Urban Report

Operation HOPE

Three Angels Broadcasting Network

Program transcript

Participants: Yvonne Lewis (Host), Ryan Mack


Series Code: UBR

Program Code: UBR000181A

00:01 Did you know that there's a private bank
00:02 for the working poor?
00:04 Well stay tuned to meet a man
00:05 who will inspire hope for your economic future.
00:08 My name is Yvonne Lewis
00:09 and you're watching Urban Report.
00:35 Hello and welcome to Urban Report.
00:37 My guest today is Ryan Mack,
00:39 Market President of the Mid-Atlantic Region
00:41 for Operation HOPE.
00:43 Ryan is a frequent contributor to CNN and CNBC.
00:46 He has been featured in African American Family,
00:50 The Source and NV Magazine,
00:52 contributes regularly to Huffingtonpost. com
00:55 The Network Journal, Fortune and Black Enterprise,
00:59 received the Top 40 Under 40 Achievement Award
01:02 from the Network Journal and received Tom Joyner's
01:06 "Hardest Working Financial Advisor Award"
01:08 because of his efforts to empower the Community
01:11 with the crucial life skills of financial literacy.
01:14 Welcome to Urban Report Ryan.
01:17 Thank you so much Yvonne
01:18 for the work that you all are doing each and every day
01:21 I'm so pleased to be here with you.
01:23 Well, thank you, we are blessed to have you
01:26 and we are so appreciative of the work that you're doing
01:29 because financial literacy is so... so important.
01:33 So many people just don't know
01:35 how to do basic things, would you agree with that?
01:39 Absolutely, I mean, knowledge is power
01:42 it says very clearly in the Bible,
01:44 "Our love must not be a thing of words and fine talk
01:47 it must be a thing of action and sincerity. "
01:50 So, if we really love our community,
01:52 if we really want to do something,
01:54 we can't just talk about it,
01:55 we have to have some action behind it.
01:57 And when you're talking about faith,
01:59 faith is one of the most substantial things
02:01 and one of the most empowering things
02:03 any individual can do in the Community
02:04 faith being comprised of belief
02:07 that tomorrow... a better and brighter day is going to come
02:10 but then action... that's coupled with that belief
02:13 and then with those two things... you have faith
02:16 and financial literacy...
02:18 if you want to have substantial action
02:20 it teaches individuals of what can I do
02:22 as far as financial... finance is concerned,
02:24 what can I do to empower myself.
02:26 When I first started working with gang members,
02:28 the first young man that I worked with
02:30 he came to me
02:32 and he was the leader of the "Bloods" in Brooklyn.
02:34 He just came out of prison, he had 300 dollars to his name
02:37 and he didn't know a whole lot about money,
02:39 he said, "Ryan, what am I supposed to do?"
02:41 I've got 300 dollars, I'm basically homeless.
02:43 So, I taught him about going to Inc-It-Now and forming an LLC.
02:47 I taught him about budgeting,
02:50 I taught him on how to form a business,
02:52 I taught him on how to go to get a GED,
02:54 I taught him about how to get an Electrician's certificate
02:57 from different Organizations in the neighborhood,
03:00 so all these things exposed him to... the light of...
03:02 "Wow, you know what? Now I can form my own business"
03:05 and 12 months later, he had ten employees
03:07 and two project managers, most of them... other "Bloods"
03:10 and now... it really... was just as simple as that,
03:14 just flicking on that switch of hope.
03:16 Flicking on that switch and saying,
03:17 "You know what? I can start a business,
03:19 I can manage my money,
03:21 selling drugs is not the only way for me
03:23 because I now know better
03:25 so I now know how to do better
03:27 and lot of us spend our time judging others
03:30 and judging as to why individuals
03:31 just want to rob and steal,
03:33 you know why most people steal?
03:35 At least the ones that I've talked to?
03:36 If you ask them, why do they rob and steal?
03:39 They'll say, "You know what, Ryan,
03:40 I saw someone have a jacket on and I saw that jacket
03:44 and I saw that as a means to feed my child. "
03:47 "I saw that as a means to feed my family. "
03:50 Now, I'm not condoning theft and I would never do that
03:53 and that's absolutely the wrong thing
03:55 but if we're not teaching our Communities
03:58 and not embracing them,
03:59 doing the principles of what the Word...
