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Community-Assisted Resources for Equity

CARE Fund Report: 2017-2018

The CARE Fund provides limited financial assistance to indigent Thurston County residents to help close their court cases or get their suspended drivers’ licenses back. We also support other urgent needs, such as short-term housing, transportation, education and medical costs for those with cases in the court system. The maximum amount of assistance we offer is $500.

As Brenda BigEagle, Mitigation Specialist, Thurston County Public Defense, puts it: “The CARE Fund has been an essential asset to the Thurston County Public Defense office in supporting vulnerable people in our community—those who suffer from mental illness, substance abuse and homelessness. The Fund understands how an arrest can have serious collateral consequences. They have prevented our clients from having to sleep on the street after release from jail, allowing them time to find employment and get signed up for services. The Fund has provided our clients with much-needed free monthly bus passes and enabled many people to get their driver’s licenses reinstated.”

How the fund operates

The Fund accepts client referrals from public defenders, jail staff, social service agencies, and the courts. Fund managers review applications and make payment directly to agencies to which the debt is owed. Last year, the CARE fund distributed $13,053.67 from pledges, grants, and individual donations to 150 people, up from 94 people in 2016-17. The primary uses of funds were for providing support for license reinstatement, housing, and bus passes. Court fees and other forms of transportation were also types of expenses supported by the fund.

Comments from three recipients:

Recently I received financial assistance from your program in order to help get my driver’s license back. At the time I was unable to act on this situation on my own. The CARE team was more than kind and willing to assist. I am grateful that your mission of cooperation and understanding helped me obtain my peace. –SH

I would like to thank you for the assistance in paying my renewal fee to get my license back. I have a terminal genetic disorder which requires I get my blood drawn weekly. The ability to drive to my doctors’ appointments and labs and to do my other chores has greatly improved my day-to-day life. —YM

Thank you for purchasing my bus ticket to be able to make it to my son’s re-sentencing hearing on October 1, 2018. It means the world to me. I wish there were more people like you in this world. It would make this world a better place if there was. —VS

Interfaith Works is the Fund’s fiscal manager. Here’s how to donate:

By check: make check payable to Interfaith Works. Indicate CARE Fund in Memo line. Mail to Interfaith Works P.O. Box 1221 Olympia, WA 98507.

By credit card: Go to On right side of page, enter CARE Fund in “Note.” Then continue as usual.

By Bill Pay/EFT: (for ongoing monthly or quarterly donations):Specify Interfaith Works and that you are designating the donation for CARE Fund.

Community-Assisted Resources for Equity • 360-915-9035 •

Fund managers: Maureen Hill, Wendy Tanowitz (governor), Rob Mead (governor), Steve Tilley

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