Heroes for Housing in Thurston County

A person with a cardboard sign at intersections in most of our cities has become a common sight. More individuals are facing homelessness each day, which is an issue in not just Washington state but across the country. As the cost of living continues to increase in King and Pierce counties, the effects trickle down into the southern counties. Homes First is a solution to the affordable housing crisis.

Based in Thurston County, Homes First is a nonprofit organization that creates and maintains safe, healthy, and affordable rental homes for those who need them most in the community. Currently, the nonprofit organization serves 250 tenants and owns or manages 43 scattered site properties. Homes First is entering its 30th anniversary in 2020, the equivalent of a standard home mortgage.

“Homes First is proud to be a solution to not only homelessness in Thurston County, but the affordable housing crisis that we are facing in the state and across the country,” said Trudy Soucoup, Homes First chief executive officer. “What enables Home First to do this work is our annual fundraising event, Heroes for Housing.”

Homes First’s sixth annual fundraising breakfast, Heroes for Housing, is the main fundraiser for the organization and took place on Wednesday, September 11, at the South Puget Sound Community College Lacey campus. The event raised critical funds that allow the organization to provide affordable homes in the community.

“Our Heroes for Housing event is designed to educate, uplift and inspire our community,”said Amal Joury, chair of the Homes First Board of Directors, “We are able to showcase our incredible mission and receive gifts that will directly provide healthy, safe and affordable housing.”


For Additional Information

Homes First


Healthy Family Show

April 6th, 11am-4pm
Outlet Collection

Where Healthy Habits Collide with Style

Bring the family to enjoy a free day learning about what is new for keeping your family healthy. This one day event is an opportunity for families to check out hot trends, health information and learn about camps, classes and services! Families can also enter their child in the  Cutest Child Contest.  Plus the first 250 families who attend receive a FREE gift bag.

Interested in entering the (fun and not serious)  Cutest Child Contest and having your cute child walk the cat walk? Register at the welcome table the day of the event at noon.  This is a low-key and fun contest! Winners photo’s will be featured in on social media for ShowCase Magazine.

For further information contact info@showcasemedialive.com

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Cascade School

Giving Back in the 253

In any community, a sense of “community” is built on the connections made through unique groups of people that support one another. When I moved to Tacoma five years ago, I was wanting to know my neighbors, to feel that my community supported one another, and to find ways to give back. Quickly, I learned that the 253 has an abundance of opportunities for giving of time or financial resources. I encourage you to join me in this building of community.

If you are looking to give time, the South Sound region is filled with organizations that would love to have you as a volunteer. You can choose to focus on a wide range of interests: recreation, arts, social justice, health and education, to name a few. If you are passionate about education and the development of younger generations, a good place to start is in our schools. Outside of the schools, nonprofits often look for volunteers to do administrative tasks or provide program support.

Two good ways to find out about service opportunities are to join the Volunteers group on Facebook or visit the nonprofit websites listed on the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation page.

When you feel your roots settling into the 253 and your heart is called to give back, but your time is limited, a monetary gift can provide hope and resources throughout the South Sound. “Philanthropy” is often misperceived as giving big financial gifts, but a gift of $20 a month goes a long way in creating a sustainable community. For Emergency Food Network, for example, every dollar you donate provides $12 worth of nutritious food for our neighbors in need. Philanthropy in any amount promotes the welfare of others. Your generous gift could change lives.

To find local organizations that qualify for tax-exempt giving, visit the nonprofit listing on the Greater Tacoma Community Foundation page.



Getting Settled Into A New Home

After the last box is moved into your new home, you might think the hardest part of moving is over. And you’re right, but there are still things to take care of before you can relax completely. 

Get Your Utilities Set Up

You don’t want to arrive at your new place, late at night, and find that the lights don’t work. Before you move, arrange for the utilities to be set up there. Make sure all of your services are up and running so you can check your electronics and appliances.

Check Major Appliances

If you moved major appliances, such as a range, dishwasher, washer or dryer, check to make sure nothing was damaged during the move. This is particularly important if the mover prepared your appliances for the move. Your insurance policy may have a limited time in which to make a claim. Since these are big-ticket items, you want to make sure they’re all working.

Check All Boxes and Furniture

Make sure all boxes and furniture arrived and that nothing is damaged. If you’re missing something or you find damage, contact the mover and your insurance company to submit a claim. It’s important to do this immediately after moving in or the insurance company may not reimburse you.

