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Here’s to 29 Years of Excellence!

Housing Hope has a rich history of innovating and finding best practices for solving real needs. Housing Hope now has 21 housing sites and a full range of housing solutions for families experiencing homelessness or with low-incomes. From emergency shelter to homeownership opportunities, Housing Hope has it all! Housing Hope’s three core programs includes Housing and Services, Economic Empowerment and ChildHope. The focus of each of the program areas is to eliminate the barriers to success and empower each family to reach their potential and escape poverty. 

Founded as an affiliate of Housing Hope, Hopeworks is disrupting the poverty cycle by creating pathways to self-sufficiency for our most vulnerable residents. We do so by operating a range of for-­profit  businesses that fill genuine needs in the community while providing valuable job training that leads to safe and secure futures.

Want to learn more about Housing Hope’s history? Below you will learn how a small group of dedicated individuals can make a lasting impact on their community.

Ed Peterson, Founding Executive Director of both Housing Hope & HopeWorks

Housing Hope’s History: A Local Response to Community Need

In 1987, Snohomish County emergency shelter providers served 2,649 individuals and turned away another 3,670 for a total of 6,319 homeless people. Existing shelters were not set up to accept families. Most families were turned away, or else the families were divided up to meet the requirements of the shelters. It was common for teenage boys to be separated from their mothers, and spouses separated from one another. Desperate families – embarrassed at their predicament, depressed at being unable to find a place to stay as a family but still hoping for help – turned to local churches for solace and assistance. The churches quickly discovered that church funds set aside for the occasional family with a specific need had little impact on the growing problem of homelessness. The night or two churches could offer a family in a local motel simply did not address the real need for shelter and a permanent solution and there were too many families to help everyone.

In Snohomish County, the churches first recognized both the size of the problem, and the inability of churches to address the problem alone. The North Snohomish County Council of Churches formed a task force in 1987 to look for ways to address the immediate crisis for families without a place to stay. In the end, the group recommended looking for long-range housing solutions for the homeless and low-income families throughout the County and on nearby Camano Island. The task force proposed formation of a nonprofit agency with the expertise to leverage community resources for real housing solutions. Shirley Morrow chaired the task force; Anita Olson and Barbara Stave are people from Housing Hope’s rich history that also served on the task force.

A Vision of Change and A Grassroots Model of Community Action

The North Snohomish County Council of Churches incorporated Housing Hope on September 30, 1987, in response to the need for a coordinated response to the issues of homelessness and affordable housing in Snohomish County. The agency was envisioned as a housing development corporation. Early actions included recruitment of a board, adoption of a mission and bylaws, selection of a name and a logo, and applying for tax-exempt status with the IRS. Ed Petersen became the Executive Director, initially serving as a volunteer. Follow the link to Past Board for information about the Founding Board —Mae Stork Covert, Bruce Eklund, Todd Morrow, Dr. Jon Witte, Amy Youngstrom and Ed Petersen.

The new board researched housing models across the nation, and began networking throughout the community and with local politicians. From the beginning, the Housing Hope Directors recognized that the provision of housing was not enough in and of itself. Each family facing homelessness was also facing complex personal, familial and societal issues that would require longer term attention. The concept of service enriched housing became integral to the agency mission.

In September 1988, after obtaining a three-year demonstration grant through the National Institute of Mental Health to create supported housing for mentally ill individuals, Ed became full time Executive Director. Ed and a cadre of dedicated volunteers networked with other community members to provide initial financial support and political advocacy for the agency, Connie Niva, Everett City Councilwoman from 1986 to 1990, provided early political support that grew increasingly important to the agency over the years.

Over the years, Housing Hope has involved the community through volunteerism and in governance of the agency. Housing Hope has been especially blessed by loyal Board members, many who have served for nine consecutive years or more. Housing Hope recognizes members of its Board Emeritus for their extraordinary commitment.


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Breaking the Cycle of Poverty

The Everett Herald recently highlighted CafeWorks after speaking with United Way of Everett. United’s new focus of “breaking the cycle of poverty” lead them to supporting 56 different programs through 2 million in grant support. CafeWorks received a $25,000 grant in support of its mission, giving youth who have struggled with unemployment and homelessness a place to gain job skills and experience.


