Courage360 Expands Services to Bethel Community

By Heather Giron Fritts,
Courage360 CEO

Tacoma, WA – Local nonprofit Courage360 is honored to announce that we have begun delivering services in Spanaway. In the interest of building a healthy community, Courage360 has joined United Way of Pierce County’s strong network of organizations to implement proven strategies and best practices that respond to the problem of persistent poverty, financial instability, and low-wage stagnation among families when it pilots its Bethel Center for Strong Families. 

The Need and Partnership:

The reality facing thousands of unemployed and low-wage workers is that a job is not always enough. Working families continue to struggle toward a brighter future. Even among those who are employed, many families are faced with monthly expenses that exceed their income. Without room to build a savings cushion, financial stability is precarious at best. An unanticipated car breakdown, an illness in the family, or a cut in hours at work, can all push a family to financial crisis.

To prevent such crises, Courage360 is partnering with United Way of Pierce County, Bethel School District, Tacoma Pierce County Health Department and Sound Outreach to pilot a Center for Strong Families at the Bethel Family Support Center.

A Center for Strong Family model consists of 1) Access to Income Supports; 2) Employment Services; and 3) Financial Coaching, all of which Courage360 delivers and will strengthen with their partner, Sound Outreach, who will enhance the coaching one step further into Financial Counseling. Financial Counseling will provide additional resources that include: review of credit reports with dispute to credit report errors; creating realistic budgets, and both short and long-term financial goal-setting with access to banking supports. Courage360 is honored to partner with United Way of Pierce County and join with current Centers for Strong Families led by the Goodwill of the Olympics and Rainier Region and Sound Outreach.

Courage360’s Proven Programs Positioned to Pilot CSF in Spanaway:

In 2016, clients entered Courage360’s Employment Services Continuum with an average monthly income of $472.00. For those who gained employment after completing the programs, they increased their average monthly income to $1,853.00 – an increase of 391%.  Courage360’s suite of services includes an in-depth assessment to identify and address a family’s needs and provide access to income supports; intensive job preparedness and soft skills training alongside job leads, internships, mock interviews and ongoing employment services to support not only obtaining a job, but advancing careers. In addition the Center for Strong Families will provide financial workshops and coaching to enhance financial literacy so that individuals, many who are parents, can better understand and manage household budgets, control expenditures as wages increase, repair credit, and more.

Centers for Strong Families:

The Center for Strong Families will be housed within the Bethel Family Support Center and on the grounds of Challenger High School (18020 B Street East; Spanaway). Services will mirror the proven model commonly referred to as Integrated Service Delivery – an evidence-based approach that is being funded by a number of national organizations including the Annie E. Casey Foundation, Local Initiatives Support Corporation (LISC), and the U.S. Department of Labor due to the impact it has had on outcomes of families. An independent study has found clients who access a range of services have more success meeting their financial goals than people in programs offering employment assistance alone. Clients are more likely to be employed year-round, reduce non-asset related debt, and build positive credit histories (Economic Mobility Corporation, 2016). Families can access support by contacting Jill Palmer at the Bethel Family Support Center at 253.683.6850 or through email at

About Courage360:

Courage360, formerly WWEE (Washington Women’s Employment and Education), is a Washington State nonprofit, founded in 1982 and delivers services in both King and Pierce Counties. Courage360 assists low-income individuals to gain the skills, the knowledge, and the courage to be self-supporting through a suite of supportive services specifically designed to move low-income individuals from dependence on public subsidies to economic self-sufficiency. Celebrating its 35th anniversary, Courage360 offers women and families the courage to start a new life. For more information, please visit

                                  – Courage360