Fishline’s Comprehensive Services Center helps thousands since opening

It has been nearly a year since Fishline opened the doors to its new building on Viking Avenue and while increased storage for its food bank has made things easier, it’s the range of other services offered on the top floor that makes life a little easier for folks getting back on their feet.

The top floor of the Fishline building is home to the Comprehensive Services Center (CSC) which has served more than 11,000 people since its doors opened last year.

CSC offers 14 services all under one roof, making it a one-stop-shop for anything, anyone in need could possibly need.

“One of my favorite stories is how our dentist office was able to help a woman with an abscessed tooth, additionally we were able to get her in touch with other resources for her to kind of help get her back on her feet,” Executive Director Patti Dudley said.

Fishline is one of the oldest food banks in the world, beginning in 1967. Over the years it has grown its partnerships throughout Kitsap County. It’s oldest partnership has been with multiple departments of the Kitsap Community Resources, which offers a range of services for folks looking for housing assistance, help to pay utilities and family development. Additionally, Fishline has had a partnership with Sound Works Job Center, helping people find jobs.

Upon completion of its new building, Fishline was able to expand its partnerships and services to include:

  • American Legion, Veterans Service Office
  • Department of Social and Health Services
  • Dispute Resolution Center
  • Kitsap County Aging & Long Term Care, Family Caregiver Support
  • Kitsap Mental Health
  • Kitsap Sexual Assault Center
  • Crime Victim Assistance
  • Peninsula Community Health Services, Dental Clinic, and Mobile Units
  • YWCA

“The dental clinic takes up most of the top floor space, it has seven seats for patients,” Fishlines Executive Director Patti Dudley said.

Dudley describes the CSC as a “team approach to getting folks back on their feet.”

Fishline is able to offer some of the first steps to pulling people up and think through their next steps in life.

“A lot of our focus right now is on homelessness prevention, a lot of the folks that come in here are on the brink of homelessness or are homeless, so we do what we can to get people into housing or at least get them shelter for the night,” Dudley said.

Over the course of the next year, Fishline will be working hard to get the word out about the CSC and all that it offers. As well as figuring out what to do with its old building which is still on the Viking Avenue property and operating as additional storage for the food bank.

“We will be having a meeting about our comprehensive plan here soon and that facility will be a big part of it. We’ve talked about turning it into a multi-use facility. I would like to see it used as maybe a training facility or community kitchen,” Dudley said.

Families who otherwise couldn’t afford birthday gifts for their children can come to the food bank and get gifts and a cake from the “Birthday Fairy”, the gifts are stored in a room at the food bank.

Families who otherwise couldn’t afford birthday gifts for their children can come to the food bank and get gifts and a cake from the “Birthday Fairy”, the gifts are stored in a room at the food bank.

Donors to the Fishline have fish on the walls of the food bank as a thank you and show of appreciation for their contribution.

Donors to the Fishline have fish on the walls of the food bank as a thank you and show of appreciation for their contribution.

The food bank at Fishline distributes “fish bucks” which act as currency in the food bank allowing shoppers to get what they need. In this case, one fish buck would get them 10 pears due to the abundance, items that are not in abundance tend to cost more fish bucks.

The food bank at Fishline distributes “fish bucks” which act as currency in the food bank allowing shoppers to get what they need. In this case, one fish buck would get them 10 pears due to the abundance, items that are not in abundance tend to cost more fish bucks.

Fishline puts together bags of food for students with food insecurity throughout North Kitsap in a program called Food for Thought.

Fishline puts together bags of food for students with food insecurity throughout North Kitsap in a program called Food for Thought.

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