JACKSON, Miss. (9/3/08)--Hope Community CU, a faith-based Jackson, Miss., credit union with branches in three states, provides banking services to the underserved and invests in community development. It also comes through in a hurricane. Although it still early in the recovery process from Hurricane Gustav, and because most people are still evacuated from the affected areas until Thursday, Hope Community will provide assistance to members in areas affected by the hurricane, Bill Bynum, CEO, told News Now . “We’re making plans to provide access to loans and account to members and people experiencing disruption,” Bynum said. “We’re also looking at being of assistance to other faith-based institutions in harder-hit parts of southwest Louisiana. We also plan to help provide access to funds from philanthropic organizations and government sources of assistance, such as Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) payments.” The $63.5 million asset credit union was started in 1995 when members of Anderson United Methodist church in Jackson organized Mississippi’s only church-sponsored credit union (clarionledger.com Sept. 2). Over the past 13 years, the credit union has grown through partnerships with other community development churches and faith-based organizations. The Enterprise Corporation of the Delta was Hope Community’s sponsor in 2002, and helped broaden the credit union’s reach onto more low-income communities, the paper said. The credit union opened a branch in New Orleans eight months before Hurricane Katrina struck in August 2005, and was in a solid position to help in the aftermath of the hurricane’s devastation, Bynum told the paper. The credit union will open a branch in Biloxi, Miss., by the end of the year, Bynum added. It now has branches in New Orleans and Memphis.