After two fires in her homes in the Mississippi Delta, Farrah Appleberry and her four daughters were left destitute and in bankruptcy.
But there was hope – literally.
Hope Credit Union, focused on economically distressed areas in the South, brings basic banking services to the nation's poorest.
Twenty-five percent of U.S. households are unbanked or underbanked, according to a 2017 survey by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. Those are people who either don't have a bank account, or have an account, but still use financial services outside the banking system like payday loans to make ends meet.
Why are the numbers so high?
More than half of unbanked households cited not having enough money to keep in an account, 30 percent said they don't trust banks and 9 percent reported banks are in an inconvenient location, according to the survey.
A lack of access to banks continues to worsen as more and more branches close.
Between 2014 and 2018, 1,915 more branches in lower-income areas closed than were opened, according to data from S&P Global.
In February, Federal Reserve Chairman Jerome Powell made a historic visit to the Mississippi Delta, speaking with students at Mississippi Valley State University and delivering remarks at a conference to shine a light on the problem of the unbanked.
"Access to safe and affordable financial services is vital, especially among families with limited wealth, whether they are looking to invest in education, start a business, or simply manage the ups and downs of life," Powell said.