Our Vision

To build a coalition to comprehensively address the needs of the South Side of Tacoma and foster stable communities where citizens have easy access to food, shelter, physical and behavioral health services, high-quality education, and an overall safe and nurturing environment.

The 253 Impact Zone Area

The South Side of Tacoma is made up of two neighborhood council boundary areas identified as South Tacoma (on the West side of I-5) and South End (on the East side of I-5). Collectively, the South Side has a population of over 65,000 residents, nearly one-third of the total population of Tacoma. The median income of the South Side is $10,000 lower than Tacoma as a whole, and between 68% – 86% of the students at South Side schools qualify for free or reduced-price lunch, an indicator of poverty. Communities In Schools of Tacoma is already serving some South Side schools and our goal over the next few years is to establish “feeder patterns” where students attending an elementary school can continue to receive support throughout their middle and high school years.

Download the 253 Impact Zone Case Statement below to learn more about the area we serve.

A Coalition of Support

One of the central pillars of the Communities In Schools mission is to surround students with a community of support–we know that students and communities thrive when the entire community is invested. To support the needs of the 253 Impact Zone area, we are assembling a coalition of partner organizations, businesses, local government agencies and officials, community members, parents, and students. Our coalition meets monthly every second Thursday to discuss the issues facing this area and actions we can take to make a positive impact in the community.

Representatives of following partners have attended 253 Impact Zone coalition meetings:

  • City of Tacoma
  • Pierce County Council
  • Tacoma Public Schools Community Partnerships office
  • Tacoma Pierce County Health Department
  • Community Health Care
  • Nourish Pierce County (formerly Fish Food Banks)
  • Lindquist Dental
  • Centro Latino
  • Pacific Lutheran University
  • Safe Streets
  • Sound Outreach
  • South Lakeshore Christian Church
  • South Tacoma Neighborhood Council
  • Tacoma Rescue Mission
  • Tacoma Housing Authority
  • Workforce Development Council
  • United Way of Pierce County
  • Molina Healthcare
  • Coordinated Care
  • Tacoma Police Department
  • Redeem Church
  • Monument Church
  • ResCare Workforce Services
  • South Tacoma Auto
  • William Factory Small Business Incubator

Representatives of South Side Schools:

  • Arlington Elementary
  • Mann Elementary
  • Reed Elementary
  • Stafford Elementary
  • Whitman Elementary
  • Birney Elementary
  • Fern Hill Elementary
  • Giaudrone Middle
  • Mt. Tahoma High

To learn more about the 253 Impact Zone Coalition or to find out about our next meeting, contact Nova Hernandez at nhernan@tacoma.k12.wa.us or 253-571-4978.