THE HOPE PROGRAM Selected by Citi Foundation’s Community Progress Makers Fund to Accelerate Economic Opportunity in NEW YORK CITY

THE HOPE PROGRAM Selected by Citi Foundation’s Community Progress Makers Fund to Accelerate Economic Opportunity in NEW YORK CITY

$500,000 Investment in core operating support will enable The HOPE Program to help New Yorkers build sustainable futures through comprehensive training, jobs, advancement and lifelong career support.  

April 26 2018, New York City – The Citi Foundation announced that The HOPE Program was selected as the recipient of a $500,000 grant as part of the 2018 Community Progress Makers Fund. The Fund is a $20 million, two-year initiative by the Citi Foundation to support high-impact community organizations that are driving economic opportunities in our communities by bringing together residents, nonprofits, businesses, and municipal agencies. HOPE joins a group of 40 change agents who are playing a key role in coordinating the efforts of multiple partners toward common goals and working in new ways to address urban challenges in Chicago, Los Angeles, Miami, New York City, San Francisco Bay Area, and Washington D.C.

Through the fund, HOPE will implement a new five-year strategic plan, which builds on its 30+ year track record as a leading job training nonprofit to further develop best-in-class soft skill training, re-define employer engagement to drive strong outcomes for jobseekers, and ensure the viability of local hiring networks. All of this will lead to a significant increase in HOPE’s impact and new opportunities for individuals facing barriers to employment.

“We launched this program in 2015 as our version of ‘venture philanthropy’ – a chance to invest in the vision and mission of these organizations who are helping positively transform their communities,” said Brandee McHale, President of the Citi Foundation. “We’re pleased with the results from our inaugural Community Progress Makers and are looking forward to implementing the lessons we’ve learned with this next, impressive group of community leaders as they scale, innovate and drive impact.”

“We are honored to be named a Citi Community Progress Maker alongside so many notable nonprofits, many of which are our partners here in New York City. This unrestricted investment – nearly unprecedented in corporate philanthropy – will be a game changer for HOPE, and most importantly, the individual jobseekers who transform their lives through our comprehensive training, job placement and advancement support. Thank you Citi!” – Jennifer Mitchell, Executive Director, The HOPE Program

In 2016-2017, the inaugural cohort of Community Progress Makers helped more than 14,700 low-income people secure financial assets; built over 10,500 affordable housing units; strengthened more than 1,100 small businesses; and connected 1,800 young people to jobs in their communities.

Below is a full list of 2018 New York City Community Progress Makers:

Brooklyn Workforce Innovations

Center for NYC Neighborhoods

Cypress Hills Local Development Corporation

Green City Force

Hot Bread Kitchen


Low Income Investment Fund (LIIF)

Neighborhood Trust Financial Partners

Start Small Think Big

The HOPE Program

The POINT Community Development Corporation




About The HOPE Program
The HOPE Program was founded in 1984 by a soup kitchen volunteer and PhD student who believed that with the right support and resources, the clients she served in the soup line could succeed in the workforce and build bright futures. HOPE empowers New Yorkers to build sustainable careers through comprehensive training, jobs, advancement and lifelong career support.

In 2015, HOPE underwent the boldest phase of growth in its history with the acquisition of Sustainable South Bronx (SSBx). Today, HOPE, with SSBx as its subsidiary, operates rigorous and effective job training programs for low-income New Yorkers in both Brooklyn and the Bronx – the counties with highest unemployment rates in the city and among the most impacted by unemployment statewide.  They offer training for diverse careers as well as sector-specific training in the food and green collar industries, with outcomes among the strongest in the field, notably: 73% job placement and over 75% one-year job retention. Since joining forces, HOPE and SSBx have embedded cutting-edge mental health support across all of their programs, strengthened their green jobs training programs, expanded NYC °CoolRoofs, and earned a historic grant to launch solar installation and green infrastructure. To learn more, visit

About the Citi Foundation

The Citi Foundation works to promote economic progress and improve the lives of people in low-income communities around the world. We invest in efforts that increase financial inclusion, catalyze job opportunities for youth, and reimagine approaches to building economically vibrant cities. The Citi Foundation’s “More than Philanthropy” approach leverages the enormous expertise of Citi and its people to fulfill our mission and drive thought leadership and innovation. For more information, visit

Irene Branche

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