Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation, POM receive money for counseling, financial support

The two nonprofits are putting $85,000 to work in the Enumclaw School District community.

Two local nonprofits recently received a total of $85,000 to continue counseling resource programs for local students.

Virginia Mason Franciscan Health announced the grants for Plateau Outreach Ministries and the Rainier Foothills Wellness Foundation on April 22.

The two nonprofits work in tandem to get students both mental health care in their schools and families the resources they may need to stay afloat financially; RFWF received $60,000, and POM the remaining $25,000.

According to Executive Director Sara Stratton, the Rainier Foothills will be using its portion of its grant to continue and expand its school counseling program.

RFWF partners with Maple Valley-based Eidens Therapy Group to supply three counselors for ESD students, from 6th to 12th grade, to use during the school year (minus breaks). Roughly 200 students utilize these one-on-one or group therapy services, which is partly funded by the cities of Enumclaw and Black Diamond, as well as the Muckleshoot Tribe and Mutual of Enumclaw.

Thanks to the new grant, RFWF was able to hire a fourth counselor last month, which will mean students be able to receive counseling services year ‘round – including holidays and summer break – and their families can receive as well.

This is a free program.

POM will be using its funds to help families that are referred to its financial assistance programs, which include rental aid and utility vouchers.

“We are honored to received this grant,” said POM Executive Director Elisha Smith-Marshall. “We are really excited to work in partnership with Rainier Wellness, the School, and the VMFH to provide financial assistance and resources to families in our community.