04:01 of what you all teach every single day with your Network,
04:03 teaching them what the Word
04:05 teaches about the right way to go about doing things,
04:07 then individuals are going to choose the wrong way,
04:10 I mean, how can we begrudge anyone
04:12 if all they see is pimps and drug dealers and pushers
04:15 as role models in their Community,
04:17 if that's what they're going to do,
04:18 they're role modeling what their version of success is,
04:22 so, we were talking about financial literacy
04:24 and then we couple on top of that,
04:26 we have individuals...
04:27 we have the 360 billion dollar elephant in the room
04:31 which are financial predators that essentially capitalize
04:35 off of ignorance, that's... so... these are things...
04:38 financial literacy is the answer to a lot of our solutions...
04:42 economic solutions in our communities
04:44 that we must implement as soon as possible.
04:46 Absolutely, you know, and that's such a good point
04:50 that 360 billion... is that what you said?
04:53 Yes ma'am, yes...
04:55 What is that elephant in the room? Tell us about that.
04:57 What is the 360 billion dollar elephant?
05:00 I'm in Detroit right now
05:02 and as you walk down the street in Detroit, what do you see?
05:06 You see Check Cashing places, you see Payday Loans,
05:09 you see Cash Advances, you see Title Loans,
05:11 you see Refund Anticipation Loans,
05:13 you see Weed Refineries,
05:16 you see Pawn Shops, you see Rent-a-Centers,
05:18 you see Rent-a-Center stores, all of these are businesses
05:22 that are designed for short-term gain, maximizing...
05:26 or trying to capitalize, rather, off of the ignorance,
05:30 again, there's nothing wrong with being ignorant
05:32 but there is something wrong with staying ignorant.
05:35 So, if you are going to the Check Cashing place,
05:38 you don't know how to open up a bank account.
05:40 We... with Operation HOPE, we do a lot of work
05:43 with those individuals who are underserved,
05:45 and I'll tell you, in Detroit, I saw one Grocery Store
05:49 that is earning a half a million dollars a year more
05:53 since they inserted check cashing
05:56 into their revenue stream.
05:57 They put a Check Cashing Facility
05:59 inside of the grocery store
06:01 and now they're earning a half a million dollars a year more
06:03 off of fees being taken from those who again...
06:07 they need those fees to feed their children
06:10 to put clothes on their backs, to keep a roof over their head,
06:13 but they're giving these fees... excessive fees,
06:15 to the financial predators in the Community
06:17 who are... essentially betting on the fact
06:20 that they're not going to learn how to open bank accounts
06:22 they're not going to learn...
06:24 there are a lot of people in our neighborhoods
06:25 are living check to Tuesday
06:27 and they can't make it to the next pay day
06:29 so they go to the Payday Loan,
06:31 we had someone come into our offices the other day...
06:33 she came in with a 300 dollar loan
06:35 or she took out a 300 dollar loan
06:37 six weeks later after two extensions...
06:40 two two-week extensions she owed 1,245 dollars
06:45 Yvonne: No, from the 300 dollar loan?
06:48 Absolutely, this is what's happening in our communities.
06:51 They're betting on the fact... these financial predators...
06:54 it's an industry based upon... that we want to bet
06:57 that these individuals
06:59 will never learn how to improve their credit,
07:01 open up bank accounts, start their own businesses,
07:04 accumulate wealth,
07:05 there's a new term that I've tried to conjure up,
07:07 pushing as hard as possible,
07:09 everybody's heard of gentrification,
07:10 what Operation HOPE is trying to promote
07:13 is internal gentrification,
07:15 and gentrification is essentially the perspective of:
07:18 you have people that move in from outside of the Community
07:22 who have higher wealth there, higher income
07:25 and they start buying up properties
07:26 that people inside of the communities...
07:27 because of high poverty rates... couldn't normally afford.
07:30 But if we promote internal gentrification,
07:33 what that means is that, if we educate our people,
07:36 teach them about how to start businesses,
07:38 teach them how to improve their credit scores
07:40 from 500 to over 700 credit scores,
07:42 you know, 700-credit score communities don't riot,
07:45 name me one 700-credit score community...
07:47 and I've marched... I've marched in Ferguson...
