Resources Related to COVID-19 & Important Updates:

Winter Clothing Resources

  • Blue Skies for Children – provides winter coat, hat, gloves, scarf, hooded sweatshirt and/or blanket for eligible children at no cost.
    • Currently requests are going through our Family Resource Center, if interested please call 360-676-6456

If you are behind in rent there are resources available! Links below for information:

Looking for up to date community resource information?

  • Community Resources During COVID-19 is a guide to resources available in Whatcom County during COVID-19 kept up to date by the Opportunity Council – an excellent place to get information!
  • Whatcom Unified Command Website is dedicated to providing current information and resources related to COVID-19 (maintained by the City of Bellingham, Whatcom County, and the Whatcom County Health Department)

Other highlighted resources:

Family Support Services

Family Support Services includes many important programs including our Family Resource Centers, homeless support program and more.

Family Resource Centers – Linking families to local resources and services

Family Resource Centers

The family resource centers are family support centers that link school families with local resources and human services, addressing the needs of the whole child to promote student success. All families are welcome.

The FRC locations are safe places where families can access information and available services including:

  • Basic needs such as food, clothing, and housing
  • Child academic and behavioral support
  • Medical and mental health
  • Special needs and disability
  • Financial and legal assistance
  • Educational and employment opportunities
  • Emergency assistance
  • Bellingham Public School provided resources and educational processes

Shuksan Middle School, 2717 Alderwood Avenue
Monday to Friday, 9:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m.

Carl Cozier Elementary School, 1330 Lincoln Street
Monday to Friday, 9:00 am to 4:00 pm

Donations Accepted at the FRC (Shuksan and Carl Cozier locations)

All items need to be in good, like new or new condition.

  • Diapers, baby wipes
  • Toilet paper
  • Laundry soap, dish soap
  • Shampoo, conditioner, bath/body soap (full-size, not travel/hotel size)
  • Deodorant (men and women)
  • Toothbrushes and toothpaste

For low-cost internet service information, please visit the Family Engagement webpage.

Resource Centers

Centers in Bellingham

DSHS (Department of Social and Health Services)

Address: 4101 Meridian Street, Bellingham
Hours: Monday - Friday 8am to 5pm / Walk-in Services: 8am-3pm
Phone: (877) 501-2233; or apply for services online

  • When you visit a DSHS Community Services Office, please bring the following documented information to help with your eligibility determination:
    • Your immigration status documentation
    • Proof of Washington residency
    • Information on your income
    • Name of your voluntary resettlement agency (VOLAG)
  • The following services can be completed in the office or online or by phone:
    • Apply for benefits or submit documents
    • Before 3 p.m.: Complete your interview for cash or food (application/eligibility review/mid-certification review)
    • Report changes for any of your benefits
    • Access to Working Connections Child Care services via phone or online
    • WorkFirst/Social Services Case Management
  • Public computers are located in the office lobbies. The computers are available to clients for DSHS business use.

Opportunity Council

Address: 1111 Cornwall Avenue, Suite C, Bellingham
Hours: Monday- Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Walk-In Hours: Monday - Friday 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Phone: (360) 734-5121 ext. 370 or 1-800-649-5121

  • Intake and screenings for housing programs, emergency shelters, and landlord/tenant information
  • Assistance accessing community services and providing basic needs
  • Referrals to other community resources

NWYS – Ground Floor Center - Click here for flyer

Address: 2401 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham (located in basement of First Congregational Church of Bellingham)

Phone: 360-734-3720

Hours: 10 a.m.-2 p.m., Monday-Friday

A day-use center for individuals 13-24 and are at risk of homelessness or currently experiencing homelessness. At the Ground Floor youth can connect with supportive adults, receive basic needs items and connect with other resources that will help them end their experience of homelessness. Some more ways the Ground Floor can help:

  • Food, showers, laundry, computer access, mail service, basic needs, survival resources, and rooms to rest in.
  • Emergency, transitional and permanent housing and support.
  • Job and education support.
  • Mental health and substance use counseling.
  • LGBTQ+ affirming services and programs.
  • Connections to other services.

