Financial Literacy Classes

Our classes cover a variety of topics such as budgeting, goals, values, debt, credit, insurance, ID theft, consumerism, home ownership, transportation, and investing.

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.

Poverty IQ Workshops

Our Poverty IQ Workshops are aimed to provide a new perspective on poverty and those who are in it. To truly help someone, we must understand the context and culture in which they live.


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.

Financial Literacy 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. Another part of our work is to educate the community at large about poverty related issues and help them understand strategies that will truly help someone struggling with financial distress. 


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. 

Currently we can meet online (Zoom), or via phone. Generally, our fees for financial coaching sessions are $25 per hour, however, we have temporarily waived our fees for this service with the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.


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 our clients 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 meeting 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! 360-306-8326 

Poverty IQ Workshop


Do you ever wonder why poverty persists? Poverty is a vast, complex, multifaceted topic. There are many ideas about the subject- as well as opinions. Our Poverty IQ Workshop is based on Dr. Ruby Payne's "Framework for Understanding Poverty" research. We are certified presenters of her program that can bring light to some of the questions that people in agencies, schools, businesses and churches may have about those they work with. 

To truly help someone, we must understand the context and culture in which they live. This workshop uses Payne's quantitative and qualitative research, real life examples and even a sprinkle of humor and aids in gathering a new perspective on those experiencing poverty.

Please give us a call to discuss scheduling a workshop for a group.




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 $50 gift card to Fred Meyer that can cover the cost of clothes or whatever other supplies they may need for their school year. We also include a care package for the parent/caregiver to support and encourage them too. The cost to the family for this supplies is $20 that will then go towards helping another family through a financial literacy class. This event follows our hand-up model that empowers our clients and gives them the opportunity to empower someone else at the same time. It's is one of our most popular events and we look forward to it every year. This event would not be possible without the support of our amazing Whatcom community. If you are interested in donating to this program, or Whatcom Dream’s other services, please click the yellow donate button above. If you are interested in being a participant in this event, please contact

The Christmas Shoppe program works similarly. Each year we allow low-income families to come shop for quality, new toys for their children at prices they can afford (75% 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 for the community possible. Your continued support makes valuable differences to our members. 


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

  • Sep 28, 6:30 PM – 7:30 PM PDT
    Blaine, 508 G St, Blaine, WA 98230, USA
    Class meets each Tuesday evening at 508 G Street in Blaine, WA for 6 consecutive weeks. Sorry, no childcare available. Class is free and free financial mentoring is available upon completion of class.
  • Time is TBD
    Zoom Conference