40 Years of Hopelink
Social services were a fledgling commodity in the northwest in the early 1970s. The post-World War II economic boom had been good for jobs in the Puget Sound region, and the future looked bright in 1967, when Boeing employment peaked at more than 100,000 workers. The economic downturn that began later that year changed everything.
Suddenly people who had always been able to pay their bills and put food on the table needed help. They needed jobs, and they needed groceries, and they needed rides to medical appointments.
Times have changed in the 40 years since a group of neighbors assembled a few desks and chairs in Bothell City Hall and started hunting down jobs for unemployed workers. What began as the Northshore Job Referral Service is today Hopelink – the largest social services agency serving north and east King County.
Hopelink predates a lot of things we take for granted today: Microsoft, Starbucks, CDs, PCs, social media and wireless communication.
Meanwhile, the past four decades have witnessed both challenges and positive changes. Growth in housing prices has outpaced wages, and the economy has weakened. State and federal lawmakers have taken steps to protect our most vulnerable citizens. And Hopelink has grown to provide 35 services to more than 60,000 people every year.
The following links offer a look back at Hopelink’s first 40 years in the community: