Wondering how to find Community in Tacoma? Whether you’ve moved to Tacoma recently or you’ve been in Tacoma for your whole life, one of the questions I get the most often is, “How do I find Community in Tacoma?”
Finding Community in Tacoma
There are lots of things we can do to make finding our people easier. Depending on what stage of life you’re at and what kind of lifestyle you live, there are a lot of different approaches you can take. Check out this video I made with my niece Keryn about how we’ve found community in Tacoma over the years:
In this video we talk about all of the different ways we’ve found friends and community in Tacoma over the years. Below I go into more detail on our ideas and a few more I’ve gathered from friends and clients:
Volunteering for Non-Profits
Learning more about the organizations that make Tacoma great is one of the biggest benefits of volunteering. Volunteering is also a great way to connect with people who care about things that matter to you. You can start small helping organizations in the community and move up to sitting on boards and committees and helping these organizations make big decisions. Here are a few places you might consider starting your volunteering journey:
The Grand Cinema – Keryn and I both volunteered with The Grand Cinema in Downtown Tacoma when we first got here. The Grand is open 365 days a year, and volunteers are a vital part of keeping this popular local theater open. You can apply to be a volunteer on their website. In addition to perks like free movie tickets and popcorn you also get to meet TONS of people, from other volunteers to folks coming to see the movies. It’s a fun way to dip your toe into the Tacoma Community.
Humane Society of Tacoma Pierce County – If you love animals and have 6 hours per month to volunteer, The Humane Society in Central Tacoma is a great place to connect with other animal lovers in Tacoma. Click here to learn more about how to apply to volunteer.
Oscar’s Enemies – Oscar’s Enemies started as some friends picking up trash for their friend Jessica Tweed’s birthday. The volunteers at Oscar’s Enemies have gathered for regular community trash cleanup days since that day. Hundreds of volunteers have helped collect thousands and thousand of pounds of garbage. The group now has specialized jobs – sweepers, drivers, full trash bag collectors, and route leaders – who lead volunteers as they scour their selected routes each month. Want to join them? Check out @oscarsenemies on Instagram and see the latest events here.
Co-working and Professional Connections
For me, a big part of the community I found in Tacoma was through coworking. While the coworking space I used to work out of no longer exists, Tacoma now has multiple coworking offices around town. The spaces have different amenities and vibes where you can meet professionals at all levels of their careers.
Union Club – Located in the St Helens Neighborhood near the McMinimins Elks Temple. Tacoma Union Club has both coworking and event space. We did an interview with them on the Move to Tacoma Podcast when they opened, you can listen to it here.
Surge Tacoma – Located in Downtown Tacoma near the University of Washington Tacoma. Surge has been offering conference rooms, meeting space, fixed offices, and coworking space for years. You can learn more about Surge on their website here.
Pioneer Collective – This stunning coworking office is located in Downtown Tacoma’s Old Post Office building. The Old Post Office is now known as Courthouse Square. We interviewed the folks from Pioneer Collective on the podcast, click here to listen!
In addition to co-working groups like Spaceworks, Tacoma Chamber of Commerce, and Channel253 area great places to begin connecting with professionals in Tacoma. The organizations often have in person events where you can connect in person.
Spiritual Life & Wellness Groups
Like most cities, Tacoma is home to various Christian Churches, Buddhist Temples, Synagogues, and Mosques. In addition to these there are other ways to engage in spiritual life and wellness groups in Tacoma.
Center for Spiritual Living – Located in the North Slope, CSL is dedicated to helping people discover an inner power to transform their personal life and make the world a better place. They have services on Sundays and many other specific activities like book clubs, mediation, and climate activism
12 Step Groups – Tacoma has Alcoholics Anonymous meetings and Al-Anon meetings. Al-Anon meetings are for friends and family members of people struggling with addiction. There are meetings every day of the week multiple times per day. In addition there is Refuge Recovery, and Codependents Anonymous.
Getting Active with Others
If being physically active and getting out in nature is your thing there are lots of choices in Tacoma. Finding community in Tacoma with other people who love being active is pretty easy. Here are some groups that are getting outside rain or shine in Tacoma:
Puget Sound Plungers – A group of people who have discovered the magic of cold water and are practicing cold water immersion/deliberate cold exposure in the Puget Sound. You can follow them on Instagram or join their Facebook group here!
Tacoma Runners – Tacoma Runners is a social running club interested in growing the running community of Tacoma, Washington. Tacoma Runners has two runs per week all year round. We offer a free 5k every Saturday morning at Point Defiance Park and a Thursday night “beer run” from a different bar or restaurant. Founded January 2010. All skill levels are welcome. Find out where the next run is here.
Tacoma Mountaineers – The Tacoma Mountaineers helps people explore, conserve, learn about, and enjoy the lands and waters of the Pacific Northwest and beyond. Click here to learn about classes and events they are offering.
There are so many ways for LGBTQ folks to find community in Tacoma. Tacoma celebrates in July so combined with Seattle Pride you get two months of Pride in the summer! There are events and gatherings all year long with opportunities to gather, learn, celebrate, volunteer, and advance LGBTQ rights in Washington State. Here are some places to get started:
The Rainbow Center – Through education, advocacy, and celebration, Tacoma’s Rainbow Center expands resources and safe space for the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning, two-spirit, and allied (LGBTQ2SA) community. Their annual fundraising “Gayla” is one of the best fundraisers and parties in Tacoma- held in the Fall!
Oasis Youth Center – Oasis transforms the lives of queer and questioning youth by creating a safe place to learn, connect, and thrive. Located in Downtown Tacoma, they also have a satelite location in Lakewood.
The Mix – A bar for the Queer Community to gather. Located in the St Helens Neighborhood of Downtown Tacoma. They have parties and events throughout the year and karaoke every single night of the week!
Still want to learn more about the queer community in Tacoma? Listen to this podcast we did with Quincy and Matthew from Tacoma Rainbow Center and Oasis on the Move to Tacoma Podcast!
Additional resources for people finding community in Tacoma:
How to Make Friends in Tacoma – Move to Tacoma Podcast
Things I wish I knew before I moved to Tacoma – Blog Post
How Move to Tacoma Works
Our clickable neighborhood map of Tacoma’s neighborhoods is our pride and joy. Click through to find images and videos of each neighborhood. The Neighborhood guides on the map also include median home price information, blog posts about the neighborhoods, podcast episodes about the neighborhoods, and candid quotes from local neighbors.
The best way to learn about Tacoma is to hear from the people who live here. On the Move to Tacoma Podcast Marguerite interviews Tacomans who’ve been here generations and Tacomans who just got here. From business and technology leaders to politicians and activists and everyone in between. The Move to Tacoma Podcast will give you insight into why people move here and how they find meaning and happiness in Tacoma.
On the Move to Tacoma Blog we have been writing about things to do in Tacoma, where to eat in Tacoma, hot button community topics, neighborhoods and more since 2015. There are hundreds of posts to help you find what you love in the City of Destiny. From posts about where to eat and drink to interviews with locals- the blog is a great place to keep up one what’s happening in Tacoma and Pierce County.
Marguerite Martin is a different kind of Tacoma real estate agent. Reach out to find out answers to questions you have about neighborhoods in Tacoma and Pierce County. When the time is right to start looking, Marguerite can connect you with a local real estate agent who specializes in the neighborhoods you love most. You can see reviews from past clients who’ve worked with Marguerite on Yelp and on Google.