Bellingham and Whatcom County Catholic Charities assistance programs.

There are several services available from the Bellingham Catholic Charities. The church based group arranges emergency shelter from Hope House as well as information on permanent housing. They also offer drug and alcohol treatment services as well as mental health care for the greater Whatcom County region, and some are in fact low cost. Whether it is food, clothes, or basic needs, the Bellingham Catholic Charity organization tries to meet the need.

Emergency Housing is a Bellingham Catholic Charities program that helps individuals at risk for evictions, foreclosures or who are currently homeless. The focus is on finding short term accommodations, such as a shelter. This service serves to utilize more cost effective measures for placing people into emergency housing instead of having low-income, homeless clients reside in area motels for weeks at a time at the expense of the community.

Social workers will try to help people find housing for one night. The applicant may be assigned a volunteer from the local Whatcom County church to help them throughout the process. Not only is the emergency shelter arranged, but clients also go through evaluations and receive recommendations for a long term housing solution, including section 202 vouchers.

Bellingham Catholic Charities is also involved in specialized housing, such as for low income seniors, and they run apartments with partners. Some of them are located in nearby counties, so referrals are given. Whether it is a migrant farm worker, women fleeing violence, or other special situations, then help may be given. Find other senior section 202 housing programs.

Vocational Rehabilitation -  Residents with physical and mental disabilities may apply. There is also support for individuals battling alcohol or other addictions. There are many challenges faced by the disabled or people leaving rehab as they seek employment. There is discrimination, physical barriers, and much more. The Whatcom County Catholic Charities vocational rehabilitation services will help anyone with a handicap gain stability and allow them to re-experience the pride of bring home a paycheck as well as meaningful work.





Food and basic needs from Whatcom County Catholic Charities Hope House

Qualified visitors (who were approved in advance) to the Catholic Charities food pantry are provided with help. There will be a box of groceries given to them, with up to a three-day supply of canned as well as perishable food. The contents of it will come from all of the major food groups.

The center, which is part of Hope House, is stocked by donations, including corporate sponsors. There are also financial donations from the Emergency Food and Shelter Program, Feeding America, Hunger Prevention Nutrition Assistance Program (HPNAP), and the local community action agency.

This program is effective to help people save money. All too often, when the household budget will stretch no further, the pantry can help fill that short term need that may still be required. Residents of the Whatcom County community can turn to the Pantry for short-term support.

Sharing and Above and Beyond Shops:
Staff as well as volunteers at Bellingham Catholic Charities serve hundreds of people each year. The center will sell thousands of items and people also donate hundreds of items for resale. The Shops, which operate as thrift stores, is a community-based center operated by the ministry. It will sell an ever-changing selection of used clothing, books, furniture, household items, electronics, small appliances, DVDs and collectibles. The entire staff, both volunteer and full time, takes great pride in providing quality merchandise in a clean, organized and inviting place to shop.

Donations can always be used by the Sharing and Beyond Shops. They will be tax deductible. What is needed may include:

Men’s, Women’s & Children’s Clothing
Work and School Uniforms
Household Items
Small Appliances
Toys & Tools




For anyone donating, Catholic Charities asks that clothing donations be clean and all other goods be in good working condition. The contributions help to support local families. The money raised is also used to pay for crisis intervention and financial services for local families.

The main Address of the Whatcom County Catholic Charity is 1133 Railroad Avenue suite 100, Bellingham, WA 98225-5054. Call (360) 676-2164.


By Jon McNamara

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