Salvation Army

Address: 2912 Northwest Avenue, Bellingham
Hours: Monday - Tuesday, Thursday - Friday 10 a.m.- 1 p.m.
Phone: (360) 733-1410

  • Financial assistance (no assistance for gas, rental assistance or hotel/motel assistance)
  • Food, clothing, and hygiene supplies
  • Furniture and household items
  • Holiday assistance

Northwest Regional Council

Address: 600 Lakeway Drive, Suite 100, Bellingham
Hours: Monday - Friday 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Phone: (360) 676-6749

  • Information and assistance for seniors and adults with disabilities
  • Medicaid transportation (see medical for more information)

Other Centers in Whatcom County

East Whatcom Regional Resource Center (Opportunity Council resource center)

Address: 8251 Kendall Road, Maple Falls
Hours: Monday - Friday 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.
Phone: (360) 599-3944

  • Referrals and assistance accessing community resources
  • Tutoring, youth activities, and community meetings
  • Public computers and printers

Ferndale Community Services

Address: 5694 2nd Ave., Ferndale
Hours: Tuesday - Friday 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.
Phone: (360) 380-2200

  • Public computers
  • Shower vouchers, bus passes, hygiene products, and small clothing bank
  • Referrals and assistance accessing community resources
  • Domestic violence advocate available by appointment
Operation School Bell

Operation School Bell

(This program is funded by the Assistance League of Bellingham and provides assistance in buying school clothes, to qualify students must be K-12 and qualify for free school meals)

Sign-ups for Operation School Bell (OSB) are closed for the 2022-23 school year. If you submitted an application you can expect a call early/mid November with more information on when & where to collect vouchers. There was a delay in the delivery of vouchers to Assistance League of Bellingham so the distribution date is later than previously expected. (All eligible families who previously applied will receive a voucher for OSB, there were enough slots available so a lottery was not necessary).

If you have any questions or want to confirm your application, please email

Food & Meals

Breakfast and Lunch in Bellingham Public Schools

Apply for reduced/free breakfast/lunch by picking up an application at your school’s front office or apply online.

After School Dinner Program

  • All children under 18 and under receive a free hot meal
    • It doesn’t matter what school you attend
    • Accompanying adults charged $4.00
  • Meal served at Shuksan Middle School Cafeteria
    • 2717 Alderwood Avenue (corner of Northwest and Alderwood)

Local Resources

Food Resource Guide (English) /  Guía de recursos de comida (Español)

List of food banks, weekly/monthly hot meals, and senior meals in Whatcom County.

To check for an updated version, visit to the bottom of the page for links to resource guides)

State Programs

WA Basic Food Program: SNAP (Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program) offers monthly food benefits to low-income people. The Food Assistance Program (FAP) provides benefits to people who are not eligible for SNAP due to immigration status.

Check if you're eligible and start your application:

  • Online:
  • By Phone: 1-877-501-2233
  • In Person:
    • Bellingham DSHS Office, 4101 Meridian St., Bellingham, WA
      • Walk-in hours Monday-Friday, 8 a.m.-3 p.m.
    • Opportunity Council (1111 Cornwall Ave, Bellingham), DSHS Outstation
      • Available Tuesdays & Wednesdays, 8:30 a.m.-4 p.m.
    • WorkSource (101 Prospect St., Bellingham), DSHS Outstation
      • Tuesdays, 9 a.m.-4 p.m.

WIC (Women, Infants, & Children) Nutrition Program provides healthy food, nutrition education, breastfeeding support, and health screenings for pregnant women, new mothers, and children under 5 years of age.

Check if you're eligible at:

Apply by making an appointment with local WIC provider:

Housing & Shelter

In District Services

If you are experiencing housing instability or have any questions about housing resources please contact our district’s homeless liaison’s for more questions. If eligible, they can provide support through the McKinney-Vento program, which works to eliminate academic barriers for students experiencing homelessness (more information provided on the Family Services page)

Community Resources

Below is information about the housing resources in our community. Whatcom County has a coordinated entry system – this means a single intake is done for many different programs, eligibility screenings and intakes are done at the Opportunity Council (information listed below).

Opportunity Council completes screenings and centralized intakes for multiple homeless housing programs in our community. Call or visit the Community Resource Center walk-in hours to start the process and find out if your family is eligible for services.

Address: 1111 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, WA

Walk-In Hours: 10am - 4pm, Monday - Friday

Phone: 360-734-5121 ext. 370 or 1-800-649-5121

Lighthouse Mission - Emergency shelter and drop-in center for single men and women, ages 18 and older

Address: 910 West Holly St., Bellingham, WA

Hours: Open 24/7; Check-in for the night by 8:15pm

Phone: 360-733-5120

New Way Ministries - Temporary housing for pregnant women and women with children

Address: Lynden, WA

Phone: 360-354-9930

Income-Based Housing

Bellingham Housing Authority helps connect families and individuals to public housing, project-based housing, Section 8 housing, and affordable properties. Applications are now available on their website.

Address: 208 Unity St., Bellingham, WA

Office Hours: 9 a.m. - 4 p.m., Monday - Friday


Phone: 360-676-6887

Mercy Housing offers affordable housing for low-income families, seniors, and people with special needs. Each individual property has its own application process and wait lists. Visit the website or call the general phone line for more information.

