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    Community Spotlight: Fishline

    Last April, our team hosted a food drive with Fishline Food Bank & Comprehensive Services, where our clients helped us net 168 pounds of donations! We caught up with them again one year later to see what items they are most in need of now, discuss the different ways people can help out, and touch on how those who are in need can get assistance.

    1. Tell us a little more about Fishline! What is the mission & values or your organization?
      • For nearly 53 years, Fishline has been working to end homelessness, to provide food to all who need it, to assist in moving people from survival to sustainable success. This work is the heart of Fishline. We also work to keep the dreams of children alive by providing birthday parties and presents when parents can’t make this happen on their own. We feed children on the weekends with our backpack program, and provide emergency clothing. This is some of the work that supports our Mission, Vision and Values.
      • Mission
        • Serving the North Kitsap Community by providing food, emergency services and resources to transform lives.
      • Vision
        • A community where a safety net exists for all people, which includes adequate food, shelter, healthcare and employment.
      • Values
        • Treating all people with dignity and respect.
        • Working collaboratively with other community organizations.
        • Providing quality services to our clients.
        • Focusing on ways that we can continue to improve our services.
    2. What services does your organization provide?
      • Food assistance: Fishline’s food bank is a grocery story style market where clients can “shop” two times a week. The market is stocked with fresh fruits & veggies, canned/dry goods, dairy, eggs, meat and bakery items. (During the COVID-19 crisis we transitioned from a market to pre-ordered grocery boxes for curbside pickup or delivery.)
      • Housing assistance: First month’s rent assistance, eviction prevention, one time rental/mortgage assistance for those experiencing a financial crisis, homeless housing support, HomeShare – a housemate matching service and SafePark – a safe place for single women living in the cars to spend the night.
      • Utility Services: Fishline can help with emergency support for electricity, water/sewer, as well as firewood and other essentials like propane or oil.
      • Transportation Services – Fishline helps with gas vouchers or bus tokens to help get clients to job interviews and medical appointments.
      • Children’s Services – school supplies, birthday gifts/cakes and Christmas presents as well as our Food for Thought program that supplies easy to prepare meals for children who otherwise would go hungry over the weekend when not able to access school lunch programs.
    3. How has your organization been impacted by COVID-19?
      • We have seen a decline in grocery rescue donations, and a surge in families needing food support due to layoffs, etc. We transitioned from a shopable market to a distribution center where clients can order a weekly box of food and essentials. In addition, because of the Stay Home Stay Safe ordinance, we have had to mobilize volunteer drivers to deliver food boxes to those unable to leave their homes due to age, illness or high risk status.
    4. What items are you most in need of during this time?
      • Canned food – chili (with meat and vegetarian), beef stew, canned fruit, ready to eat soup/pasta (with meat and vegetarian), canned meat/fish, canned beans, peanut butter including single serve, dried pasta, coffee, mac & cheese. Other essentials – shampoo, conditioner, toothpaste, TP, cat and dog food, and size 4/5/6 diapers. Also, we are having to purchase some food, especially dairy & eggs so monetary donations are very appreciated. Monetary donations can be dropped off at Fishline, put in our street side mailbox, mailed in or online at http://fishlinehelps.org/get-involved/donate/
    5. How can people drop off items that they would like to donate?
      • We are accepting donations of canned items and toiletries/essentials at our upper building (Building B) with the giant banner with the purple fish on it. People can leave the donations under the orange donation sign. The donations are moved into the building nightly and quarantined for 96 hours.
    6. Who is eligible to receive help?
      • Except for homeless persons, you must live in following areas to be eligible for our food services: Poulsbo, Suquamish or Keyport.
      • Fishline emergency and supportive services are decided upon the basis of vulnerability and sustainability and are not guaranteed annually or otherwise. These services are limited in frequency and amount.
      • Comprehensive Services Center Providers are available to provide better access for those in need in the north end of Kitsap. These agencies each have private offices and varied office hours.
    7. If someone qualifies to receive help, how can they go about this? 
      • They just call us and leave a voice mail with their name and number and a message that they are requesting help with _____________ (food, rent, etc.) Someone will call them back. If it’s for food they take their order and they get put on our weekly box pickup list. If it’s for another service our case managers will call them back to talk through the need and determine if we can help them or if they need a referral to another agency like Kitsap Community Resources. 360-779-5190 is the number to call for assistance.

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