Save Receipts

Keep all receipts and documentation related to your move in one file and store the file in a safe, secure place. Make sure you have your bill of lading and payment receipt. You may be able to claim your move on your next tax return, and you’ll need all the necessary receipts to make your claim.

Make Sure You’re Getting Your Mail

Check with the post office about mail forwarding. Update all important files and documents with your new address and notify everyone who needs to know about your move.

Healthy Feet Are A Foundation For A Healthy Life

Experiencing recurring pain in your feet or suffering with an injury can significantly reduce your mobility, affect your overall wellness, and leave you feeling off balance. To get you back to your daily routine and the activities you enjoy, the team at Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates can provide a diagnosis and begin a treatment plan during your first clinic visit.

“I think we do a better, faster job at getting from diagnosis to cure,” says Terrence Hess, DPM. Hess and his colleagues utilize industry-leading diagnostic imaging, such as weightbearing 3D CT scans and X-ray, in conjunction with ultrasound, to assess the health of a patient’s feet during the initial evaluation appointment. The findings are shared right
away, so treatment options can be discussed and started immediately, when possible.

Many foot ailments can be solved with nonsurgical treatments. Custom orthotics for shoes and physical therapy are common. Advanced problems, such as diabetic wounds, may require regenerative medicine therapies to accelerate the healing process. If surgery is necessary, most procedures can be done at the clinic and allow you to return home the same day.

To keep your feet healthy for the long term, visiting a podiatrist for preventive care is key, says Hess. “Just as you go to the eye doctor or dentist routinely, you don’t want to wait until a problem arises with your feet,” he explains.

Receiving regular checkups can help identify problems in the early stages when they are easier to treat.

Evaluations for children can be especially beneficial. Family history, physical development and learned habits can lead to problems later on. Hess emphasizes that assessing the structure and function of feet at a young age allows for corrections to be made that can have lifelong benefits.

Foot & Ankle Surgical Associates clinics can be found in Olympia, Tumwater, Centralia, Yelm and Tacoma. New patients are welcome.


Health Starts Where We Live, Work and Play

Healthy choices should be convenient choices for everyone in Western Washington. That’s why Pierce County medical providers are helping families live healthier lives, through programs and services in medical clinics and hospitals throughout our communities.

Tacoma health care quality comes down to access, affordability and outcomes. Out of 39 counties in Washington, Pierce County ranks 24 for health outcomes, 26 for health factors, and 33 for healthy behaviors. Research indicates that a healthy lifestyle may prevent up to 70 percent of common life-threatening diseases, including heart disease, stroke, cancer and diabetes.

Since 2005, Pierce County Gets Fit & Healthy, a countywide initiative to promote the importance of healthy eating and active living, has provided tools to help everyone get fit and healthy. It is a major collaborative effort, led by the MultiCare Center for Healthy Living, the YMCA of Pierce and Kitsap Counties, and the Tacoma-Pierce County Health Department. Best of all, it’s easy to participate. Whatever your health challenge, whatever your fitness goals, Pierce County Gets Fit & Healthy has something for you.

Sure, healthy living is a long-term commitment, but there are steps you can take right now that will make you healthier today than yesterday and pave the way for healthy living tomorrow. Since Pierce County has 50 park sites totaling over 4,200 acres, why not find a walking buddy and get out on one of many walking trails right away? Not sure where to start? Check out the handy walking guide for beginners listed at right.

Health Care Resources


Hospitals washington.hometownlocator.com/features/cultural,class,hospital,scfips,53053.cfm

Medical Clinics

Emergency Services
co.pierce.wa.us/930/Emergency-Medical-Services-EMS Senior


Caregiver Support

Parent Help 123

Maternal Child Outreach

Community Health Care

Children With Special Health Care Needs

Tacoma/Pierce County Health Department

Walking Guide

Northwest Winter Safety Tips for Seniors

During the winter months, slippery sidewalks and cold weather can cause a wide range of injuries and illnesses, especially for seniors. The following tips will help prevent common cold-weather dangers faced by the elderly population.

