Financial Empowerment is one of the most important life skills one can attain. We not only help people learn these skills, we have programs that give them a "hand up" along the way.

The financial classes not only provide our clients with financial tools, but more importantly have proven to be the springboard to lasting relationships where we are able to help people realize their dreams through higher education, encourage them to go after a higher paying job, help them clean up their credit to obtain more stable housing and help remove other barriers so that their lives are changed for the better! 

Another part of our work is to educate the community at large about poverty related issues and help them understand strategies that will help someone struggling with financial distress in a manner that is truly helpful, supportive and compassionate. 

Our next 8-week (free) Financial Empowerment Class begins Sept 14, 2022 at 6pm. Unfortunately, this class is full. If you would like to place your name on the cancellation list please call (360) 306-8324. Our next class will launch in January 2023, date and time tbd.


Private Financial Coaching

Whether you have a particular issue to discuss, or if you would prefer to meet privately, the Whatcom Dream offers private financial coaching sessions to help you achieve your goals.


Poverty Simulation Events

Our poverty simulation events are designed to raise community awareness of the the realities of living on a very low-income budget while trying to meet basic needs for your family.



These two programs are examples of our "hand up" helping philosophy. Our goal is to come along side of families as they gain skills to make a better future for themselves.


Private Financial Coaching

Is there a specific financial literacy topic you want to discuss? Would you prefer to meet privately with someone? Our individual private financial coaching sessions provide valuable information tailored specifically towards what you want to learn. No matter where you are on your path to becoming financially literate, we can offer you sound guidance to help you reach your goals. 

We can meet 1-on-1 with individuals online (Zoom), in-person, or via phone. Our fees for financial coaching sessions are $25 per hour. Scholarships are also available.


Please call us at 360-306-8324 if you are interested in meeting one-on-one with one of our financial coaches.


Poverty Simulation Events

Our Poverty Simulation Events allow participants to walk directly into the "lives" (as much as possible) of fictional low-income families. Face the challenge of meeting your basic needs in the fictional town of Realville.

Every 15 minutes resembles one week in the simulation. For  one "month" participants get to see poverty from a dramatically different experiential perspective. The day-to-day realities of too little money and too much stress become personal - and transformational.

Unfortunately, poverty is far from fictional. That's why the goal of the Poverty Simulation Event is to raise community awareness about the difficult realities of trying to meet your basic needs while on a very low-income.

If you are interested in hosting a Poverty Simulation Event at your school, church, agency or business please give us a call and we can fill you in on the details! 360-306-8324 

Gotcha Covered & The Christmas Shoppe


Our Gotcha Covered back-to-school event is centered around helping families get the necessary supplies for their children for the school year. We fill a backpack with school supplies for qualifying children as well as give them a $100 gift card to Fred Meyer that can cover the cost of clothes or whatever other supplies they may need for their school year. The cost to the family is $25 which then goes into our financial literacy scholarship fund and allows another family to go through a financial literacy class. The event follows our "hand-up" model which empowers our clients, giving them the opportunity to pay-it-forward to someone else at the same time. If you are interested in donating or participating in this event, please email us at: info@whatcomdream.org.

The Christmas Shoppe program works similarly. Each year low-income families come shop for quality, new toys for their children at prices they can afford (75%-90% off retail). Proceeds from The Christmas Shoppe funnel into our financial literacy scholarship fund as well.

These two programs are examples of our "hand up" helping philosophy. Our goal is to come along side of families as they gain skills to make a better future for themselves.


As a non-profit, our work would not be possible without the generous support of various local businesses, churches, institutions, donations, and grants. We would like to extend a very warm thank you to everyone who has made our work in the community possible.  


Alaska USA Federal Credit Union

Bellingham Bay Rotary Club

Bellingham Food Coop SEED Program

Jansen Foundation

Lucky Seven Foundation

McEachern Charitable Trust

Norcliffe Foundation

Union Bank Foundation

Washington Federal Foundation

WECU Education First Project

Whatcom Community Foundation

Windermere Foundation

Local Businesses & Churches

Ahn Tax & Business Advisors

Assemblies of God Foundation

Bay City Supply

Barnett Enterprises, Inc.

Bellingham Harborview Lions Club

Best Recycling

Birch Equipment

Bornstein Seafoods

Business Pulse Magazine

Christ The King Community Church

Cornwall Church

Dairy Distribution, Inc.

Dewey Griffin Subaru

Ecotech Energy Systems, Inc.

First Presbytarian Church

Hardware Sales

HUB International

J.G. Hansen, Inc.

Kids World, Inc.

Larson Gross, PLLC

Ludeman Capital Management

Lyndale Glass

Lynne Nelson Counseling

Metrie, Inc.

Nick Berard Real Estate Group, Inc.

Northlake Community Church

Rice Insurance

Roosevelt Community Church


Smith Gardens, Inc.

Special T Striping & Design

Squalicum Builders

Sonlight Christian Community Reformed Church

The Muljat Group, Inc.

TLM Bellingham, LLC

Turner Services, Inc.

West Edge Credit Union

Westlyn Feed

Whatcom Home Repair

Windermere Real Estate Whatcom, Inc.

Windermere Rental Management

Partner Agencies & Institutions

Lighthouse Mission Ministries, Bellingham

Engedi Refuge, Lynden

Opportunity Council, Bellingham

Head Start, Whatcom County

Family Promise of Whatcom County

Goodwill Industries of Bellingham

New Way Ministries, Lynden

Bellingham Technical College, Bellingham

Whatcom Community College, Bellingham

Worksource, Bellingham

Sonlight CRC Church, Lynden

Community Assistance Program, Blaine

Mercy Services, Bellingham & Ferndale

Department of Social and Health Services, Bellingham


Contact Us!



1846 Iron St.

Bellingham, WA  98225







“I would like to thank those who fund this life changing opportunity - I improved my money management skills, but The Whatcom Dream helped me set tangible goals that will help me get ahead in life and build a better future for myself and my family.” 

—  Rich, single father of two & Graduate of Financial Literacy Program

Upcoming Events

  • 8-week Financial Empowerment Class
    Bellingham, 1846 Iron St, Bellingham, WA 98225, USA
    Learn the basics of financial well being in this 8-week, free class! Topics covered include Saving, Budgeting, Banking,Debt, Credit, Insurance, Transportation, Consumerism, Savvy Shopping, Home Ownership and investing for beginners.