Phone: 206-838-5700

Housing Search Assistance

Refer to this document for listings of affordable housing options in Whatcom County:

Housing to TryUpdated July 2019

Link above connects to Opportunity Council's Housing To Try resource guide. This lists apartments in Bellingham/Whatcom County found to be more affordable. Contact individual listings for availability.

Housing Lab

Housing search assistance hosted by the Opportunity Council:

  • Tuesdays from 10 a.m.-12 p.m. at 625 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, WA, 98225
  • Supports provided (hablamos español)
    • Housing search and application support
    • Developing a renter’s portfolio
    • Renter education
    • Referrals to community resources
    • Roommate/Landlord mediation
    • Roommate matching
    • Eviction prevention
  • Law Advocates is present 11 a.m. – 12 p.m. to answer Landlord/Tenant law questions

Medical Care

Accessing Health Care

Do you have health insurance?

  • If no, there are a couple options to get connected:
    • You can go online to to apply online
    • Need help signing up? Our community has Outreach and Enrollment Specialists that are a great resource in navigating enrollment in health insurance, available at:
      • Unity Care NW, call 360-788-2669 for more information
      • SeaMar, call 360-671-3225 for more information
    • If yes, contact your provider to see what providers accept your insurance

Getting a Sports Physical

To participate in athletics, you will need a sports physical. Physicals are valid for two school years.

  • If you have a primary care provider, connect with that provider. Ask for a Well-Child Appointment and state you need a sports physical.
  • If you do not have a primary care provider, use the resource list below to get connected to our health care partners.
  • No insurance? Unity Care NW can provide assistance enrolling in insurance plans. Call (360) 788-2669 to speak with an enrollment specialist.
  • If you need help accessing care, calls BPS Athletics and Activities at 360-676-2786.

Make a well-child appointment with your provider in advance as clinics will be busy before the school year stars.

The following health care partners are scheduling appointments for new and continuing patients:

4545 Cordata Pkway (One of many locations around town)
All major health insurance providers accepted

Family Care Network
3600 Orchard Pl (One of many locations around town)
All major health insurance providers accepted

SeaMar (bilingual staff)
4455 Cordata Pkwy
Apple Health and all major health insurance accepted

Unity Care NW (bilingual staff)
220 Unity St
360-788-2669 (insurance enrollment specialist)
Apple Health and all major health insurance accepted

Resource Guides

Below is a variety of resource guides to help navigate local health care. provided by Whatcom Alliance for Health Advancement (no longer operating since 6/2019),

Local Community Health Centers, the following accept Medicaid/Apple Health:

Unity Care NW offers medical, dental, and behavioral health services, sliding scale fees available.

Bellingham Medical Clinic: 200 Unity Street, Bellingham, WA

Phone: 360-676-6177

Ferndale Medical Clinic: 5616 3rd Ave, Ferndale, WA

Phone: 360-752-7410

SeaMar Community Health Centers offer medical, dental, and behavioral health services, sliding scale fees available.

Bellingham Medical Clinic: 4455 Cordata Parkway, Bellingham, WA

Phone: 360-671-3225

Everson Medical Clinic: 6884 Hannegan Rd, Everson, WA

Phone: 360-354-0766

Planned Parenthood offers general health care and sexual/reproductive health care services for people with private, state, or no insurance, on a sliding fee scale.

Address: 1530 Ellis Street, Bellingham, WA

Hours: Monday, Wednesday, & Thursday: 8am-5:30pm, Tuesday: 9am-7pm, Saturday: 9am-5pm - Saturday; Same-day and walk-in appointments may be available.

Phone: 360-734-9095

Assistance with Medical Bills (also see Financial Assistance tab)

United Health Care Children's Foundation provides grants to help pay for medical needs of children in low-income families with private/commercial insurance. Learn more and apply for a grant online.-

PeaceHealth - Patient Financial Assistance can be requested before, during, or after receiving medical care from PeaceHealth. Learn more and apply for assistance online.-

Customer Service Phone Support: 1-877-202-3597

Washington Women in Need offers Health Care Grants to adult women with Apple Health or Medicare to help pay for medical services that are not covered by insurance. Learn more and apply for a grant online.

Transportation to Medical Appointments

If you or someone you know is having difficulty paying your medical bills here are some suggestions:

(List provided from

Dental Care

Information About Local Dental Services

Below information flyers provided by Whatcom Alliance for Health Advancement, no longer operating since 6/2019)

Unity Care NW's Mobile Dental Program

  • The Unity Care NW mobile dental program provides routine dental care at elementary and middle schools, Head Start programs, and daycare centers throughout Whatcom County. Mobile Dental Program staff provide exams, cleanings, fluoride treatments, sealants, and oral hygiene instruction.
  • For more information contact the Dental Access Coordinator at (360) 676-6177, ext. 1181.