This grant has helped CafeWorks employ multiple interns during its start up period, as it is now only 9 months young. The articles highlights a couple of our current interns and their experience:

“Sophia, 18, used to live at Cocoon House. She left an unhealthy home life, got her GED at Job Corps and wants to become a teacher. She’s one of the interns at CafeWorks and said the experience is preparing her for a job to help pay for college.


Shyra, 24, wants to work as a barista someplace where she can make enough to help support her son. The hardest part of her internship at CafeWorks is being away from him, she said.

They’ve learned to stay positive and make the most of the work day, they said.”

CafeWorks is the third social enterprise established by HopeWorks Social Enterprises. By offering different career pathways, HopeWorks creates lasting, community wide impact for individuals and families.Founded as an affiliate of Housing Hope, we are disrupting the poverty cycle by creating pathways to self-sufficiency for our most vulnerable residents.

See the full article here.

Learn More

To learn more about CafeWorks, visit their Website, and like their Facebook Page. Or better yet, visit the Cafe for a “cup of hope” and a sandwich that will make you question the meaning of life. We are at 3331 Broadway, right across from Compass Health. After you’re done, don’t forget to let them know how they did on Yelp.

Learn about Hopeworks’ other enterprises and how together we are creating lasting impact. Check out the website and its activity on Facebook.

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HopeWorks Monte Cristo

Monte Cristo Award Recognizes Overall Visual Quality

After being nominated by fellow citizens, the City of Everett recently awarded the HopeWorks Station with the Monte Cristo Award for the Port Gardner Neighborhood.

The Monte Cristo Award recognizes businesses which rate high in overall visual quality through appropriate signage, building design, maintenance, and landscaping. These businesses fit in and are considered to be an asset to the residential part of the neighborhood.

Award Ceremony

On the evening of Thursday, October 13, 2016 Everett Mayor Ray Stephanson will present the awards at the Everett Performing Arts Center.

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Help Others Achieve Self-Sufficiency! Join HopeWorks’ as a VISTA member and help our social enterprises develop into successful businesses providing job training. Inviting all entrepreneurs and business people!


Position Description:

This position collaborates with the HopeWorks leadership team to develop their existing social enterprises designed to create career pathways for low-income residents (interns) of affordable housing, especially formerly homeless residents. The VISTA Member serves in an entrepreneurial environment at HopeWorks Station collaborating with fellow staff members and community resource persons to develop growth plans for ReNewWorks, GroundWorks and CafeWorks. Development plans will generate both greater margin (business revenue) and mission (interns served) outcomes. The social enterprise development project will require the VISTA Member to participate in developing business strategies, operational plans, volunteer system and community outreach. Our social enterprises are in start-up mode, so the VISTA will work in a dynamic atmosphere with shifting priorities.

About the VISTA Program:AmeriCorps_VISTALogo

AmeriCorps VISTA members live and serve in some of our nation’s poorest urban and rural areas. With passion, commitment, and hard work, they create or expand programs designed to bring individuals and communities out of poverty. Each VISTA member makes a year-long, full-time commitment to serve on a specific project at a nonprofit organization or public agency. In return for their service, AmeriCorps VISTA members receive a modest living allowance and health benefits during their service, and have the option of receiving a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award or post-service stipend after completing their service. 
Application Deadline:  9/26/2016 12:00 AM
Start Date: 11/15/2016
End Date: 11/19/2017

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The Snohomish County PUD recently awarded HopeWorks entry into the Planet Power program. A 9.9 kW solar photovoltaic (PV) system was just installed at HopeWorks Station on the northeast side of the building’s roof and will generate clean electricity!


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Exciting News! HopeWorks Station (Phase II) was just offered the opportunity to be a Living Building Challenge Affordable Housing Pilot Project!

We are joining a “community of innovators who are leading the affordable housing market in creating healthy, resilient, and restorative places for all by putting people and our planet first.” Read more about it here.



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Last Thursday and Friday the HopeWorks team participated in a two day workshop with Catalyst Kitchens to work on the plans for HopeWorks’ newest social enterprise CaféWorks! The coffee shop will provide barista training for homeless and at-risk youth in Snohomish County in partnership with Housing Hope and Cocoon House – Non Profit


2100 cafe CW event

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This Friday, two HopeWorks Interns completed their programs. Kim graduated from the ReNewWorks Home and Decor Internship Program and Jacob graduated from the GroundWorks Internship Program. Both interns received high praise from their supervisors and co-workers. Kim is currently going to school and volunteering at ReNewWorks and Jacob is on the job hunt! We are so proud of all the hard work they have put in – both were valuable assets to the team.

