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Redmond pockets of poverty: homeless population continues to grow

Most people think of Redmond as an affluent community, but there are pockets of poverty that need assistance. 

As the population continues to grow in Redmond, so does the number of people who show up every week at Hopelink's food bank.

It's been serving this community for the past 25 years and it's now bursting at the seams.

Hopelink provides food, transportation, housing, financial assistance and energy to homeless and low-income families, seniors and people with disabilities.

"Here in Redmond, 95-percent of the people we serve earn less than $30,000 in income per year. About half of that earn zero to $10,000," said Lauren Thomas, CEO of Hopelink.

Between the food bank and its other programs, the agency serves 4,000 people right now. That number is projected to grow to 5,000 when it opens a brand new 28-thousand square foot building next summer.

"It will be a two-story building. We hope to have a garden outside, and classrooms for people to learn additional skills," said Thomas.

But it was a building that almost didn't happen. Hopelink looked for a new building but was priced out of the market. When the city of Redmond learned the agency could be forced to leave, it stepped in to help.

"Yes it really surprised us. And really showed us how much they value our services here," said Thomas.