Bellingham Technical College - Dental Assisting and Dental Hygiene Program offers comprehensive dental care at a reduced fee. Minors must have guardian consent. Dental services provided by students are closely supervised by licensed staff and faculty.

Address: BTC Building C, 3028 Lindbergh Ave., Bellingham WA

Open: Monday - Friday, October - June

Phone: 360-752-7000

Mental Health

Getting Started

Do you have health insurance?

  • If no, there are a couple options to get connected:
    • You can go online to to apply online
      • Phone support: 1-855-923-4633
    • Need help signing up? Our community has Outreach and Enrollment Specialists that are a great resource in navigating enrollment in health insurance, available at:
      • Unity Care NW, call 360-788-2669 for more information
      • SeaMar, call 360-671-3225 for more information
  • If yes, contact your provider to see what providers accept your insurance

Finding a Mental Health Counselor

List of providers that accept Apple Health/Medicaid, and/or sliding scale fees

  • Talk to your student's school counselor to see what resources are available through the school
    • Our district partner's with community agencies to bring mental health counselors into the school to meet with students to reduce barriers a student might have to access this service
  • Catholic Community Services: Call to schedule initial intake in order to start services, 360-676-2164
    • Common referral for youth patients
    • Also available from Catholic Community Serivces:
      • WISe (Wraparound with Intensive Services) for youth, see link for more information: 360-676-2164
  • Unity Care NW - Behavioral Health: Must be a Unity Care NW patient to receive mental health services, call for more information at 360-676-6177
  • Sea Mar Behavioral Health: Call to schedule initial intake, 360-734-5458
  • Sea Mar Behavioral Health - Child & Family Services: Call to schedule an initial intake, 360-398-5444
  • WWU - Counseling Training Clinic (January-June): Offers free individuals counseling from Graduate students in Western’s Psychology Department, under faculty supervision.  Call early December for priority scheduling. For scheduling and more information call 360-650-3184

Psychology Today offers a database of most mental health therapists in Whatcom County.

  • Able to search based on what insurance is accepted and specialty (youth, grief, depression, etc.)
  • Call counselor to see if new patients are being accepted and more information on scheduling

Support Groups

National Alliance for Mental Illness (NAMI) Whatcom offers multiple support groups for individuals and families living with mental illness and for people who have lost a loved one to suicide.

Address: 800 E Chestnut St. Suite 1C (inside Chestnut Professional Building), Bellingham, WA

Hours: 10am - 3pm, Monday - Friday

Phone: 360-671-4950

Family Care Network provides an online listing of a wide variety of support groups for individuals and families. Some groups include:

Brigid Collins

Adress: 1231 N. Garden St., #200, Bellingham

Hours: Monday-Friday, 8am-4:30pm

Phone: 360-734-4676

  • Provides evidence-based parenting programs, an array of both individual group programs, as well as one-time trainings
  • Call Brigid Collins to speak to the on-call staff to discuss what programs might be a good fit for your family

Crisis Response Services

For emergency situations and if someone is in immediate danger, call 9-1-1.

Crisis Prevention& Intervention Teams (CPIT) through Compass Health

A community based outreach team with the ability to respond to and provide services in the community (e.g., homes, schools, shelters). CPIT serves adults, adolescents, and children who are experiencing a behavioral health (mental health and/or substance use) crisis regardless of their funding source. CPIT offers short term crisis intervention and prevention services utilizing strength based, solution focused, culturally competent, trauma informed, and recovery oriented interventions.

CPIT consists of a team of behavioral health professionals, including mental health professionals and certified peer counselors, collaborating with the individual in crisis and their family members to develop a plan to get through the current crisis, manage future crises, and move towards recovery. Information on how to connect to services listed below:

  • Individuals may contact the CPIT office directly at 360-752-4545 to speak with a chemical dependency professional or a mental health professional. CPIT is available 9:00 am – 12:00 am, every day.


  • Anyone may call the VOA Care Crisis Response Services ‘the Care Crisis Line’ at 1-800-584-3578 24/7 – 365 days-a year to speak with a licensed mental health professional who will assess the situation, make appropriate referrals, and/or dispatch the CPIT community based outreach team.

