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Where to Turn in Tough Times

Where to Turn in Tough Times
In this struggling economy, you may have found yourself among the many in our community facing the loss of a job and financial trouble. The following information is intended to connect you with organizations that can help. Pierce County has many services available from help with employment and utility assistance to health services and food. Let us lend a hand.

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Call 2-1-1
United Way of Pierce County's South Sound 2-1-1 call center is a comprehensive information warehouse that connects people with essential health and human resources. In 2010, South Sound 2-1-1 received over 83,000 calls for assistance with counseling, health care, housing and shelter and much more.

The United Way of Pierce County 2-1-1 call center is open Monday through Friday from 9:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m. with 24-hour voice mail.

Search the 2-1-1 DATABASE online

Listed below are several local resources that can help during these tough times. Visit our Partner Agencies list for additional organizations that can help. Click here to access a map of local shelters, food banks, and hot meal sites.

Financial Resources
Employment & Education

Urgent Needs

Health Resources


Crisis Line of Pierce County 

Transportation Resources

Map of Pierce County Resources
Emergency shelters, food banks, and hot meal sites.

Paul G. Allen Family Foundation Crisis Relief Resources

Pierce County Library Resources

Financial Resources

Evaluate Your Finances
Reduced income is going to require expert money management. These resources can help you get started.

Financial Articles and Tips


Cost Cutting Tips

Evaluation Checklist

Job Loss and Money Management Resources

Choose to Save
Financial news, resources and information

Washington Law Help
Self-help legal information

Make the most of your tax return.
United Way 2-1-1 is partnering with Pierce County Asset Building Coalition to provide tax help for low-income families.  Volunteers will prepare client taxes free of charge, determine if they qualify for the Earned Income Tax Credit (EITC) and find other credits to boost their bottom line. Find out more.

Credit Counseling

Consumer Counseling Northwest
This program provides education on money management, debt, bankruptcy and assistance to those with debt problems.  There is also housing counseling on pre-purchase, delinquencies, and reverse mortgages.

Washington State Department of Financial Institutions
Information on loan restructuring, mortgage assistance program, and foreclosure prevention 1-877-894-4663

Foreclosure Counseling
South Sound Outreach - 253-593-2111 or www.southsoundoutreach.org
Foreclosure Hotline 1-888-409-3557

Mortgage Education
Information for low-income families on affordable housing and mortgage options

Money Matters from the Federal Trade Commission The Federal Trade Commission just launched a new website for people dealing with debt; struggling to find a job; or trying to create a budget, save, and spend wisely during these difficult times. Find out more.

Employment and Education

Employment and education Articles and tips

Landing a Job in Tough Times

What to do if you’ve lost your job

When Recession Brings Layoffs  

WorkSource Pierce County

Worker Retraining
Clover Park Technical College

Tacoma Community College

The Bureau of Labor Statistics
There has never been a greater need for information about jobs and careers in America. With unemployment still on the rise it is important for those seeking employment to be armed with the very best information available. Find out more.

Developmental Disabilities Center

Educational Opportunity Center
Resources for adults interested in pursuing post-secondary education.

Urgent needs

Utility Assistance
Call 2-1-1
Pierce County Community Services
Energy assistance for people living outside the Tacoma city limits. 1-855-798-4328.

Metropolitan Development Council
Energy assistance for people living inside the Tacoma city limits. 253-572-5557.

Telephone Assistance Program
DSHS has increased the eligibility guidelines for food benefits by raising the household income limits to 200% of the federal poverty level.  That means that for a household of four, the maximum monthly income can be $3,675.  You can click here to apply for food benefits or to learn more.

Call 2-1-1 for local food banks

Assistance applying for food benefits
South Sound Outreach 253-593-2111
Access to Care 253-798-6500 or 1-866-798-6451

Meals on Wheels

Meal delivery for seniors and disabled people

Child Care Assistance
Provides parents with information and referrals on available or affordable child care.
253-591-2025 or 1-888-370-6133


Health Resources

Medical and Dental Assistance Programs
For more information or to apply online, visit https://www.washingtonconnection.org and click on "apply for services."

Benefits application
Access to Care 253-798-6500 or 1-866-798-6451

Sea Mar Tacoma
Medical and dental services.  253-593-2144

Sea Mar Puyallup
Medical services for children and adults 253-864-4550
Dental services for children 253-864-4760

Neighborhood Clinic
Medical services for those with no insurance 253-627-6353

Pierce County Dental Society
Dental services for those with no insurance. Call 2-1-1 for screening

Free Caregiver Training
For those providing care to a family, friend, or neighbor.

Mental Health
Call 2-1-1 for low-cost counseling services

Washington Recovery Help Line

Domestic Violence Helpline
253-798-4166 or 1-800-764-2420

Prescription Assistance


Department of Veterans Affairs
Pierce County Veterans Bureau
Financial assistance for veterans 253-798-7449

American Legion
Outreach services for veterans 253-536-6999

Veteran’s Independent Enterprises of WA

Employment Assistance for Veterans

PTSD Program Counselors in Washington

Soldier and Family Assistance Center of Fort Lewis
Resources on bottom right side.  




Seasonal Resources

H1N1 Resources