  1. Avoid slipping on ice. Icy, snowy roads and sidewalks make it easy to slip and fall. These falls often cause major injuries such as hip and wrist fractures, head trauma and major lacerations. Make sure to wear shoes with good traction and nonskid soles, and stay indoors until the roads are clear.
  2. Dress for warmth. Cold temperatures can lead to frostbite and hypothermia, a condition in which the body temperature dips too low. According to the CDC, people over the age of 65 are at greater risk of hypothermia-related death. So limit the time spent outdoors and dress in multiple layers with a good head covering.
  3. Fight wintertime depression. Because it can be difficult and dangerous to get around, many seniors have less contact with others during cold months. This can breed feelings of loneliness and isolation. To help avoid these issues, family members can check in on seniors as often as possible. A short, daily phone call can also make a big difference. Seniors can arrange a check-in system with neighbors and friends, with each person looking in on one or two others daily.
  4. Check the car. Driving during the winter can be hazardous for anyone. But it is especially dangerous for older people, who may no longer drive as often or whose reflexes may not be as quick as they once were. Get your car serviced before wintertime hits—or ask a family member to take it to a garage for you.
  5. Prepare for power outages. Winter storms can lead to power outages. Make sure you have easy access to flashlights and a battery-powered radio in case the power goes out. Stockpile warm blankets. Longer power outages can spoil the food in your refrigerator and freezer so keep a supply of nonperishable foods on hand that can be eaten cold. If the power goes out, wear several layers of clothing, including a hat. Move around a lot to raise your body temperature. Check out the CDC’s winter weather checklist to make sure you have everything you need.
  6. Prevent carbon monoxide poisoning. Using a fireplace, gas heater or lanterns can lead to carbon monoxide poisoning. Ensure your safety by checking the batteries on your carbon monoxide detector and buying an updated one if you need to. The most important tip to keep in mind during the colder months is to ask for help. Arrange rides to the grocery store and doctor’s appointments—many communities have shuttle services specifically for seniors. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help.
  7. ICE (in case of emergency). For seniors who live alone and their long-distance care team: Print out a contact card/in case of emergency card for your senior to give to trusted neighbors, landlords, clergy, and so on to easily locate family members (or power of attorney) should an issue arise.

Wintertime certainly poses challenges for seniors, but with planning and awareness, you will stay healthy and experience the joys of springtime soon enough. Resources cdc.gov/disasters/winter

Living in Pierce County

Pierce County may be one of the most geographically diverse counties in the nation, from the miles of marine shoreline along Puget Sound to the summit of Mount Rainier, one of the most glaciated mountain peaks in the continental U.S. With first-rate health care, school districts, and transportation and a unique combination of urban and rural areas, Pierce County is the perfect place to call home. Whether you prefer a small town, major metropolis, or something in between, Pierce County is home to numerous cities and towns offering an array of qualities. Urbanites are drawn to downtown Tacoma for its competitively priced living spaces with sweeping mountain, city and water views. Families gravitate toward Tacoma’s charming neighborhoods with big-city amenities. Pierce County communities are unique—enjoy rhubarb pie in Sumner, antiques in Puyallup, maritime in Gig Harbor, majestic gardens in Lakewood, history in Fife, or nature in the rural areas near Mount Rainier—it’s all here. BY KELLY LENIHAN


The Pacific Northwest is known for its rain. But the temperate climate of Pierce County averages only 39.9 inches of rainfall a year (less than most cities on the East Coast!).


Travel by land, air and water with the Port of Tacoma, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport and Sound Transit’s rail and bus system. The Pierce County Ferry, Amtrak and Pierce Transit are just a few more examples of the convenient transportation systems available.


Ready to go out and explore? Whether you’re interested in dining and nightlife, the performing arts, museums, shopping, farmers markets, hiking, golfing, and more—we’ve got you covered!


Exceptional academic institutions and learning experiences can be found in Pierce County. Please refer to our Education section for more information and resources.


Visit any of the eight Tacoma libraries or 19 Pierce County Library branches. Many services are available online: You can apply for a library card, request books, check the monthly calendar for events and classes, Ask a Librarian, and more.


There is something for everyone when you explore over 4,200 acres at 50 park sites throughout Pierce County, including three recreation centers, a sports complex, ice rink, skateboard park, two boat launch sites, two golf courses, trail corridors, a disc golf course. If you don’t want to leave Fido home, visit any of the dog-friendly parks.


MultiCare Health System is a leading-edge, nonprofit, integrated health organization. It operates four hospitals and numerous clinics serving patients at 93 locations. Franciscan Health System is a comprehensive health care organization operating hospitals, same-day surgery centers, occupational health services, physical therapy clinics and centers for advanced medicine featuring state-of-the-art technology.