The following resources are available 24 hours a day:

VOA Mental Health Crisis Line1-800-584-3578 (more information about crisis line provided above)

National Suicide Prevention Lifeline1-800-273-8255, available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress

Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services: 360-715-1563 or 1-877-715-1563, hotline to get connected to confidential support services if you are fleeing domestic violence

Crisis Text LineText HOME to 741-741, free confidential crisis intervention through texting

Crisis Chat: Crisis chat line through Volunteers of America

Teen Link: 866-833-6546, a confidential teen-answered help line, every evening, 6pm-10pm

Washington Recovery Help Line: 866-786-1511, 24-hour help for Substance Abuse, Problem Gambling, & Mental Health

Youth Housing & Shelter

Youth Housing & Shelter

Northwest Youth Services (NWYS) serves young people ages 13-24 experiencing homelessness in Whatcom and Skagit Counties. In addition to housing, they offer street outreach, help finding a job or enrolling in school, connection to mental health services, support for LGBTQ youth, restorative justice for juvenile offenders, and referrals to other services in the community. Please contact NWYS for more information about program eligibility and other questions.

Whatcom Office: 1020 North State Street, Bellingham, WA

Walk-in Hours: Monday- Friday 9:00am- 5:00pm

Phone: 360-734-9862

NWYS Emergency Housing – The PAD (Positive Adolescent Development)

The PAD (Positive Adolescent Development) is an emergency housing program in Bellingham that offers housing for youth between 13 - 17 years old. No application is required. Staff are on-site and available 24 hours a day to support any youth in crisis.

In this program, youth work with a case manager to create a plan for obtaining stable housing before they exit, and set goals to work toward throughout their stay.

The PAD provides food, clothing, and a safe place to live for every youth who enters the program. Youth have support enrolling in school, obtaining employment, setting up medical appointments, and learning the skills necessary to live independently.

PAD Hotline – 360-393-0116 (available 24 hours a day/7 days a week)

NWYS – Ground Floor Center - Click here flyer

Address: 2401 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham (located in basement of First Congregational Church of Bellingham)

Phone: 360-734-3720

Hours: 10am-2pm, Monday-Friday

A day-use center for individuals 13-24 and are at risk of homelessness or currently experiencing homelessness. At the Ground Floor youth can connect with supportive adults, receive basic needs items and connect with other resources that will help them end their experience of homelessness. Some more ways the Ground Floor can help:

  • Food, showers, laundry, computer access, mail service, basic needs, survival resources, and rooms to rest in.
  • Emergency, transitional and permanent housing and support.
  • Job and education support.
  • Mental health and substance use counseling.
  • LGBTQ+ affirming services and programs.
  • Connections to other services.
Renter & Homeowner Support

Eviction Prevention

Opportunity Council offers limited eviction prevention and other services to prevent homelessness (availability . Complete a screening at the Community Resource Center to see if your family is eligible for services.

Address: Opportunity Council, 1111 Cornwall Ave., Bellingham, WA

Walk-in Hours: 8:00am – 3:00pm, Monday - Friday

Phone: 360-734-5121 ext. 370

Law Advocates Tenant Clinic is a drop-in clinic where lawyers consult with low income renters on a first-come, first-serve basis. This consultation service is for renters at risk of losing housing, and it can include: information about tenant-landlord laws; document review and advice; representation; and negotiation with landlord's attorney.

Address: Whatcom County Courthouse (5th Floor), 311 Grand Ave, Bellingham, WA

Hours: Every Friday from 12:30pm – 3:00pm, please check-in by 1:30pm (except Whatcom County holidays - refer to the online calendar (

Solid Ground is a Seattle-based organization providing tenants the resources and tools they need to prevent eviction and ensure housing stability. Call their message-only phone line or refer to their online resources for tenants.

Tenant Services Hotline: 206-694-6767 (message only)

Hours: Monday & Thursday 10:30am - 1:30pm; Wednesday 1:30 - 4:30pm

Foreclosure Prevention

Home Ownership Assistance is a one-stop online resource center developed by the Washington State Department of Financial Institutions for home ownership and foreclosure information specifically for Washington residents.

Call 1-877-894-HOME (4663) to speak to a housing counselor and to access referrals for foreclosure mediation.

Northwest Justice Project provides free legal education, advice, and referrals to low-income people, including referrals for foreclosure mediation. Intakes done through CLEAR (Coordinated Legal Education, Advice, and Referral) line, contact information below:

Local Office: 1814 Cornwall Ave, Bellingham

Call for Referral through CLEAR Line: 1-888-201-1014, Monday-Friday, 9:15am - 12:15am

Whatcom Dispute Resolution Center's Foreclosure Mediation Program helps homeowners explore alternatives to foreclosure and facilitates mediation between homeowners and the company servicing their mortgage. To access mediation, homeowners need to be referred to the Department of Commerce by a housing counselor or an attorney.