07:50 I marched in Ferguson for Mike Brown,
07:52 I marched in New York for Eric Gardener,
07:55 I marched in Cleveland for Tamir Rice,
07:58 Baltimore for Freddie Gray,
07:59 I've been marching and my feet hurt,
08:02 we have to figure out a way to do something beyond marching
08:06 to give ourselves a tangible Community
08:08 and those communities that are rioting,
08:10 those are 500-credit score communities
08:12 that are indicative of high poverty rates
08:14 that are essentially...
08:16 that don't know of any other alternative
08:18 and a large part of that is economic,
08:21 if we can solve that economic piece of the puzzle,
08:24 then we'll be able to start to see
08:26 those check cashing places
08:27 turn into Credit Unions and Banks.
08:29 We'll see those liquor stores turning into convenient stores,
08:32 we'll see those weed... they're trying to raise the
08:35 the economy of the trend right now
08:37 with the revenue from weed refineries and liquor.
08:40 So, essentially what they're saying is,
08:42 we want to make money off of you,
08:43 as long as you stay high and drunk all day,
08:45 we'll be able to keep our bottom line solid,
08:48 that's not a way to build the economy,
08:50 that's only the way to capitalize off of a few
08:53 who want to pimp those individuals
08:55 who are poor in our communities
08:56 and they take that money back to their communities,
08:59 while the people in the community,
09:01 essentially stay poor and impoverished
09:03 and that's not a winning business model
09:05 we need a win-win... we're talking about
09:06 inclusive economics and increasing disparity of income,
09:10 there are few at the top who are not necessarily,
09:14 who are essentially...
09:16 we need to broaden the base of our economic base
09:19 so more people have an opportunity
09:20 to sit at the table of economic opportunity
09:23 that's what Operation HOPE is really all about
09:25 and that's what we're promoting.
09:27 Wow, you gave me so much to chew on right there,
09:31 I mean... it's... you know... are people... the Bible says
09:35 "My people are destroyed for lack of knowledge"
09:38 and if we don't... what you don't know...
09:41 if we don't know to do something
09:43 then you're going to do it the wrong way.
09:45 You're going to covet that jacket
09:47 and you're going to think that stealing
09:50 is the only way to make money for your family
09:54 but what you're telling us... is that there is a better way,
09:58 God has a better way, there is a better way,
10:00 you don't have to steal to feed your family,
10:02 if you know what to do over here,
10:05 if you know that... if you can get that GED
10:08 or if you know that you can open a bank account...
10:10 because you don't even know that you can do that
10:13 you think that that's too hard for you
10:15 that's not for you,
10:16 "let me just take my check over here
10:18 and cash it over here and get the money
10:21 from the check cashing place and pay them. "
10:23 I know someone too who got a loan from
10:27 one of those loan sharks, got...
10:29 it was about 300 or 500 dollars
10:32 and ended up in like 1,500 dollars
10:34 for a 300 dollar loan,
10:36 it's like... "What are you thinking?
10:38 What are you thinking?"
10:41 Well, I mean, the Bible also says,
10:44 "Of what use is money... in the hand of a fool
10:46 if they have no desire to obtain wisdom?"
10:49 And a lot of individuals
10:52 and the 70-billion-dollar elephant in the room,
10:55 is the Lottery Industry... that essentially is saying that,
10:59 "Hey, you know what?
11:01 We have a lot of folks today... there's a part...
11:04 there's a negative correlation between education
11:06 and the rates in which people play the lottery.
11:07 Those individuals who are earning
11:10 less than 25,000 dollars a year will on average spend about
11:13 600 dollars a year on lottery tickets.
11:16 Those individuals who are earning over
11:18 a 100,000 dollars a year...
11:19 usually have a little more education
11:21 will spend about 300 dollars a year on lottery tickets.
11:25 Those individuals who are earning 13,000 dollars a year
11:28 will spend upwards... on average...
11:29 about 10 percent of their income on lottery tickets.
11:32 We have a lot of these individuals around here
11:34 who... there's one... in Chicago,
11:36 there's one small zip code in Chicago
11:38 that's spending almost 27 million dollars a year
11:41 on the South side of Chicago, on lottery tickets.
11:44 Yvonne: 27,000 million?
11:45 27 million and then... this is just... again...
11:50 the Bible says it clearly
11:52 "Of what use is money in the hand of a fool
11:54 if they have no desire to obtain wisdom?"
