Alternative BreakAway program conducts meaningful volunteer service with our local and national communities.

The goal of UW Tacoma’s alternative breaks program is to have students identify social justice issues relevant to them and seek out nonprofit partnerships working to address them. The Center for Service and Leadership assists with training for site leaders, coordination of site locations and fundraising efforts. The new alternative breaks program at UW Tacoma is based on the National Break Away organization’s recommended model for successful programs incorporating components of an Active Citizen Continuum.


Tacoma Rescue Mission-  Summer BreakAway Trip  (Winter)

Applications Due OCT 30th -- Apply Today!

Join a team of 10-12 UW Students sharing an experience to gain awareness on the social issue of homelessness in Tacoma while working with Tacoma Rescue Mission (TRM). UW Tacoma and TRM have been partnering together for 2 years, where they have invited us once again for a third BreakAway to learn and serve with their mission to spread “help, hope and healing among the most impoverished members of our community.”  


  • Trip Dates:  September Dec 17th- 23rd
  • Training/Preparation Dates: Nov. 17th, Dec, 1st, Dec 8th (3-7pm)
  • Post Trip Re-Orientations Dates: TBD by group

*NOTE: You must be able to attend ALL training and trip dates to participate



This BreakAway trip entails spending our days AND overnights at TRM. We will be assisting with projects in support of family clients, teen clients, adult clients, kitchen staff, shelters and education programs. All projects and program activities will be conducted in groups under the direct supervision of trained TRM staff.  Your activities will include:

  • Preparing meals for clients experiencing homelessness
  • Sharing meals in a group with staff and discovering their amazing journies to this work
  • Refurbishing facilities (paint, sanding, beautification projects etc.)
  • Sorting quality donations in the warehouse
  • Many more...

You will be staying and lodging with Tacoma Rescue Mission owned facilities, provided for us through the organization. These accommodations in no way will be taking away from the TRM clients, staff or other residents at TRM, and are considered an important part of the community awareness mission we share with TRM.  Meals will be provided and prepared by us and shared with our community partners.  This exciting opportunity requires students eager to listen, learn and get outside their comfort-zones as we BreakAway!  We hope you will join us.

Please note: As Tacoma Rescue Mission is a faith based organization, UWT BreakAway does not engage in any religious practices throughout the trip (though students may observe others practicing their faith).






Today gave me an insight to think about the world that I would've never thought of.- TRM Anonymous Reflection


Now that it’s almost over I feel that I’ve really grown as a person. I’ve learned more about myself on this trip and the importance of having a sense of community, relationships, appreciations, and teamwork. - TRM Anonymous Reflection


I think I really appreciated every moment of today. I got to connect with my peers annd I was able to see/acknowledge a fear that I still need to confront- TRM Anonymous Reflection


I assumed christian based discrimination...[But] they were open… No power trip with mike and same with his clients: mutual relationships.- TRM Anonymous Reflection


My opinions on the issue changed entirely . Partly because I didn't have such strong ideas on homelessness in general. And partly because I actually feel more educated after spending a week here.


My understanding has become more compassionate. I know now what this place is and stands for. And it's not just a place to sleep and eat.- TRM Anonymous Reflection


During reflection we discussed how our place here is volunteering only for a week. It's temporary and today has meant A LOT for me. I can't …I won't be doing the same thing and ignoring or side-stepping the people I see on the street after today and after this program. -TRM Anonymous Reflection


The past days of service felt really important to me personally. With the amount of stories shared it made me question certain things about my beliefs and values. They changed my way of seeing. -TRM Anonymous Reflection








For questions, please contact our Spring Breakaway Coordinator Kanza Hamidani altbrk1@uw.edu