Address: 13 Prospect St., Suite 201, Bellingham, WA

Hours: Tuesday - Friday 10:00am – 5:00pm

Phone: 360-676-0122

Home Repairs & Weatherization

Opportunity Council has a range of programs to contribute to the safety and comfort of low-income homes, as well as increase home energy conservation and efficiency. Intakes done through Energy Assistance line provided below.

Address: 1111 Cornwall Ave, Bellingham, WA

Phone Line Hours: 9am-12pm / 1pm-4pm, Monday-Thursday

Phone: 360-255-2192

Bellingham Home Rehabilitation Loan Program provides low-interest loans and support services for the rehabilitation of one- to four-unit family residences for low- and moderate-income households. Learn more and access the application online.

Email: Lisa Manos:

Phone: 360-778-8391

Foster Care

District Foster Care Liaison

The general role of the Bellingham Public Schools (BPS) Foster Care Liaison is to facilitate district compliance with state and federal laws as they relate to children and youth in foster care, and to collaborate with the DSHS/Children’s Administration (CA) in an effort to address educational barriers that prevent children and youth in foster care from being identified, enrolled, attending, and succeeding in school.

BPS Foster Care Liaison

Nancy Schubeck

Roles and responsibilities of the Foster Care Liaison may include:

  1. Coordinating with the corresponding child welfare agency point of contact on the implementation of the Title I, Part A provisions.
  2. Coordinating with the Foster Care Program Supervisor at OSPI.
  3. Attending training and professional development opportunities to improve district implementation efforts.
  4. Serving as the primary contact person for DSHS/CA and social workers.
  5. Leading and documenting the development of a process for making best interest determinations.
  6. Facilitating the transfer of records.
  7. Facilitating immediate enrollment.
  8. Facilitating data sharing with the child welfare agencies, consistent with FERPA and other privacy protocols.
  9. Developing and coordinating local transportation procedures.
  10. Managing best interest determinations and transportation cost disputes.
  11. Ensuring that children in foster care are enrolled in and regularly attending school.
  12. Providing professional development and training to school staff on the Title I, Part A provisions and educational needs of children in foster care, as needed.
Clothing & Household Items

Low Cost Clothing Resources

Clothing Resources Flyer - includes information listed below

We Care of Whatcom County sells clothing and household items for $7 a bag (all you can fit in a bag). Furniture also available.

Address: 3550 Meridian, Suite #2, Bellingham
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 10am to 3pm
Phone: 360-647-5415

Wise Buys Thrift Shop sells used clothing, linens, and household items. Proceeds benefit Lydia Place.

Address: 1224 North State Street, Bellingham
Hours: Tuesday - Saturday 10am to 5pm
Phone: 360-734-0202

Salvation Army Family Store sells used clothing, household items, furniture, and various appliances.

Address: 1515 Birchwood Ave., Bellingha

Hours: Monday- Saturday 10:00am-7:00pm

Phone: (360) 733-1350

Free Clothing Resources

Operation School Bell (Assistance League of Bellingham) is an annual shopping event through the Assistance League of Bellingham. This program provides an eligible student with an appointment to spend up to $100 at Target in Bellis Fair for school clothes and/or shoes.

Eligibility: student must qualify for free school meals and not have received this program for the last 3 years in a row (required to take 1 year off, then can reapply)

Sign-Up Event: this event typically takes place on the first Purple Friday of the school year, please contact the district’s family support liaisons for more information. Date is announced before the end of school year. Information is put out in end of the year newsletter as well. Appointments are filled first come first served for eligible students. Students do not need to be present for sign-up event, legal guardian must be present to schedule appointment. With any questions, feel free to contact family liaison’s listed below:

Salvation Army Social Services Office provides vouchers for clothing, household items, and furniture to be used at the Salvation Army Thrift Store.

Address: 2919 Northwest Avenue, Bellingham
Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, 10:00am - 1:00pm
Phone: 360-733-1410

Back to Work Boutique at YWCA - provides clothing, accessories, and haircuts for low-income women. Employment or change of employment is not required to participate.

Address: 1026 N. Forest St., Bellingham
Hours: By appointment, call to schedule
Phone: 360-734-4820, Ext. 210

Laurel Church Share Room provides clothing, blankets, and small household items. Everyone welcome.

Address: 162 W. Laurel Rd., Bellingham
Hours: Thursday 10am to 2pm
Phone: 360-398-1761

Blaine Community Clothing Bank provides clothing for all ages, as well as linens and bedding, to those with financial need.

Address: 500 C Street, Blaine (adjacent to the Blaine Food Bank)
Hours: Mondays and Fridays, 9:00am to 12:00pm; Wednesdays 5:00 to 7:00 pm
Phone: 360-392-8484

Project Hope Food Bank provides clothing and food, as well as assistance with other needs such as transportation and utility bills. Must live within the Lynden School District. Please bring paperwork that shows your address.

