The center will reunite the human services organization’s administrative office and client services in Redmond, which had been moved to separate locations in town in 2011.
Hopelink is set to break ground for the center at 9:30 a.m. on Friday at its new location at 8970 154th Ave. N.E.
Kris Betker, senior public relations specialist for Hopelink, said there is currently a structure on the property and demolition on that building is scheduled to start on Monday. Construction for the new service center is scheduled to start on June 1 and should take a little more than a year. Betker said they are looking at a July 1, 2018 completion date and move-in date for the end of that month.
“It’s exciting to be able to break ground in Redmond,” she said.
Betker added that Hopelink is currently leasing their two spaces in Redmond and the organization will own the building that is being constructed. Another benefit of this new building is its location.
“It’s a lot more accessible by bus,” Betker said.
According to a Hopelink press release, the service center represents another major milestone in the nonprofit’s ongoing plan to increase services to people in the greater community. In addition to the new center in Redmond, Betker said the Campaign for Lasting Change, which has a goal of $25 million and has brought in $16 million so far, has allowed Hopelink to renovate its shelter in Kenmore and build the Ronald Commons integrated service center in Shoreline.
The release states that the campaign is a multi-year initiative that will double the number of people “gaining the tools to exit poverty, while also ensuring more people receive healthy food from food banks and more homeless families have access to safe and affordable housing.”
Betker said Hopelink serves about 4,000 people a year in Redmond and their goal is to bring that number to 5,000 people per year by 2020.
The new Redmond space will offer the same services Hopelink currently offers at the current client services office and at all of its service centers, such as emergency financial help for eviction prevention and energy assistance. The organization also offers adult education, financial coaching and assistance for those seeking employment.
The center will also feature a full, grocery store-style food bank where clients can “shop” for and “check out” like they would at a typical grocery store.
Betker said due to space, their current food bank in Redmond is a modified version of the grocery store model and will be the last of all their food banks to be converted to the full model.
The Redmond center will be Hopelink’s largest capital project so far, costing $13 million. Betker said the project also received $3.4 million from the State of Washington Department of Commerce.
“Former board member (Sen.) Andy Hill was instrumental in securing that money and his widow, Molly, will be one of the speakers at the groundbreaking,” she said.
Betker said the new center is made possible through a partnership with the City of Redmond, which is leasing the land to Hopelink. At press time, lease details were not available.
Hopelink had been wanting to partner with the city, she said, but initially could not compete with the high property costs and was looking to open the new service center elsewhere.
“So that’s exciting,” Betker said about the city’s part in Hopelink securing its new location.
“As we did with the Providence John Gabriel senior housing, the city is pleased to partner with nonprofits like Hopelink to ensure its vital services are available to those in need in Redmond,” said Mayor John Marchione.
In addition to expanding in terms of space, Betker said the capital campaign will allow them to hire more staff to serve clients. She said they will double their employment specialists and case managers for all of their locations.