Whatcom County has a wealth of social services available for families and children. From dental care for the uninsured to parenting classes and day care, the governmental and nonprofit organizations aim to help local people live healthy and fulfilling lives.
Early Learning and Family Services
1111 Cornwall Ave., Suite 200, Bellingham, 360-734-8396, oppco.org/head-start-and-eceap, (Assistance also available in Spanish, Russian, Punjabi or Hindi).
Who: Low-income families and children with special needs.
Early Head Start includes prenatal education, health and nutrition services, and child development for infants to 3-year-olds; Head Start and the Early Childhood Education and Assistance Program include preschool at a child-care partnership site, health assessments, and a variety of mental health, nutrition, family support and social services for 3- to 5-year-olds.
To determine eligibility and find application materials, go online to oppco.org/early-childhood-education-and-assistance/.
Boys and Girls Clubs of Whatcom county
1715 Kentucky St., Bellingham, 360-527-9777; 635 Eighth St., Blaine, 360-332-3008; 2015 Cherry St., Ferndale, 360-384-0753; 2200 N. Nugent Road, Lummi Island, 360-758-2828; and 8800 Bender Road, Lynden, 360-354-9959, whatcomclubs.org.
Who: Youths in kindergarten through 12th grade.
The membership-based nonprofit organization offers affordable after-school and summer programs to youths, with an emphasis on healthy activities and academic achievement.
Check with each location for hours, and find more information at whatcomclubs.org.
Arc of Whatcom County
The Arc is a resource for people who have developmental disabilities and their families, and for the organizations that support them.
Hours: 9 a.m. to noon, Monday through Friday.
Homeless and Emergency Child care
360-734-8396, ext. 227, oppco.org.
Who: Families and children living in transient or emergency situations.
Offers short-term payment of care in a licensed and safe child-care center or family home.
Early Support for Infants and Toddlers
360-734-8396, ext. 229, oppco.org/head-start-and-eceap.
Who: Families with children birth to 3 years old with developmental delays or disabilities.
Early Support offers early intervention services to maximize development in infants and toddlers with disabilities and developmental delays. Eligible families receive individualized early intervention services, which are designed to help children be active, independent and successful.
More information is available at the Early Support for Infants and Toddlers portion of the Department of Early Learning website at del.wa.gov/development/esit/Default.aspx.
Bellingham Food Bank
1824 Ellis St., 360-676-0392, bellinghamfoodbank.org.
Who: Bellingham residents.
Provides emergency food and groceries for people in need. Volunteers and a small staff give out thousands of pounds of produce, dairy, bread and groceries from local donors, gardens and farms. Individuals and families can visit once a week for as long as they need assistance.
Hours: Food distribution hours are 12:30 to 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday, and 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Blaine Food Bank
500 C St., 360-332-6350.
Who: Blaine residents.
Provides food and emergency groceries for people in need.
Hours: 9 a.m. to noon Tuesday and Friday, 5 to 7 p.m. Wednesday.
Christ the King Food Bank
5373 Guide Meridian, Unit D5, Bellingham, 360-733-1337, ext. 240, ctkbellingham.com/food-bank.
Provides emergency assistance with food and sundries.
Hours: 1 to 3 p.m. Tuesday, 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. first and third Saturday of the month.
Ferndale Food Bank
1671 Main St., at rear of the WTA park-and-ride lot, 360-384-1506, ferndalefoodbank.org.
Who: Ferndale residents.
Provides food and grocery assistance for people in need.
Hours: 9 to 11 a.m. Monday, Wednesday and Saturday, 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Tuesday.
Food Lifeline Mobile Pantry
8251 Kendall Road, Kendall, 877-404-7543, ext. 3635, foodlifeline.org.
Provides food and groceries for people in need.
When: Second Saturday of each month.
Foothills Food Bank
St. Peter’s Church, 6210 Mount Baker Highway, Deming, 360-354-2334, bellinghamfoodbank.org/resource.
Who: Families in the Mount Baker foothills community.
Provides food and groceries for people in need.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.
207 Kentucky St., Bellingham, 360-671-8702, bellinghamhopehouse.com.
Hope House falls under the umbrella of Catholic Community Services and Catholic Housing Services of Western Washington.
Who: The organization helps children, youths, families, individuals, seniors, and people with disabilities with a variety of services, from clothing and household items to emergency food, shower passes to the YMCA, and limited financial assistance.
Hours: 9 to 11:30 a.m. Monday, Tuesday and Thursday, noon to 3:30 p.m. Friday. Financial assistance from 9 to 10 a.m. Monday and Thursday and noon to 2 p.m. Friday.
Lummi Community Services
Building Z-5, 2830 Kwina Road, 360-380-6962, lummi-nsn.org.
Who: Income-eligible Native Americans in Whatcom County.
Lummi Community Services Department provides food and energy assistance to low-income households. Services include a food bank, nutrition education, energy assistance, Lummi wood cutting, diapers, clothing and holiday food baskets.
Hours: 12:30 p.m. Friday, except for the first Friday of the month.
Lynden Project Hope Food Bank
205 S. BC Ave., N. 105, 360-354-4673, christianhopeassociation.org.
Who: Must live north of Smith Road (Lynden, Sumas, Everson, Nooksack and Blaine).
