New program ‘Hope Inside’
The wealth gap and capital disparity in Los Angeles is a well-known concern for the residents and some politicians. There are many obstacles that the community will have to overcome to close the gap in the slightest, but John Hope Bryant and Wells Fargo are taking the first steps to achieve this goal.
According to an Ourweekly article written March 23, 2023.
Bryant started Operation Hope immediately following the Rodney King Riots. Since then, Operation Hope has grown from a Los Angeles entity to service more than 200 locations in 46 states across the nation. Now Bryant has moved to partner with Wells Fargo to introduce not only a renovated bank in South Los Angeles but has started the Hope Inside initiative to help those who are unbanked, underbanked, and lack the financial knowledge and resources.
"We launched what we call the Banking Inclusion Initiative as a program to amplify bringing on the unbanked and underbanked individuals into the banking system and allow them to build financial freedom and acquire wealth,” said Gigi Dixon, Wells Fargo executive vice president and head of External Engagement for Diverse Segments, Representation and Inclusion. “We wanted to help families create a legacy, and in order to properly reach this community, we knew we needed to partner with leaders in the community to get an idea of how to help."
Dixon, Hope, and Wells Fargo came up with the Hope Inside program that provides the community with a financial coach inside the Wells Fargo bank located on Florence and Central to give people insight into their financial situation.
"With this program, we will provide one-on-one coaching sessions, credit and money management discussions, and disaster recovery insight and information. There will also be financial workshops, planned and facilitated by the financial coach in the branch," Dixon said as she explained the purpose of the program and the financial coach. "We want to teach people how to manage their finances, create goals, then help them reach those goals. We want people to take advantage of these services and benefits to help them build their financial future."
The location of the Wells Fargo bank was specific to minority communities because of the historical backstory the community holds, and Dixon was glad to have played a part in picking that location because of the cultural diversity and where the opportunity presented to them to close the wealth gap. " The goal is to be an asset to the community, and we felt that starting here would be a giant step in closing the wealth disparity and shifting the financial trajectory of a lot of families," Dixon said as she talked about the focus Wells Fargo has put on helping minority communities.
Dixon and Wells Fargo have also helped minority communities with their Minority Depository Institutions. These institutions are Black-owned banks that have received funding from Wells Fargo so they can better support the Black communities around them. One of the institutions involved is City First Bank in Los Angeles, which is the first and only Black-owned bank in L.A outside of the United Broadway Federal.
Financial coach, Alejandra Lozano is located at the Wells Fargo bank on Florence and Central. Alejandra Lozano can be reached by email at Alejandra.Lozano@operationhope.org, or visit them at 1144 E. Florence Ave.