Address: 205 S. BC Ave., #105, Lynden
Hours: Monday 9:30-12:00pm, Tuesday 3-6, Friday 9:30-12:00pm
Phone: 360-354-4673

Blue Skies for Children offers various services provided throughout the year, information provided below:

  • Shoe distribution – offered April/May, free pair of shoes for eligible children, call for an appointment,
  • Back to School Backpack – offered Aug/Sept, able to provide a brand new backpack, up to five children per family, call for information on distribution dates
  • Winter Warm-Up – offered Oct/Nov, provides new or gently used coats, hats, gloves, scarves, hooded sweatshirt, and/or blanket, call to set up an appointment

Phone: 360-756-6710

Address:  2505 Cedarwood Ave., Ste 5, Bellingham, WA, 98225

Hours: Monday - Thursday 10:00am-4:00pm

Drug & Alcohol Treatment

Drug & Alcohol Treatment

If you have questions or concerns about your use of or dependency on alcohol, nicotine, or other drugs, consider talking to your doctor first. Additionally, some local resources include:

Catholic Community Services - Recovery Center offers a range of outpatient treatment services for youth and adults. Apple Health, private insurance, and payment plans accepted.

Address: 515 Lakeway Drive, Bellingham, WA

Phone: 360-676-2187

Sea Mar - Chemical Dependency Services provide outpatient treatment and supports for adults. Medicaid and private insurance accepted, sliding-fee scale available.

Address: 3350 Airport Drive, Bellingham, WA

Phone: 360-734-5458

Lifeline Connections provides a variety of programs to support adults in substance abuse recovery. To get started, call for more information or attend walk-in hours for an initial assessment:

Address: 4120 Meridian St,. Bellingham, 98226

Walk-in assessment hours: Monday-Wednesday, 12pm-3:30pm

Phone: 360-922-3030


Employment Support for Youth

NWYS Vocational Readiness Program supports youth in finding, applying, and interviewing for jobs.

Address: 1020 North State St., Bellingham, WA

Phone: 360-734-9862


WorkSource's young adult program serves youth ages 16-24 by providing paid internships, skill building, and job search strategies.

Address: 101 Prospect St., Bellingham, WA

Phone: 360-676-3230 (Young Adult Job Coach)

JobCorps is a free residential training and education program which connects youth ages 16-21 with the skills and educational opportunities they need to establish a career. The local branch is Cascades Job Corps College & Career Academy.

Address: 1950 Northern State Rd., Sedro Woolley, WA

Phone: 360-854-3400

Employment Support for Adults

WorkSource supports job-seekers in Washington with a wide range of employment and training services. Online and in-person services are available.

Address: 101 Prospect St., Bellingham, WA

Phone: 360-676-1521


Goodwill Job Training & Education Center offers free classes, workshops, and other support services to help people build work skills and find employment.

Address: 1115 E Sunset Dr., Bellingham, WA

Phone: 360-738-0483

Basic Food Employment & Training (BFET) Program provides training and education to Basic Food clients, with the goal of helping them to attain a living wage career. BFET services are available from all community and technical colleges as well as some community agencies in Whatcom County.

Address: DSHS Office, 4101 Meridian Street, Bellingham, WA
Phone: (877) 501-2233

Employment Support for Adults with Disabilities

Cascade Connections helps people with disabilities gain tools and knowledge to promote independent living and employment opportunities.

Bellingham Office: 1611 N. State St., Bellingham, WA

Phone: 360-647-9087

Ferndale Office: 1354 Pacific Place, Suite 101, Ferndale, WA

Phone: 360-714-9355

Kulshan Supported Employment provides vocational services to adults with developmental disabilities. Their goal is to help each client in our program find paid employment in our community.

Address: 310 Iowa St., Bellingham, WA

Phone: 360-676-9010


Division of Vocational Rehabilitation offers services designed to help people with disabilities prepare for, get, and keep a job.

Address: 4101 Meridian, Bellingham, WA

Phone: 360-714-4136


Staffing Agencies (Temporary and/or Permanent Placements)

A.E.S., Inc. 

Address: 1200 Dupont Street, Suite 2A, Bellingham, WA

Phone: 360-734-8860

Command Center

Address: 1840 Iron St. Suite A, Bellingham, WA

Phone: 360-676-1666

Express Employment Professionals

Address: 4152 Meridian St., Suite 201, Bellingham, WA

Phone: 360-734-2457

Kelly Services

Address: 2211 Rimland Dr., Suite 411, Bellingham, WA

Phone: 360-647-2207


Address: 216 W Champion St., Bellingham, WA

Phone: 360-671-1977

People Ready

Address: 1530 Birchwood, Suite B, Bellingham, WA

Phone: 360-647-7642

Legal Assistance

Legal Assistance

Law Advocates provide free legal assistance to low-income individuals and families in Whatcom and Island counties. They help people to preserve their homes; navigate family law and guardianship; maintain their employment, healthcare, and livelihood; and shield themselves from domestic violence and fraudulent practices.