11:56 We're chasing the wrong thing, we're chasing money...
11:59 we need to be chasing faith, we need to be chasing values
12:02 and I tell people all the time,
12:04 I say, "Listen, money is not the blessing,
12:07 money is the symptom of the blessing,"
12:10 money is... essentially it's like...
12:13 if you see the leaves of the branches of the trees move...
12:17 people say, "Well, that's the wind"
12:19 I say, "No, that's not the wind...
12:20 you can't see the wind,
12:22 you just see the result of the wind blowing. "
12:25 When you are truly blessed
12:27 you have those blessings inside,
12:29 you... the blessings start to move and all of a sudden,
12:32 you start to move just like those branches of the tree,
12:35 and you start to produce like the tree,
12:37 we've been so accustomed to eating from the tree,
12:40 we don't even know that we can be like the tree itself.
12:43 So, as we start to learn how to be producers
12:47 as opposed to only consumers,
12:48 we know that in order to do that rely on these blessings
12:52 that are inside of here that God gave you from day one
12:55 from before you were even conceived... you have them,
12:58 so if we learn about those things
13:00 then we can learn to say, "You know what?
13:03 Hey, I can do like they did in Lima, Peru,
13:05 that engineer that said that they have essentially
13:08 there was a drought, and that engineer in Lima, Peru,
13:11 took a billboard and he did some whole... technological stuff
13:15 and I'm not an expert on what he actually did...
13:18 but he humidified the air
13:21 and makes 90 liters of water per day from thin air...
13:25 so when people... now... before they didn't have water
13:29 but because someone believed what he had inside,
13:32 he had that knowledge... he creates water out of thin air.
13:34 There's someone in India...
13:36 they were poor, they were in poverty,
13:38 someone looked at it, he said,
13:40 "You know what... I can do something with this clay,"
13:42 he took the clay... he molded it into refrigerators
13:45 and started to sell them and he fed his family literally
13:48 making usable refrigerators
13:50 that kept food fresh for four days on end
13:52 inside of dirt... he made something out of nothing...
13:56 how does that happen?
13:57 Because people believe that they have something
14:00 inside of them and don't let their current
14:03 circumstances dictate on how far they can go
14:05 and they learn this thing called "contentment... "
14:07 "I'm not happy with my state, I'm happy in my state. "
14:11 But financial literacy says that yes you have the skills
14:14 and ability to do all you think,
14:16 we're going to remove money as an obstacle from your success,
14:19 we're going to make it an asset to your success
14:21 so you can build and create anything you want.
14:24 Most of the majority of SP 500
14:26 were formed in times just like today.
14:29 CNN, LexisNexis, Trader Joe's,
14:33 GM... all these... Sports Illustrated...
14:36 all these are companies that were formed
14:39 in times of economic crisis,
14:43 the first Apple store opened in 2001,
14:45 it was deemed to be a failure,
14:47 by 2008 it was deemed to be recessive-proof,
14:50 they opened it in time of a recession
14:53 where everyone said, "You shouldn't do it. "
14:55 Financial Literacy again... it allows individuals to remove
14:59 money as an inhibitor of their success
15:02 and helps them create better FICO Scores
15:05 helps them learn how to budget,
15:06 helps them learn how to put some money aside
15:08 so that they can start their business,
15:10 helps them learn how to put some money aside
15:11 so they can start a house
15:13 so we can leave a legacy to our families
15:15 and not leave it to the reverse mortgages
15:17 in trying to pimp our elderly in our communities,
15:19 this is what financial Literacy is doing everyday
15:21 and this is why Operation HOPE
15:23 is the people that I chose to be a part of... about a year ago
15:25 to actually start a national movement.
15:27 And give us a little history on Operation HOPE.
15:31 Operation HOPE was formed in 1992,
15:34 Chairman John Bryant had a strong vision,
15:36 he's been my mentor for about six or seven years
15:39 even before I joined HOPE
15:41 and he saw Compton burning from the LA Riots
15:44 and said, "I want to do something about it"
15:46 he has his own investment management company
15:48 and he went back to his hometown of Compton
15:50 and he did a banking tour,
15:52 he took some banks and toured through Compton
15:54 and he saw that there were people in the neighborhoods
15:56 and he saw them...
