Chicago Uplift 2020: HOPE Inside

Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers has joined forces with Operation HOPE, a global for-purpose organization dedicated to financial dignity, to launch Chicago Uplift 2020, an initiative to bring HOPE Inside financial empowerment centers to neighborhoods across Chicago.

What are HOPE Inside Centers?

HOPE Inside Centers are brick-and-mortar and easily accessible financial empowerment centers that operate within existing community locations. The HOPE Inside Centers are staffed with Operation HOPE financial well-being coaches who provide free financial dignity programming to help residents build businesses, buy homes, and manage personal finances.

Why are HOPE Inside Centers Important?

HOPE Inside Centers, as part of the Chicago Uplift 2020 initiative, are a significant effort to provide community members with the tools and resources they need to address their economic and financial challenges. Data from the Urban Institute highlights the severity of these challenges in Chicago:

  • The median credit score for Chicagoans is 656, compared to the national average of 675;
  • 40% of Chicagoans are delinquent on their debt payments, compared to 34% nationally; and
  • 8.1% of Chicago-area residents are unbanked, compared to the national average of 7%.

Where are HOPE Inside Centers Currently Located?

In 2016, Chicago’s first HOPE Inside Center was opened in the Greater Englewood Community Development Center. The HOPE Inside Center is located in a bank near a shopping plaza designed to economically revitalize the community. In January 2019, the second location was opened at Roberts Temple in Bronzeville.

Operation HOPE has plans to open additional locations in neighborhoods such as Auburn Gresham, Austin, Douglas, East Garfield Park, Fuller Park, Greater Grand Crossing, Humboldt Park, Near South Side, Near West Side, North Lawndale, and Washington Park.

How Can I or My Organization Get Engaged?

  • Become a Financial Sponsor: HOPE Inside Centers are funded entirely through outside financial sponsors. Funds are primarily used to fund full-time financial well-being coaches who can offer individualized counseling and support to those in need.
  • Make an In-Kind Donation: HOPE Inside Centers rely on outside partners to provide physical space, which tend to be inside bank branches, grocery stores, colleges, and other community facilities. In-kind donations for furniture, transportation, and services are also essential.
  • Provide Feedback: HOPE Inside Centers are designed to be most impactful for underserved communities. We welcome feedback on potential neighborhoods and/or locations.

Where Can I Find Additional Information?

You can find additional information about Operation HOPE at For other questions or inquiries, please email

Click here to download a PDF version of this information.

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