Provides food and financial assistance, clothing and utility assistance in the winter.
When: 9:30 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
Nooksack Valley Food Bank
Everson Presbyterian Church, 204 N. Washington St., 360-966-3748 or 360-966-4833.
Who: Sumas, Nooksack or Everson residents with identification.
Provides food and groceries and a prepared lunch at noon.
When: 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Thursday.
Southside Food Bank
Hillcrest Chapel, 1400 Larrabee Ave., Bellingham, 360-733-8400.
Provides food assistance.
When: 10 a.m. to noon, first and third Thursday of the month.
Energy Assistance Program
Whatcom County contact: 360-255-2192, oppco.org/energy-assistance-program.
The program helps pay electricity and natural gas bills for eligible households.
Financial LIteracy and Renter Education (F.L.A.R.E.)
F.L.A.R.E. is a six-week community class that provides information on how to save and to budget money. Participants meet weekly to learn about spending, and can also learn basic skills on how to be a competent renter.
Contact: Lisa Sohni, 360-734-5121, oppco.org.
We Care of Whatcom County
3550 Meridian St., Suite No. 2, Bellingham, 360-647-5415, oppco.org.
Offers clothing, furniture and household items for very low prices. Bags of clothing sell for a few dollars each.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
Blue Skies for Children
2505 Cedarwood Ave., Bellingham, 360-756-6710, blueskiesforchildren.org.
Who: Youths from 6 to 18 who live in Whatcom or Skagit counties and are homeless, low-income or in foster care. If a child is eligible for free or reduced lunch, they are eligible for Blue Skies programs.
The program grants “Little Wishes” (monetary support) for lessons and activities, such as music programs and sports, and for school trip fees, summer camp fees, bicycles and helmets, and a variety of other needs. The program also has an instrument loaner program, gives out shoes and coats for kids, and offers driver education scholarships.
Hours: 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Thursday.
Seventh-Day Adventist Church
910 N. Forest St., Bellingham, 360-733-7056.
The church has a clothing bank for people in need. Visits limited to once per month.
Hours: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. Tuesday.
2912 Northwest Ave., Bellingham, 360-733-1410, salvationarmynw.org.
The Salvation Army provides food, clothing, household items, holiday programs, summer camps, and Puget Sound Energy assistance for shutoff notices.
Hours: 9:30 to 11:30 a.m. and noon to 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday.
Medical and Health Resources
Interfaith Community Health Center
220 Unity St., Bellingham (medical and dental), 360-676-6177; 5616 Third Ave., Ferndale, 360-752-7410; and 2030 Benson Road, Point Roberts, 360-945-2580, interfaithchc.org.
Interfaith provides affordable care, including preventive medical, dental, behavioral health and pharmacy services for children and adults.
Department Of Social And Health Services
4101 Meridian St., Bellingham, 360-714-4024, dshs.wa.gov.
The state agency offers a variety of assistance programs, including food, medical, family planning, child care and financial services.
Whatcom Alliance For Health Advancement
800 E. Chestnut St., lower level, Suite 2, Bellingham, 360-788-6594, whatcomalliance.org.
WAHA provides resources for people who need access to health care services.
Hours: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday, except public holidays.
Sea Mar Community Health Center
4455 Cordata Parkway, Bellingham, 360-671-3225, seamarchc.org.
Sea Mar offers a medical clinic, dental clinic, health education, a migrant outreach program, maternity support services, and Women Infants and Children services in English and Spanish.
Sea Mar serves all people without regard to race, ethnicity, immigration status, gender or sexual preference, and regardless of ability to pay for services.
Hours: Medical clinic open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday, and 8 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday.
Whatcom Counseling and Psychiatric Clinic
3645 E. McLeod Road, Bellingham.
The clinic offers 24-hour crisis support, evaluation and intervention by mental health professionals. Walk-in emergency and next-day appointments are available, as well as a variety of other therapeutic and counseling services.
Contact: For an appointment or to ask about services, call 360-676-2220 or see whatcomcounseling.org.
Hours: 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday.
Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Services
1407 Commercial St., Bellingham, 360-715-1563 or 877-715-1563 (24-hour helpline), dvsas.org.
Commonly referred to as DVSAS, the group offers free services, such as advocacy counseling, support groups, legal assistance and community training, and helps people rebuild their lives.
Northwest Youth Services
1020 N. State St., Bellingham, 360-734-9862, nwys.org.
Northwest Youth Services works with runaways and homeless, abused, neglected and other at-risk youths and young adults in Whatcom and Skagit counties, offering housing programs, vocational opportunities, court diversion, outreach services and a drop-in center.
Hours: Drop-in center open 9 a.m. to noon Monday, Wednesday and Friday, where youths can connect with outreach staff, eat snacks, take a shower, use a computer and learn about other services.
Washington state and Whatcom County Resource Lists
For a comprehensive list of single-entry access to services for children and youths with special health care needs, visit whatcomcounty.us/health/children/pdf/seas_resource_directory_20130723.pdf.
For information about mental health care, children’s and foster care resources, and many other services, visit the state Department of Social and Health Services website at dshs.wa.gov or call 360-714-4000.
For lists of a variety of services, including child care and housing resources, visit the Opportunity Council at oppco.org.