15:58 there are many people in our neighborhoods
16:00 and I quote, unquote, "Eew"
16:01 that most people... stigmatized and they saw negative pictures
16:06 and they saw these negative images on television
16:08 so, he took them to the "hood"
16:11 and showed them that there are many middle-class individuals
16:14 viable... economically viable families
16:16 that we could invest in and that we could throw our arms around
16:19 and they can produce and be viable tax-paying citizens
16:23 and can add value to the overall community,
16:27 from 1992... long story short... till today...
16:30 Operation HOPE has helped to direct almost 2 billion...
16:33 with the "b... " billion dollars of private capital
16:36 into underserved communities.
16:38 They've helped over 2.6 million clients,
16:41 and that number is growing every single day...
16:44 they have over 22,000 volunteers,
16:47 they have a footprint of some sort whether it be youth
16:50 or volunteers or adults in over 300 cities
16:53 and we just have contractors being sited in places like
16:57 Abu Dhabi, Morocco, UAE...
17:00 then all throughout the United States
17:02 and it is the first private bank for the working poor,
17:05 for the first time... someone can now...
17:08 as they look at a check cashing place...
17:10 because our mission is to shut down
17:12 check cashing places... one at a time,
17:15 we are no longer accepting the fact
17:17 that you are going to pimp on the ignorance of our communities
17:19 without fighting,
17:20 and we don't fight them by picketing,
17:22 if we don't fight them by rabble rousing,
17:24 we fight them by putting up a HOPE inside business model
17:28 across the street, right across the street
17:31 from that check cashing place
17:33 so if they're going to come to our people with ignorance,
17:35 we're going to come to our people with education
17:37 with knowledge and tangible things
17:40 where our people can improve their credit for free,
17:42 my motto is... "Free 99"
17:44 or don't pay a dime, just spend your time
17:48 and so, when people come to our offices,
17:50 they can do as much as they like,
17:52 they can sit down once a week, twice a week if they have time,
17:55 and helped as long as you need,
17:57 they're going to walk out of our office
17:58 with a 30-day Plan and we say, "Come back... "
18:01 and that Counselor is going to call them,
18:03 they're going to bug them, they're going to hound them,
18:05 just like a financial coach would
18:07 to say, "We want to make sure that you come back in
18:10 and keep on... and they never spend a dime,
18:13 we had a story... one young lady in D.C.
18:15 she came in... and well she was declined
18:19 six times for a business loan,
18:21 she just had a dream to start her business,
18:22 six clocked times... she was declined
18:24 she came to Operation Hope,
18:26 she went through a free 12-week course,
18:29 she went through a free 4-week credit-score communities,
18:32 she went through multiple free
18:34 one-on-one counseling sessions to get her credit score
18:37 to go from... within the 500s to the 700s,
18:39 she went through multiple free sessions
18:42 to get her business plan tight,
18:44 we coupled her with an enrolled agent
18:46 that volunteered for free to help her,
18:47 with a Seed paid volunteer for free to help her,
18:50 a year later, she walked out with a 333,000 dollar loan
18:54 from an Industrial Bank and she's breaking ground
18:57 on a brand-new spot.
18:58 These are the types of things that you can do
19:01 if you're creating hope for people,
19:03 opportunity for people that wasn't there before
19:05 and the banks now are understanding, like...
19:08 "Wait a minute... you mean to tell me that I can instead...
19:12 as opposed to trying to look all over the place for new clients,
19:15 I can look right in the neighborhood
19:17 that I previously thought was "the hood"
19:20 for clients... and these are the same folks
19:22 that were going to the check-cashing place...
19:24 they now can come to us, well, sure,
19:26 we're going to invest in them,"
19:27 of the largest 50 banks in the Country,
19:30 38 are a part of the Operation Hope.
19:32 They sit on their Board, they fund them
19:34 or they volunteer for them.
19:35 Wow, so, let me ask you this, where does the money come from
19:39 to fund Operation HOPE?
19:41 From Banks... again...
19:42 of the largest 50 banks in the Country,
19:45 38 are our partners, they fund us,
19:47 they sit on our Board, they volunteer for us,
19:51 we get private funding,
19:52 we've got private monies from the ED...
