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Marilyn Katz/Brian Berg


Treasurer Ervin and Operation HOPE Partner on Free Economic Empowerment Programs for All Chicagoans  

Chicago, IL (December 11, 2020)—Chicago City Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin has partnered with Operation HOPE, the nation’s preeminent financial counseling and aid organization founded by John Hope Bryant, to launch the Building Wealth Today for Tomorrow initiative, a HOPE Inside model offering credit and money management resources for free to all Chicagoans. 

HOPE Inside will provide services and education both to those who are facing financial challenges and need help on debt management, credit score improvement, both provide help both to those struggling with financial insecurity as well as to those who want to preserve and build wealth.  Among the offerings provided by skilled coaches will be:

  • Workshops: basics of making a budget, how to read a credit report, correct errors that can negatively affect credit score
  • Coaching: help recover from debt and low FICO scores, discuss needs and goals, prepare a budget analysis, establish a plan of action to resolve credit and savings issues
  • 700-Credit-Score-Communities: Group classes with individuals working on transforming their finances, support system.

“I have always thought that my role as City Treasurer meant protecting the finances of Chicago’s residents as well as the resources of the City government.”, said Treasurer Conyears-Ervin.  “During the pandemic we helped by providing capital for the City’s Small Business Resiliency Fund which helped a few thousand residents.  Today with Hope Inside we know we can be of use to thousands more.  We are interested not only in protecting folks from disaster but helping them to preserve and build wealth.”

Conyears-Ervin explained that Hope Inside’s financial literacy programs and personalized coaching will help individuals to better understand their personal finances and build wealth.  It will counsel them on the language of money and creating a budget and customized action plans around building their own businesses, buying homes and establishing or raising and repairing credit scores or simply making better decisions with the resources they have to help protect them from emergencies, save money on expenses, and build long-term wealth.  

According to a study by Accenture, participants in similar “HOPE Inside” programs offered around the country, 72% have experienced an average FICO score increase of 35 points within less than 5 months from entering the program—more than twice the rate of its industry peers.   

“Partnership is the cornerstone of progress and we are grateful to be forming this new relationship with the City of Chicago. Together, we’ll work to empower Chicagoans with a renewed financial mindset and the tools to build a better future for themselves, their families, and the community as a whole. This world renowned city is full of promise and opportunity and we look forward to seeing the impact that this partnership and the financial coaching will bring in the months and years to come,” said Operation HOPE founder John Hope Bryant.

All  materials on the website will be in English and Spanish and one-on-one counseling will be available in English with Spanish language interpretation.