Drop-In Events: Refer to the online calendar

Phone: 360-671-6079

Potential clients are encouraged to first call the CLEAR Hotline (Coordinated Legal Education Advice and Referral) to determine program eligibility.

CLEAR Hours: 9:15am - 12:15pm, Monday - Friday

CLEAR Hotline: 1-888-201-1014

Washington Law Help is an online resource where you can learn more about legal issues, your rights, and where to find legal services near you.

Kinship Custody Clinic - offered one evening each month, free information and self-help legal assistance including:

  • Lean more about the procedures and issues associated with obtaining a non-parental custody order for a relative or other concerned person
  • Receive self-help assistance with court papers from a family law attorney
  • Learn how to go to court on your own to obtain a non-parental custody order
  • Call 360-671-6079 for eligibility screening and appointment
  • See Financial Assistance for other supports for Kinship care givers
Financial Assistance & Literacy

Financial Assistance & Literacy

Church-Based Financial Assistance is available in Whatcom County on a limited and case-by-case basis for emergency financial needs including gas, food, utilities, and IDs. Click on the attached document or visit the Opportunity Council for more information.

O.C. Walk-In Hours: Monday - Friday 10am to 4pm
O.C. Phone: (360) 734-5121

Whatcom Love, INC services include budget counseling, furniture program, small home repairs, and limited financial resources (for costs such as prescription co-pays, back-to-work needs, and transportation).

Phone Hours: 9am - 1pm, Monday - Thursday

Phone: 360-671-6201

Financial Literacy and Rental Education (FLARE) is a series of free classes designed to increase adults’ knowledge of money habits and attitudes, as well as developing skills and strategies for saving, tracking spending, budgeting, and renting.

Address: Opportunity Council, 1111 Cornwall Avenue, Suite C, Bellingham
Walk-In Hours: Monday - Friday 10am to 4pm
Phone: 360-734-5121, Ext. 223

The Whatcom Dream offers financial literacy classes, private financial coaching, support for first-time homeowners, and classes on overcoming barriers to housing, jobs and opportunities due to a conviction history.

Address: 2303 Moore St, Bellingham, WA 98229

Phone: 360-319-3759


Kinship Care Support Program (Opportunity Council) provides short-term services to help kinship caregivers (a relative by blood or marriage taking primary care of a child(ren) under the age of 18) maintain their role during a financial emergency. Funds may be available once a year for emergent basic needs, such as food, clothing, hygiene items, school supplies, utilities, housing, etc. Appointments include an eligibility screening and assistance connecting with other resources and programs such as Custody Help, Energy Assistance, Basic Food, and more

Contact: Naomi Siegel

Phone: 360-734-5121 ext. 246


Blue Skies for Children – Little Wishes  for support of school trip fees, summer camp enrollment fees, bicycle and helmet, special needs equipment, tutoring, computers, school related supplies such as a scientific calculator, or an ASB card (required to participate in school sports), sports fees and/or uniforms, cleats, and other items. Also,  for ongoing support of lessons and activities including, but not limited to, art lessons, music lessons such as piano, violin or guitar, as well as martial arts, team sports, individual activities such as swimming lessons, dance, ballet, gymnastics, ice skating, ice hockey, horseback riding, and soccer.​ (see clothing for other programs offered by Blue Skies for Children)

Phone: 360-756-6710

Address:  2505 Cedarwood Ave., Ste 5, Bellingham, WA, 98225

Hours: 10am-4pm, Monday - Thursday


Showers – below are a list of shower resources in Bellingham

  • YMCA – free shower passes are passed out at the Opportunity Council lobby (open 8am-5pm, Monday-Friday, 1111 Cornwall Ave.) ID required for entry into YMCA. (towel provided)
  • Arne Hanna Aquatic Center - $3/person to shower, no ID required (no towel provided)
  • Lake Padden Park – free showers on site at Park Spring through Summer, park open 6am-10pm, daily

Laundry – information about free laundry services below

  • Opportunity Council (8am-5pm, Monday-Friday, 1111 Cornwall Ave), has vouchers to do a free wash and dry, one per month, vouchers are limited each week, first come, first serve

Isabel Meaker
Executive Director

Debora Haney
Assistant Director, Early Childhood and Family Engagement

Nancy Schubeck
Executive Administrative Assistant