Maple Valley started with three families moving into the same area back in 1879. Amazingly, it now has a population of more than 23,000 and is ranked as one of the top 100 most affluent communities in the state of Washington! What’s more amazing is the fact that Maple Valley isn’t the site of a large Boeing factory – or really any large companies for that matter. Maple Valley derives much of its income from the retail industry and, unlike most similar-sized cities along the East Coast of the US; this city isn’t struggling during this economic down-turn.
The great thing about cities like Maple Valley is that the relatively high income of local residents isn’t spoiled by the fast pace and “work till you drop” mentality of a larger city with similar income levels. With its high density of natural trails and parks, it’s as close to the perfect community as you’ll find in the country for anyone looking for the laid back, comfortable lifestyle that America was once widely known for.
That’s not to say that no one in Maple Valley knows what it means to struggle financially. 2.6% of the population lives under the poverty level and, if you look at the Seattle Metropolitan Area as a whole, homelessness is a larger problem than it appears to be initially. While the majority live comfortably, there is a vast counter-culture of homelessness, drug addiction, and suffering.
Fortunately, cities like Maple Valley have been working to end homelessness throughout the entire Seattle Metropolitan Area and have put in place a plan that may just accomplish that goal by the year 2020. Until then, Maple Valley residents draw on their Middle-America principles to motivate them to help the helpless. Thankfully, in Maple Valley, like so many cities across the country, charity isn’t dead.
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