Kim & KandiSteve & Jacob



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The Everett Herald has once again written a fabulous article about the activities at HopeWorks Social Enterprises. Check out the article  below featuring ReNewWorks Home and Decor!

The article can also be found here. 

Everett, Washington

Published: Friday, February 20, 2015, 12:01 a.m.

Everett’s ReNewWorks home decor store helps build community

ReNewWorks managers teach workers how to place items to give the store a homey look.

ReNewWorks managers teach workers how to place items to give the store a homey look.

By Jim Davis
The Herald Business Journal Editor

EVERETT — An oar leans against a wall near fish netting. A pair of skis stand next to a fireplace with a roaring blaze. Seashells lay scattered on an end table.There’s a lot of thought put into the displays of the casual, homey look in the showroom of ReNewWorks Home and Decor Store at 3331 Broadway.Even the names of the merchandise get the same treatment: A table isn’t just a table, it’s an Asian-inspired inlay sideboard.

“My boss places stuff where it doesn’t just look like furniture it looks roomy, so you can be like, ‘Oh I could picture that in my house,’” Kim Culley said. “The whole goal when we name furniture on the pricetag is we don’t think of it as a dresser, we think of what it could be.”

Culley, 20, was on an internship helping her gain job skills that she can hopefully use for the rest of her life. She’s had other jobs, but she’s learning new skills including inventory, cashiering and how to market items like an Asian-inspired inlay sideboard on Facebook and Instagram.

The store is one of three self-sustaining businesses run by the nonprofit HopeWorks, an offshoot of Housing Hope, which has been providing affordable housing for people in need for 27 years.

HopeWorks aims to create these businesses to generate jobs, build skills and help low-income people move up the wage ladder, said HopeWorks CEO Ed Petersen.

“What this site is doing is building on the Housing Hope program and the stability and the attitude change and the growing self confidence by creating that next step toward jobs,” Petersen said. “And helping people be productive in our economy.”

Petersen helped launch HopeWorks in 2011.

“It was all dreamland,” Petersen said. “I felt out on a limb a lot of this time, but I started with Housing Hope Day One with five other board members so I figured we know how to do this and we know what the community wants and we know a lot about marketing communication and grant resources and people in the community who want to be involved.”

The first business started was GroundWorks Landscaping, in part, because Housing Hope has so many properties around Snohomish County.

“Landscaping started, because Housing Hope owned 20 different landscapes and we thought we could learn on our own nickel and use our own sites,” Petersen said. “We were paying others to do our landscaping.”

Signature Landscape Services in Redmond has helped HopeWorks with understanding how to run and operate a landscaping business. The company also helped HopeWorks with its second venture, WaterWorks Irrigation Services. The third venture was the upscale, consignment store ReNewWorks.

HopeWorks were originally located on Evergreen Way, but moved in September to the building on Broadway at what’s being called HopeWorks Station.

The building used to be an MRI and diagnostic clinic, but the company went out of business. In July 2013, a bathroom in the building leaked during the weekend and heavily damaged the inside of the building.

HopeWorks was able to purchase the building for $1.25 million in March 2014. The nonprofit moved its headquarters and three businesses to the site.

Petersen said it’s an ideal location, because it is only a couple of blocks away from the buses at Everett Station and easily accessible to anyone who lives in the Housing Hope properties.

It’s also large enough for Petersen’s vision. The nonprofit owns about an acre at the site and would like to add another three businesses. The nonprofit would also like to build a five-story building at the site to include housing on the top floors and commercial space on the bottom floor.

HopeWorks has landed several low-interest loans from investors in the community to support the effort. And it received a huge vote of confidence in December when the Employees Community Fund of Boeing Puget Sound gave it a $500,000 grant.

The money will be used for building improvements at HopeWorks Station. It will also purchase two new trucks and equipment for three existing HopeWorks businesses and will help launch a fourth business this year.

Petersen said that HopeWorks doesn’t have long-term data on how people fare after going through the program. And not everyone goes on a linear path from internship to job. But they’ve had a string of successes.

“If you’re measuring it strictly out of the internships, we’re probably getting 75 percent moving into jobs,” he said.

© 2015 The Daily Herald Co., Everett, WA

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