individuals in the community or at work.

Established by President Abraham Lincoln on March 3, 1865 as part of the Freedman’s Bureau Act, the Freedman’s Bank was designed to help the formerly enslaved learn about money and how to navigate the free enterprise system. During its existence, the Freedman’s Bank maintained some 37 offices in 17 states. At its height, the Bank had over $57 million in deposits (adjusted for inflation) and 70,000 depositors.

On January 7, 2016, at the urging of Operation HOPE CEO John Hope Bryant, then U.S. Treasury Secretary Lew publicly renamed the Treasury Annex Building, The Freedman’s Bank Building, in honor of the site where the Freedman’s Saving Bank once stood. In doing so, Bryant became the only U.S. citizen to be responsible for the renaming of a building on the White House campus.

“I am proud to have helped ensure the important legacy of the Freedman’s Bank lives on through the Freedman’s Bank Building and the ongoing efforts of the U.S. Treasury Department,” said Mr. Bryant. “But I am most proud of our work at Operation HOPE, in communities across America, ensuring that every American who wants to take advantage of the economic opportunities this country has to offer, can fully prosper in the largest and greatest economy in the world.”

Freedman’s Bank 150th Anniversary Commemoration Luncheon

Operation HOPE, along with its partners from the public and private sectors, is working to advance the unfulfilled legacy of the Freedman’s Bank through its HOPE Inside portfolio. Key results include:

  • HOPE Inside locations increased by 19% in 2023, finishing at a total of 285 offices, up from 231 at the end of 2022.
  • As a result, Operation HOPE:
    • Delivered 278,369 financial coaching services to 56,793 individual clients.
    • Raised client credit scores by an average of 41 points, with 25% of clients seeing an increase between 51-100 points.
    • Reduced median client debt by $1,892.
    • Increased median client savings by $1,116.
  • Improved financial health and behaviors for our clients:
    • 21% of clients now have 3 months of savings for an emergency, versus 11% before working with our coaches.
    • Reduced the number of unbanked and underbanked clients from 22.9% to 12.4%.
  • Secured $130.7 million in funded mortgages for low- and moderate-income homebuyers, through our partnership with Fulton Bank, with nearly $1 million in closing cost assistance obtained. Since 2016, over $1.1 billion in mortgages have been secured through this partnership.
  • Supported over 220,000 unique Black-owned businesses in 2023 through its 1 Million Black Businesses (1MBB) initiative, upping the total to 388,703 businesses served since 1MBB was launched in 2020. This accounts for approximately 12.5% of all Black-owned businesses in the U.S.
  • $54 million in capital was accessed by HOPE clients utilized for small businesses, personal loans, and lines of credit. 

About Operation HOPE, Inc.

Since 1992, Operation HOPE has been moving America from civil rights to “silver rights” with the mission of making free enterprise and capitalism work for the underserved. Through its community uplift model, HOPE Inside, which received the 2016 Innovator of the Year recognition by American Banker magazine, Operation HOPE has served more than 4 million individuals and directed more than $4.2 billion in economic activity into disenfranchised communities—turning check-cashing customers into banking customers, renters into homeowners, small business dreamers into small business owners, minimum wage workers into living wage consumers, and uncertain disaster victims into financially empowered disaster survivors. For more information: Follow the HOPE conversation on X. 

Operation HOPE Contacts:
Kevin Boucher

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