The decade that witnessed the massive eruption of Mt. St Helens also saw the first artificial heart transplant and invention of the Hepatitis vaccine. CNN began offering 24-hour news and MTV aired music videos around the clock.
While young children clamored for Cabbage Patch Kids, their older brothers and sisters discovered Pac Man and Space Invaders. The 1980s also brought an alphabet of new technology: CDs, PCs, and VCRs. For a mere $4,000, you could buy a cellular telephone the size (and weight) of a brick. The advent of digital answering machines in 1983 further severed home telephone cords and enabled people to get outside with their new disposable cameras.
During the 1980s, the cost of a Hershey bar jumped from 10 cents to 25 cents, while the average price of a new house increased from $68,000 in 1980 to $122,900 in 1990. Meanwhile, average income grew at a slightly slower pace, from $19,500 in 1980 to $29,000 a decade later.
Washington’s social service programs take on elder abuse and AIDS, while weathering federal budget cuts
In 1980, the Federal Refugee Act expanded services to new immigrants to ensure that assistance would be available to refugees from all countries – not just those who came to the United States from Southeast Asia in the wake of the Vietnam War.
Two years later, federal budget cuts and a recession-related decline in state revenue combined to reduce social service spending in the state. Over a 20-month period, the state Department of Social and Health Services saw its budget cut by more than $600 million.
In 1984, the Washington State Legislature passed the “Elder Abuse Act,” which empowered DSHS to intervene on behalf of abused elders and other vulnerable adults. In 1987, legislators created and funded a new service delivery system for people with AIDS, and a year later, established the Omnibus AIDS Act to ban discrimination in employment, housing, public accommodations, and public services.
The 1980s also brought new services, new locations and a name change to the Northshore Multi Service Center
In 1980, Hopelink became a Community Action Agency (meeting strict criteria for board composition and disbursement of funds) and changed its name to North/East King County Multi-Service Center. And in 1989, the agency introduced transitional housing to the community, serving homeless families in a house owned by a Bellevue church.
A year later, neighbors in Kirkland and the Snoqualmie Valley opened two new centers to provide food and emergency assistance in their communities.
In 1982, Hopelink’s Emergency Family Shelter Program began offering shelter to families and single women in local motels. Two more Hopelink centers were opened in Bellevue and Redmond to provide food and emergency assistance to local residents.
By 1984, Hopelink had opened the first and only emergency shelter for homeless families in north and east King County.