19:54 we have tons of national relationships as well,
19:57 John Bryant sits on the Advisory Council
19:59 for President Obama
20:01 and he also served with President Bush,
20:03 and he also served with President Clinton,
20:05 and he also served with President Bush one,
20:07 so, he's got connections from the top down
20:09 so he's not partisan and no one in HOPE cares about
20:13 the Democrat or Republican, it's not about that,
20:17 it's not Democrat or Republican, it's not about black or white,
20:20 it's about dreams... and it's about what can we do
20:24 in a non-partisan way to help all our people
20:27 whether those are poor urban people,
20:29 whether those are poor, rural individuals in the Appalachians,
20:33 so, it doesn't matter where they come from,
20:35 if they got low credit scores and they need some hope,
20:38 they need to come to Operation HOPE,
20:40 we are giving them free assistance every single day.
20:43 Wow! what's your website?
20:44 We're going to put your website up
20:47 so that people know how to contact you
20:49 because this is... this is a critical, critical
20:54 piece of information that you're giving us
20:56 and a critical organization because if you don't know
21:01 that this exists,
21:02 you're going to keep going to those check cashing places,
21:05 you're going to keep getting turned down
21:07 by the different banks but you're saying
21:09 that if they come to you, they can learn step by step
21:14 how to get their credit score up,
21:16 how to get a loan if they need it to open a business,
21:20 I mean, this is... this is really huge...
21:22 this is really huge. Website: OperationHope.com
21:24 Operation Hope was the first Nonprofit
21:26 that was approved by regulators to be able to operate
21:31 inside of Bank Branches so, we're inside Bank Branches
21:35 so you go to a Bank Branch, you apply for a loan
21:39 and they decline you,
21:41 if we have HOPE inside of that Bank Branch,
21:43 that Banker says, "Wait, hold on, don't leave,
21:46 don't leave, go talk to that HOPE Counselor over there,
21:50 there is another route that you can go,
21:52 go talk to that HOPE Counselor over there,
21:54 and then, work with them for a while
21:56 and then come back...
21:57 you're not going to have to spend...
21:59 don't spend a dime, just spend your time
22:01 and come on back and we've had many folks that do that,
22:04 the bankers will send them to us,
22:06 we send them right back and they can get the loan
22:09 and again, our unofficial motto is: "No Loan Denied,"
22:12 we don't give loans but we help individuals
22:15 put themselves in a position to be able to make sure
22:18 they can say, "I'm not denied to get that loan"
22:20 and so, again, no money exchanges hands for our people
22:23 because again... and you'll be amazed too
22:26 that... we'll stand in line for...
22:29 for Nikes... and to spend 200 to 300 dollars
22:33 but we won't spend 130 dollars for Nike stock,
22:38 well, we... it's amazing on how many times
22:43 that people essentially don't even believe
22:45 that we're offering these services for free.
22:47 Yvonne: It's like, "what's the catch, right?"
22:50 Ryan: Yes, it's all... Yvonne: What's the catch?
22:52 You can't believe, we've talked to Unions
22:55 and many times it's very hard... it's very challenging...
22:57 and it developed... you know what
22:59 because our people have gone through a lot,
23:01 they've gone through a lot,
23:02 they've been taken by a lot of people,
23:04 and you know, whether they're watching
23:06 Montel Williams trying to get the Payday loan on television
23:10 or Russell Simmons trying to pimp with the "Rush Card"
23:14 to say, "Come, spend your money to use your own money,"
23:17 every time they turn around,
23:19 there is somebody out there trying to reach in their pocket
23:22 so I can definitely understand.
23:24 All I tell individuals is,
23:26 "Just try it... keep your wallet at home
23:29 just bring your IDs in case you're getting...
23:30 just make sure that people can identify who you are,
23:33 bring your ID, just come into the office,
23:35 keep your wallet, keep your credit cards at home
23:38 and just try it and come back as much as you want.
23:40 We want you to form a business
23:42 because that's where the small...
23:43 that's where the growth from our community is going to come from.
23:45 Internal gentrification is going to start occurring
23:49 when we as a people... understand
23:51 and we don't have to wait for the ship to come in any longer,
23:54 we can learn how to swim out to it,
23:56 or even learn how to make our own ship
23:58 and sail for ourselves...
24:00 Yes, we don't have to wait, we can learn now
24:05 how to get it... how do we get it...
24:08 you are offering information as to how to get it
24:11 instead of trying to...
24:13 instead of waiting for it to be given,
24:15 we can go and get it and another thing
24:18 that's interesting to me too, Ryan, is that...
24:21 I'm hearing... like... I always think about the inmates
24:23 and when they come out, the ex-felons...
24:26 they're denied work,
24:28 they want to work but they're denied work
24:31 but if they could somehow get together,
24:33 pool their resources, learn a trade,
24:35 start a business, then they're not dependent
24:39 upon companies to hire them.
24:41 Ryan: Exactly.
24:43 So what you're saying is
24:44 one of the things that your Organization
24:46 can offer... is to ex-offenders...
24:49 helping them to know how to move forward.
24:51 I'm glad you said that because we are spearheading
24:55 one of the largest movement of tangible services
24:58 for those who are incarcerated.
24:59 I'm in the prison every week
25:01 and I can't wait to go back to prison... to just ask...
25:04 because we are helping those across the Country in prison
25:06 to learn how to swim out to their own ship,
25:10 you know, I tell those individuals all the time,
25:13 it is the victim that complains about the win,
25:16 it is the victor who makes money off of making sail boats
25:20 and this is the difference in my consent
25:22 that we have... when we can take something...
25:26 and we can take nothing and turn it into something.
25:28 Just last week, we went... we did a book...
25:31 we do things like book drives,
25:32 we have a lot of volunteers and they bring books
25:34 for those who are in the world of prison
25:36 to just learn about obtaining knowledge
25:38 we teach them financial literacy,
25:40 we want them to leave with not just 100 dollars and a bus pass,
25:43 we want them to leave with a business plan and you know what,
25:46 the beautiful part about leaving with a business plan,
25:49 because we're offering now
25:50 our 12-week free entrepreneurial training program in prison
25:53 the beautiful part about it is that
25:56 you don't have to be an entrepreneur,
25:58 you might not ever be an entrepreneur,
26:00 some people decide not to pursue that route,
26:03 that might not be for you, but the skills are for everybody
26:06 just because you don't want to start your own business,
26:09 you need to learn at least a skill set
26:12 of being self-sufficient, of being responsible,
26:15 of learning how to wake up on time,
26:17 you know, early to bed...
26:18 wake up early... you get an oyster,
26:21 wake up late... you just get the shell,
26:23 we got to make ourselves move
26:25 and this is what Operation HOPE
26:27 is teaching those who are in prison,
26:29 we're starting a National Initiative,
26:31 we have a National MOU with the veterans, with the VA,
26:33 to make sure... all this lip service being provided,
26:36 one out of seven folks are homeless... our VA,
26:39 our Vets in this Country,
26:40 a lot of folks are just providing lip service,
26:42 we're going to the VA, we're going to the hospitals,
26:45 we're inside the hospital in Detroit,
26:47 we're up in the Bronx, Cleveland,
26:50 soon to be Tampa, soon to be Orlando,
26:51 we're going across the Country...
26:53 in VA hospitals all across the Country
26:55 we're providing our Vets with tangible resources
26:57 helping them learn how to buy homes,
26:59 start businesses, improve their credit
27:01 and get back into a sustainable life
27:03 to become economically viable in our Communities
27:06 because they need our help as well,
27:07 youth aging our of Foster Care is another soft spot
27:10 and we'll be getting them as well,
27:12 so we're doing a whole lot to really just make sure
27:14 that we are providing tangible services to our people.
27:16 Yes, you... ah... you are super busy
27:19 and we appreciate all that you do,
27:22 I can't believe our time is up, you have been...
27:26 this has been so insightful and so informative
27:30 because our folks need to know
27:32 that they can swim to the ship... I love that,
27:35 swim to the ship and get it yourself, right?
27:38 Yes, absolutely, I mean, I'll leave you with this,
27:41 Ephesians 1:3... please people, read that verse,
27:43 Ephesians 1:3, "Blessed be the God and Father
27:46 of our Lord Jesus Christ,
27:47 who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings
27:49 in heavenly places in Christ... "
27:50 He has already done it, because of God
27:53 but it's God waiting on you, let's get it going.
27:56 Amen, thank you so much
27:57 and thank you for joining us
27:59 join us next time because you know what?
28:01 It just wouldn't be the same without you.


Revised 2016-05-17