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ATLANTA – RealEstateRama – Operation HOPE announced today the progress it has made in providing free financial recovery support services to individuals and small businesses since it activated HOPE Inside Disaster at the on-set of the COVID-19 business and school shutdowns. Since March 15, HOPE Inside Disaster has provided or secured in-kind and direct assistance totaling more than $4 million. More than 55,600 COVID-19-related services have been provided to nearly 14,000 individuals and small business owners, directly or in conjunction with community partners, including American Red Cross and United Way, and federal, state, and local government partners. In addition, HOPE Inside Disaster’s Financial Coaches have helped clients secure more than $1.3 million in Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) small business loans and other pandemic relief funds. Operation HOPE has secured more than $2.58 million from corporations and foundations, including U.S. Bank Foundation, The UPS Foundation, Fifth Third Bank, Steans Family Trust, NFL Foundation, Nextdoor, KKR, Center for Disaster Philanthropy, RBC Bank, Winifred Johnson Clive Foundation, and First Republic Bank, in financial and in-kind support to HOPE Inside Disaster to help it provide these vital financial recovery services at no-cost to clients. Operation HOPE has also launched its program to provide $250,000 in mini-grants to clients and employees in need.

“The impact of COVID-19 has taken a devastating toll on our country, and while we are seeing some encouraging progress as hospitalizations and fatalities decline in some regions and local economies begin to open back up, the financial strain on so many families and businesses continues,” said John Hope Bryant, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Operation HOPE. “We are proud that Operation HOPE has been able to help thousands of people free-of-charge, and we are appreciative of the support of all our partners who have also leaned in for those who need help the most. We are working every day to continue to provide these vital economic and social support services as millions of Americans continue to face challenging times.”

Operation HOPE’s mini-grant program provides small, one-time direct financial assistance grants for clients to use for utilities, rent/mortgage or credit card payments. Funded by Operation HOPE’s own resources, the purpose of the mini-grant program is to provide a meaningful impact to improve clients’ financial well-being during this difficult time. Once a client completes three financial counseling sessions with an Operation HOPE Financial Wellbeing Coach, they will be eligible to apply for a grant, which will range from $50-500. Payments will be submitted directly to their creditor on their behalf. Also part of the mini-grant program, Operation HOPE has launched its Employee Assistance Program to provide a one-time grant to assist if an employee’s household is experiencing a financial hardship. The grants will also range from $50-500 and payment will be submitted directly to their creditor on their behalf.

“We are excited to implement our mini-grant program for clients and employees. We know that these small, one-time grants can be game-changers that can make a meaningful difference by bridging one-time gaps to help a client through a short-term financial difficulty and better position them for longer term success,” said Mr. Bryant.

To access Operation HOPE’s free financial counseling services, impacted individuals and small businesses are encouraged to call the HOPE Inside Disaster hotline at 1-888-388-HOPE (4673), visit the HOPE Inside Disaster website, or download the HOPE in Hand mobile app (available on both Apple and Android platforms) to be connected with a financial disaster recovery specialist who will assess their situation and provide personalized coaching and assistance.

Organizations that wish to provide financial or in-kind support to HOPE Inside Disaster may contact Mary Ehrsam, President of HOPE Partnerships, at 646-496-7449 or .

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—disrupting poverty for millions of low and moderate-income youth and adults across the nation. Through our 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 $3.2 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. Project 5117 is our multi-year four-pronged approach to combating economic inequality that aims to improve financial literacy, increase business role models and business internships for youth in underserved communities, and stabilize the American dream by boosting FICO scores. Operation HOPE has received five consecutive 4-star charity rating for fiscal management and commitment to transparency and accountability by the prestigious non-profit evaluator, Charity Navigator. For more information: www.OperationHOPE.org. Follow Operation HOPE on Twitter and Facebook @operationhope

Bill Mendel

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