Who We Are
Since 1910, Tacoma Community House has promoted social justice and today offers equity-advancing programs through Immigration, Education, Employment, Advocacy, and Housing.
Tacoma Community House is a nationally-respected, community-based service center for immigrants, refugees, and long-time South Sound residents seeking enrichment and pathways to self-sufficiency. For 110 years, we have helped countless individuals gain the skills they need to transition out of poverty, navigate a new culture, and find personal and professional success.
Many people come to us seeking one type of service and end up utilizing others, making us one of Tacoma’s most unique “one stop shops.” Annually, we provide 3,500 program services to 3,200 individuals from over 115 countries through our four core programs: Immigration, Education, Employment and Advocacy (for crime victims).
Tacoma Community House opened its doors on January 10, 1910. Built as a Settlement House to serve Tacoma’s Italian and Scandinavian communities, it evolved with the neighborhood’s changing needs and became a prominent center for immigrants of all backgrounds.
Tacoma Settlement House had its “soft start” in 1907 when the Home Missionary Board of the Methodist Church saw that Tacomans did not have a place where their children could gather for lessons, entertainment, and play. The Church appointed a committee to organize this missionary work, and in turn, the committee raised enough money to rent a house at 1316 South M Street.
By 1913, two Methodist deaconesses — Miss Chayer and Miss Branning — worked full-time to offer songs, stories, crafts, and other activities for the neighborhood’s girls. When they outgrew the space and rented a larger house next door (1320 South M Street), they expanded their programming to include activities, clubs, and interest groups for girls and boys. Then adults, too.
The organization changed its name to Tacoma Community House in 1922 and continued to develop new services as community needs shifted.
In 1923, the agency began offering English classes to newly-arrived Filipino immigrants and workshops for immigrants who needed to get their citizenship papers. TCH achieved many “firsts” during this prosperous time — from organizing Tacoma’s first baby clinic and kindergarten class, to hiring the city’s first African American teacher.
TCH has contributed to the livelihoods of nearly every ethnic group that has called Tacoma and the South Puget Sound “home.” From Southeast Asian refugees displaced by war in the 1960s and 70s, to today’s greater numbers from Mexico, Vietnam, Ukraine, and Moldova, TCH aims to be a Welcoming Home for all.
Tacoma Community House creates opportunities for immigrants and other community members in the Puget Sound region through comprehensive services focused on self-sufficiency, inclusion, and advocacy.
We are a pathway to change leading to generations of self-sufficient people and a region welcoming of immigrants and refugees.
Tacoma Community House has a profile in the community for providing high-quality services to people in need. Our annual reports highlight the clients we serve and the successes we facilitate. Please explore these publications and learn more about how we make a difference in the lives of people every day.
Tacoma Community House provides electronic access to our 990s for those who are interested in the financial strength of our organization. The most recent 990s are available as PDF files below. You can also check out our profile at Guidestar.com.