Bryant Blauvelt, a graduate of the HopeWorks internship program, is now the lead driver for ReNewWorks Home and Decor, one of three social enterprise businesses run by the organization. (Lizz Giordano / The Herald)

Bryant Blauvelt, a graduate of the HopeWorks internship program, is now the lead driver for ReNewWorks Home and Decor, one of three social enterprise businesses run by the organization. (Lizz Giordano / The Herald)

Housing Hope’s latest project will grow internship program

HopeWorks Station II will bring 65 housing units and a commercial kitchen for culinary training.

EVERETT — Housing Hope connected Bryant Blauvelt with more than a home, but also a pathway to a job.

Blauvelt is a graduate of the internship program run by HopeWorks, an affiliate of Housing Hope, an affordable housing developer.

Launched in 2011, it aims to help participants gain skills and training for in-demand jobs in the region — food service, landscaping and retail. The organization plans to expand the job training program when HopeWorks Station II opens later this year.

During the recession, Blauvelt was left jobless as his family was forced to move from the home they were renting in Everett. The family of three was unable to find a new spot they could afford.

“My head hanged low,” Blauvelt said. “I was a little scared because I didn’t know what was going to happen,”

After a three-month paid internship at HopeWorks, he is now employed at ReNewWorks Home and Decor, one of its three social enterprise businesses.

The combination of the two — shelter and a stable job — helped boost his self-esteem, he said.

“You have a roof over your head, while at the same time a way to support your family,” he said.

The internship program, which graduated about 40 people last year, has been growing consistently over the years. It eventually will double or even triple its reach, according to Ed Petersen, chief strategic officer at Housing Hope and HopeWorks.

That idea is based on the plan for HopeWorks Station II.

Housing Hope connected Bryant Blauvelt with more than just a home, but also a pathway to a job. (Lizz Giordano / The Herald)

Housing Hope connected Bryant Blauvelt with more than just a home, but also a pathway to a job. (Lizz Giordano / The Herald)

The new five-story building, set to open later this year, is bringing 65 units of affordable housing to Broadway next door to HopeWorks Station I. The project also includes a commercial kitchen and classrooms to expand culinary training, along with a restaurant and a cafe that will be open to the public.

Blauvelt was one of nine interns to sign the final beam for the project before it was installed on the roof of HopeWorks Station II during a ceremony Friday afternoon. This group had gone through the program and then was later hired on by HopeWorks.

Another graduate, Michael DeRogatis, proudly added his signature to the final beam.

Five years ago, he said, he was living on the streets in Everett. Today, five years sober, he has an apartment in Everett and a job at GroundWorks, the landscaping business.

“It’s double stability,” DeRogatis said. “To sign my name on the beam is an honor.”

Graduate of HopeWorks internship program, Michael DeRogatis, proudly signed the final beam. (Lizz Giordano / The Herald)

Graduate of HopeWorks internship program, Michael DeRogatis, proudly signed the final beam. (Lizz Giordano / The Herald)

Five years in the making, HopeWorks Station II is Housing Hope’s largest and most complex project yet. It will provide a much deeper culinary training experience while filling a tremendous need for jobs, said Fred Safstrom, CEO of the organization.

“Our local food operators are just crying for help,” he said. “This doesn’t have to be for life, for a lot of people this will be the beginning of their career.”

Safstrom wore a wide smile Friday, but his grin grew a little brighter as his son, John Safstrom, a foreman for the project, placed the final beam on the roof of HopeWorks Station II.

“This is what 31 years has resulted in,” Safstrom said, before posing for a picture with his son.

Lizz Giordano: 425-374-4165; egiordano@heraldnet.com; Twitter: @lizzgior.

Talk to us

More in Local News

After escaping on Wednesday, an emu named Sarah has been safely returned to AJ's Acre, a farm located near the Alexander Road and the Mukilteo Speedway. (AJ's Acre)
An escaped emu is returned to its farm in Mukilteo

Missing since Wednesday, the female bird was noticed by a neighbor and safely recovered Saturday.

Frances McDormand in "Nomadland." (Searchlight Pictures) 20210304
Masked in a nearly empty theater, a movie outing at last

Just four of us were in the audience for a matinee showing of “Nomadland” at Stanwood Cinemas.

A Marysville Pilchuck football player sports a spear on his helmet as the Tomahawks took on Snohomish in the Wesco 3A Championship Friday evening at Quil Ceda Stadium on November 1, 2019. School district leaders may soon need to consider dropping Marysville Pilchuck High School’s mascot, the Tomahawks. (Kevin Clark / The Herald)
Should Marysville Pilchuck High drop the name ‘Tomahawks’?

A state bill would ban Native American mascots and symbols from schools — unless there is tribal permission.

Broadway closed after ‘small explosive device’ is found

The Everett Police Department bomb squad responded and “rendered it inert.”

Mark Mulligan / The Herald
Sunset Falls cascades down past the existing fish ladder along the Skykomish River east of Index, February 4, 2014.
Photo taken 20140214
New hatchery on Skykomish to end practice of importing fish

A plan to capture fish from Sunset Falls near Index and release them in the river is open for public comment.

James Myles walks his 5-month-old Pembroke Welsh Corgi Ellie around Martha Lake Park on Tuesday, March 2, 2021 in Lynnwood, Washington. Myles entered Ellie into a contest called Americas Favorite Pet, where she's currently in 2nd place for her group. (Andy Bronson / The Herald)
Vote for Ellie: Fluffy corgi from Lynnwood vying for top dog

“Her Fluffiness” is competing to be America’s Favorite Pet. The contest raised $300,000 for PAWS last year.

Washington State Governor Jay Inslee speaks with special ed Pre-K teacher Michelle Ling in her classroom at Phantom Lake Elementary School in Bellevue, Wash. Tuesday, March 2, 2021. (Ellen M. Banner/The Seattle Times via AP, Pool)
Governor: Educators are now eligible for coronavirus vaccine

“This should give educators more confidence,” Jay Inslee said. Other frontline workers could soon be next.

Everett woman, 20, charged after allegedly stabbing roommate

Multiple surgeries saved the injured woman’s life after she was stabbed in the heart and a lung.

Every city may get a tax break used by Arlington, Marysville

It’s helped bring businesses to the two cities, so lawmakers want to make it available statewide.

Most Read