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The Russell Family Foundation Distributes $175,000 in Flexible Funding to Six Puget Sound Community Groups For Work Sustaining Academic Access, Reducing Youth Homelessness


Jacque Seaman / May Wildman

The Fearey Group for The Russell Family Foundation

(206) 343-1543,


The Russell Family Foundation Distributes $175,000 in Flexible Funding to Six Puget Sound Community Groups For Work Sustaining Academic Access, Reducing Youth Homelessness


Grants will support community-centered efforts to increase housing opportunities for unhoused Pierce County youth, encourage local students’ leadership skills, mentorship and college completion

June 30, 2020 (Gig Harbor, Wash.)The Russell Family Foundation (TRFF) today announced six general operating grants totaling $175,000 across its Jane’s Fund portfolio, which emphasizes community-based efforts to boost students’ access to education, end youth homelessness and develop grassroots leaders in Pierce County.

Grants range from supporting Degrees of Change to increase access to and persistence in college to helping Hilltop Artists sustain its glassblowing and arts youth mentorship outreach programs at local schools.

“We are proud to support organizations whose missions are centered around the development of young leaders,” said Kathleen Simpson, Interim Chief Executive Officer of TRFF. “Flexibility in funding to support community organizations working with the next generation will go a long way in keeping young people of our region supported and on track for success.”

Details for the organizations receiving general operating fund grants are as follows:

  • A Way Home Washington$15,000
    A Way Home Washington exists to end youth homelessness in Washington state. The organization provides leadership, best practices, technical assistance and coordination to Pierce County, as one of four communities identified in its Anchor Communities Initiative addressing youth homelessness, launched in 2018.
  • The Coffee Oasis$25,000
    The Coffee Oasis supports ongoing specialized services, programming and case management for homeless and at-risk youth. Its Serra House in Tacoma provides emergency housing for 13-17 year-old homeless youth in Pierce County.
  • Degrees of Change$45,000
    Degrees of Changes works to help close persistent gaps in college completion through partnerships with higher education institutions and other anchor organizations. The organization’s programs support students as they begin, persist in and graduate from college and transition into the workforce.
  • Foundation for Tacoma Students$35,000 (multi-year)
    The Foundation for Tacoma Students supports a collective-impact approach to help students achieve success from cradle to college and career through a partnership of 270+ organizations. This includes working to remove barriers such as startup costs and housing as students graduate and transition into higher education pursuits.
  • Hilltop Artists$15,000
    Hilltop Artists’ efforts include a youth mentorship program involving hands-on skill building and learning in glassblowing for 650 youth in Tacoma, Wash. and surrounding areas, as well as comprehensive support for students experiencing homelessness, food insecurity and other issues through its year-round outreach program.
  • REACH Center$40,000 (multi-year)
    REACH Center is a Tacoma, Wash.-based drop-in center working to equip and embolden young people to achieve success in education, employment and housing stability. The organization delivers programs to support education, employment training and housing support, peer mentorship, legal assistance and mental health resources.

For more information about Jane’s Fund or The Russell Family Foundation, visit


About The Russell Family Foundation

Founded by Jane and George Russell in 1999, The Russell Family Foundation provides a way for their extended family to make a positive impact in the community. The foundation does so by funding local, regional and global change through community investment in causes including grassroots leadership, environmental sustainability and global peace. The foundation applies its values of integrity, mutual trust, constructive communication, lifelong learning and courage to all its work with a focus on place-based philanthropy particularly in the Puget Sound region. For more information, please visit and on Facebook.