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Thurston Asset Building Coalition


Our mission is to connect partners and community resources to promote opportunities for people with limited incomes to become more resilient and prosperous.

We envision a Thurston County wherein all individuals and families are able to live, work, meet basic needs, and prosper.


The Thurston Asset Building Coalition is a network of social service providers, healthcare agencies, financial institutions, community and economic developers, educators, workforce developers, faith communities, businesses, government agencies, coalitions, and individuals. These partners participate in the Coalition to share information and build relationships in order to improve the system(s) that help people meet basic needs and build assets.

We define asset building as the strategies and supports that broaden and stabilize an individual or family’s resources – whether it is income, savings, housing, healthcare, education, or food – so that they may lead healthy, productive, and satisfying lives.


Share Information: We share information about news, events, and resources in the community for people with limited incomes to our email list of more than 300. We host Quarterly Shared Learnings where we in inform providers, businesses, and community leaders about available resources and opportunities. When service providers and community leaders have the best, most up-to-date information they can better help their clients gain access to services.

Build Relationships: We connect partners at our network meetings and other events. We bring coalition members together to discuss gaps in our current services and network and to work together on solutions. We believe that building relationships and making connections is a critical to creating the conditions for improved coordination and collaboration.

Support Collaborations: We support partnerships or collaborations that emerge from the Asset Building Coalition network. Thurston ABC can serve as the convener, facilitator, grant writer, and coordinator for partnerships and collaborations. Sometimes we help a new partnership effort get started and sometimes we become the coordinating entity for a collaborative effort. We have supported a variety of collaborations among our network partners. Over the years our support to collaborations has included coordinated advocacy efforts, joint grant applications, one-time training or event support, and long-term program management.


Our current structure includes a Steering Committee and four Hubs: Economic Advancement, Food, Health and Housing. Each Hub meets monthly or every two months. Hub participants work with partner organizations to build relationships, maintain current information and contacts, improve referrals, identify and fill service gaps when possible, and to reduce duplication of services.


Michael Cade, Thurston Economic Development Council
Christina Daniels, Puget Sound Capital
Winfried Danke, CHOICE Regional Health Network
Sandy DiBernardo, Olympia Federal Savings
Danny Kadden, Interfaith Works
Paul Knox, United Way of Thurston County
Lisa Smith, Enterprise for Equity
Schelli Slaughter, Family Support Center of South Sound (Chair)
Lee Wojnar, O Bee Credit Union


On Tuesday, November 17, Thurston ABC partnered with the United Way of Thurston County and the Community Foundation of South Puget Sound to host “Moving Beyond Poverty,” an event than attracted more than 375 people—attendees included business leaders, local elected officials, social service staff, nonprofit board members, state government worked, and interested community members.

Our goals for “Moving Beyond Poverty” were to increase awareness of the economic challenges that individuals and families face in our region and to help bring about greater understanding of why economic security can be so difficult to attain. We wanted people to walk away from the event with a better understanding of why so many people—including working families—still struggle to make end meet. And we wanted people to understand that improving conditions for working families is the responsibility of our whole community and one of those issues that no single organization can solve by themselves. Our three organizations—Thurston ABC, United Way, and the Community Foundation—intend this event to be the first in a series of events that address this topic. We plan to host another event in the Spring, but first we will seek feedback from community partners on what next steps should be before shaping that event.

In the meantime, to get involved in the Coalition you can attend any of our Hub meetings or upcoming events or join our mailing list. Visit for more information.

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