Northwest NEWS

July 15, 2002

Front Page

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Permanent home for Carnation's Hopelink office

You know the saying, "the more things change, the more they stay the same." That is exactly the situation for Hopelink in Carnation. They had been leasing their building from the American Legion, but also owned the smaller building next door. At one time a youth center, it was no longer in use and had been used for storage for the past five years.
   With their lease running out, Hopelink began to look at their options. The American Legion was interested in buying a smaller building and a conversation developed between the two parties. In the end, Hopelink sold the smaller building to the American Legion and with the profits made a hefty dent into the purchase of the larger building they were leasing.
   The benefits of this sale were many. First, it will give Hopelink a permanent home in Carnation. It will also release Hopelink from their lease obligations. The sale also directed needed profits to the American Legion.
   Hopelink, which changed its name from Multi-Service Centers of North and East King County two years ago, has been around for more than 30 years providing emergency food bank services, financial assistance, and energy assistance to families in need.
   With six sites in all serving North and East King County, several of the sites offer help with prescriptions, childcare and in some cases transportation. Among their other services is a clothes bank at the Northshore Bothell and Carnation branches.
   Eastside Literacy has also partnered with Hopelink, providing individual basic literacy tutoring, English-as-a-Second-Language classes, family literacy, GED preparation and workplace literacy.
   According to Hopelink's Website, more than 43,000 people on the Eastside cannot read beyond a 4th grade level.
   "We offer a holistic approach to helping people deal with crisis," says Doreen Marchione, Executive Director for Hopelink. "People think that if you live in North King County or East King County that you don't have needs, but people are in denial about the increase in needs in this area."
   Marchione attributes the rise in services provided by Hopelink to the economy, layoffs and recent job losses in the area.
   One of Hopelink's programs is the Brown Bag Brigade. With summer here, many low income families lose the free breakfasts and lunches provided to their children during the school year. At the same time, donations to the food bank usually decline during the summer months.
   Any school can participate in this program which is designed to promote awareness about hunger in the community.
   School children are encouraged to bring in pennies and loose change, which Hopelink then collects and takes to Coinstar which processes the change without fees.
   Hopelink is then able to buy nutritionally rich food that is easy to fix. This helps parents who are caught in a cycle of having to work a full-time job and not being able to afford childcare during the summer months. Items such as peanut butter and jelly, corn flakes, tuna, granola bars and juice are all made available to parents with school-age children.
   The program is successful because it gets children involved and allows them to help out other children.
   For more information on this and other services Hopelink offers, call (425) 869-6000, or visit them on the Web at HYPERLINK "http://www.hope-link.org" www.hope-link.org.
  
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