Joint Base Lewis-McChord, one of 12 joint bases worldwide, is an amalgamation of the Army post Fort Lewis and McChord Air Force Base. JBLM has more than 25,000 soldiers and civilian workers. The joint base supports over 120,000 military retirees and more than 29,000 family members living both on and off post. Adjacent to JBLM, Camp Murray is home to the Washington National Guard and the Washington Air National Guard. The two armories at Camp Murray can be used for graduations, receptions, tournaments, youth events, potlucks, seminars and charity events.

Changing Schools After Moving to Pierce County

While there’s a lot to be said for neighborhood public schools—no tuition or complicated application requirements, a sense of community, and that oldfashioned walk to school—parents in Tacoma and Pierce County have an array of enrollment options for educating their kids: 19 school districts with 279 public schools serving 132,018 students, and 62 private schools serving 9,476 students. You can find your designated neighborhood school by typing in a house address at the Pierce County School Finder. If your neighborhood public school isn’t your first choice, consider an innovative school, charter school, private school, online school, or homeschool.

Because every child is an individual in learning style, personality and talents, school districts offer a variety of learning environments to fit the needs of every child, as well as choice enrollment. This means parents can apply to the school that is the right fit for their child. Because of space limitations, families are encouraged to explore their neighborhood school along with other options.

We are committed to learning environments that fit every student. A 14.8% improvement in three years and we’re not letting up. Volunteers and community partners play a huge role in student success. Our emphasis on early learning sets a foundation for achievement. ~Tacoma Public Schools


  • Walk around the grounds and buildings of the new school with your child to show them where everything is, ahead of the time when they start school.
  • Introduce yourself to your new neighbors. Perhaps your child can meet some classmates before the first day at the new school.
  • Talk to the principal of the new school. Ask about how the school helps new children adjust to the school, such as a buddy system.
  • Talk to the school counselors and inform them that your kids are experiencing not just a new school but a major house move as well.
  • If your child has additional needs, talk to the appropriate staff at the new school about its facilities and support programs.
  • If you haven’t already, look into extracurricular activities (associated with the school or not) to give the kids opportunities to meet new friends.
  • Get a copy of school guidelines. Your children may be used to different rules on dress codes, makeup, locker use, PE class and the like.
  • Help your child have the right clothes and equipment, such as sports uniform on sports day. Before buying uniforms, though, you may want to wait until you get to the school to see what items most kids wear.
  • Make sure your child knows how to get to and from school—for example, which route for walking, or where you’ll pick up and drop off, or where the bus stops are.
  • Visit the after-school care facilities if your child will be using them.
  • If possible, get a copy of your child’s weekly timetable so the whole family knows what’s happening and what your child needs each day.
  • Learn as much as you can about your children’s new school, to help them feel more comfortable. Kids are most focused on fitting in, so knowing what that means to them can help.

PIERCE COUNTY SCHOOL FINDER RESOURCES: schooldigger.com/go/WA matterhornago.co.pierce.wa.us/infobyaddress (click additional info)

Community Spotlight: South Sound Success Story

anthem coffee: community-centric, thankful and ‘loud’

We all have a favorite coffee shop. For some, it’s a place that offers a quiet ambiance. For others, their favorite is a matter of convenience: a quick fix from the drive-thru before the morning commute. And then there is Anthem Coffee, delivering exceptional service, an energetic atmosphere and pretty fabulous coffee.

Anthem isn’t new to the coffee game. Before launching the brand in 2011, CEO and co-founder Bryan Reynolds and his family spent five years learning the business under the Forza banner, becoming the No. 1 store in the franchise. Once their agreement with Forza ended, the family started their own shop and opened the downtown Tacoma location, followed by downtown Puyallup. Three new locations opened over the past few years: Old Town, University Place and Point Ruston.

Its mission is simple—create an environment in the community where relationships can be built. Anthem calls this “heroic hospitality.” “Without community, there is no business,” says Reynolds. “We inspire community. We want to be a part of the customer’s story and fuel people for their journey.”

What about the name? “We are loud. We are different from the normal coffee shop,” says Reynolds. The family felt that Anthem, something that is often loud and unifying, best described what they were trying to create. The name stuck. “When you drink Anthem coffee, you live loud.”

Along with a menu of espresso-based drinks, Anthem offers wine, beer on tap and an impressive food menu, including naan bread pizzas, gourmet sandwiches, and appetizers like sweet potato fries.

The Reynolds family appreciates the continued support from communities they serve. “We are thankful for the belief in our brand. We are thankful for every day we get to serve people,” says Bryan Reynolds.

What’s your Anthem?