In mid-January, Macon-Bibb County was recognized and featured at the HOPE Global Forum in Atlanta. This year’s focus was Reimagining the Global Economy: The Future of Inclusion, and Macon-Bibb was included because it is the first mid-sized city to open an Operation HOPE Inside Center, which will become a model for other cities to improve the people’s financial stability.

operation hope billboard

The new HOPE Center is scheduled to open in February 2016 and will be located at the Buck Melton Center at 150 Sessions Drive. At the Center, staff will work with people on the basics of understanding personal finances and help them build and maintain a credit score of 700 or better.

“I’m ecstatic about opening our first HOPE Center because it will allow us to work directly with people in an area that will improve their lives for years to come: financial stability,” says Dr. Bumpus. “Through the work of our Center, we will be improving our entire community’s economy by raising credit scores, improving people’s ability to budget, and educating them on financial responsibility.

As part of the Forum, Macon-Bibb and partners were part of a panel discussing the need in our community to reach out and work with people on their knowledge and ability to stabilize their finances, and what those efforts will mean to the community as a whole. To watch the discussion, click here. Presenters on the panel included Macon-Bibb Mayor Robert Reichert, Macon-Bibb Economic Opportunity Council Executive Director Sarita Hill, Macon-Bibb Assistant County Manager Charles Coney, and Small Business Affairs Director Dr. James Bumpus.

HOPE Global Forum 2016 Presentation

The three-day Forum was attended by a delegation from Macon-Bibb of more than one hundred people, included representatives from the consolidated government, officials from our Congressional offices, nonprofit organizations, local clergy, members of our GCAPS cohort, and Mercer University students, faculty, and administrators. They attended with more than 3,000 people from 40 countries and had the chance to hear from Chelsea Clinton, Secretary of the United States Treasury Jack Lew, Ambassador Andrew Young, and SunTrust Banks CEO Bill Rogers.

Macon-Bibb County was introduced to Operation HOPE through its participation with the White House’s Strong Cities, Strong Communities initiative, and its participation in the 2015 Operation HOPE Global Forum. The program improves people’s financial dignity and an area’s economy by raising individual credit scores.

“A rising tide floats all boats, and through Operation HOPE, we can make sure that all people and families can benefit,” says Mayor Reichert.