Hopelink Releases Community Impact Report | Hopelink

Hopelink Releases Community Impact Report

Data illustrates agency’s successes, challenges

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

REDMOND, WA – Half of the state’s wealthiest zip codes are located in the Hopelink service area of north and east King County, yet 86,000 people in that same area – one in seven – qualifies for assistance with food, shelter and other needs. And of the 22,086 people Hopelink helped through support programs last year, 86 percent have an annual income of $30,000 or less – far below the living wage of $74,000 for a family of four in King County.

The scope of poverty in north and east King County and its effect on local families are among the findings of Hopelink’s first-ever Community Impact Report, a year-long, agency-wide effort that looks at agency programs along with census data to illustrate progress and the continuing need for services in the community.

Hopelink CEO Lauren Thomas said the report provides a clear and definitive picture of the Hopelink service area and of the programs that are making a difference in the community.

“This report tells us who most needs our help – where they live, and the challenges they face,” Thomas said. “And it tells us which of our programs and services are most effective.”

The report also takes an in-depth look at 581 households and 677 adults who completed or exited one of four Hopelink programs in 2014: case management; housing; employment; GED and English for Work. Of this group, 65 percent demonstrated measurable improvement in one or more of the following: education, employment, housing or income. All are proven indicators of progress toward self-sufficiency.

Hopelink programs and services aimed at helping clients achieve stability include food and nutrition, housing and assistance with heating bills, while others – such as job preparation and adult education – help people get back on their feet and escape poverty for good. 

Thomas also outlined steps the Redmond-based social services agency plans to take over the next five years in order to reach more people in need in the local community.

“By 2020, we hope to increase the number of people who receive help with basic nutrition from 15,500 to 21,000,” Thomas said. “And we want to help more than 1,000 people every year through our programs that equip clients to exit poverty. We have projected that growth, and we have begun our expansion – through new and improved service centers, through more housing units, and through investments in our food distribution network.”
Other findings in the report:

  • 11 percent of people living in the Hopelink service area who are working live in poverty, with 5 percent earning less than $10,000 per year.
  • A third of Hopelink clients have attained post-secondary degrees, with 16 percent having earned a bachelor’s or master’s degree. 
  • 6,000 of those Hopelink serves are unemployed. 
  • 45 percent of Hopelink households are single-person households.  
  • 37 percent of Hopelink clients are children – much higher than the general population (those 18 years of age and under make up only 24 percent of the Hopelink service area).
  • 70 different languages are spoken by Hopelink clients in a region with more than 12,000 people who speak little or no English. 
  • Hopelink serves 2,500 people with disabilities every year.

Thomas reiterated the agency’s commitment to helping more people in the local community.

“We are committed to helping ensure that every single person who turns to us in a time of need finds stability, attains their highest possible level of self sufficiency, or exits poverty for good,” she said. “That’s why this report matters. And that’s why we are so optimistic about the future.”

The full report is available here:  Impact Report

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Since 1971, Hopelink has served homeless and low-income families, children, seniors and people with disabilities in north and east King County by promoting self-sufficiency for all members of our community and helping people make lasting change. Hopelink assists people with meeting their needs for food, shelter, homelessness prevention, family development and stabilization, transportation and adult literacy skills. For more information on Hopelink and its services, call 425.869.6000.