New partnership between North Kitsap Fishline and ShareNet | ShareNet & You

On Feb. 1, ShareNet partnered with North Kitsap Fishline for administration of ShareNet’s emergency assistance funding.

In this new partnership, clients who can benefit from case management may be identified from the very first point of contact. “Case management” generally implies a longer arc of support than just assistance paying a utility bill or late rent, however critical that might be at the moment. If someone is frequently facing these crises, or is actually facing an eviction or trying to get into housing after being without, their case is likely more complex and will benefit from a case management approach.

Here’s how the partnership works. Clients call 360-779-5190 for an appointment, unless they have no water or power. Those who have been shut off, are facing an immediate eviction or who are homeless may visit Fishline 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. Monday, Tuesday, Thursday or Friday, or 1-7 p.m. Wednesday; call 360-801-2564 for help if you can gain access to a phone.

The first determination for eligibility of ShareNet funds is residence in the service area, which includes Kingston, Hansville, Indianola, Eglon, Little Boston and Port Gamble. When a resident of the ShareNet service area seeks assistance, they will be accessing ShareNet funds or, in complex cases, a combination of ShareNet and Fishline funds. In this way, we strengthen the assistance available to clients facing some of the toughest life issues you can face.

For rental assistance, bring a copy of your lease, picture ID and income verification. You will also be asked to complete an application and talk with a Housing Solutions Center, or HSC, navigator.

HSC is a program of Kitsap Community Resources and is considered the best local resource for information on housing issues. Most of the county homeless shelters now require signup through HSC before admittance. Furthermore, the HSC navigator may be able to offer other options.

“Fishline and ShareNet have long partnered to provide support to our North Kitsap clients,” Fishline director Mary Nader said.

“Now, we can work even more closely to assure our clients get the help they need with one single visit to Fishline. Working together, we can ensure clients will receive the best support available, without undue strain upon already struggling households.”

Role changed in 2008

During the economic crisis that began in 2008, the need for emergency services was so great that ShareNet recognized it could go beyond core food-bank services to serve an associated and all-too-critical need.

Lines were out the door in those first years, and hundreds of voicemails backlogged weekly. Screening and processing these requests, and distributing these funds took a disproportionate amount of staff hours and taxed our space-challenged site.

In order to better serve the need, ShareNet teamed with St. Vincent de Paul. Their assistance in distributing ShareNet funds has been invaluable to us and to the community. We are so grateful for the relationship with St. Vincent de Paul and particularly their volunteer, Mary Elizabeth Reynolds, who served as the liaison between the two agencies.

This new partnership with Fishline reflects only the deeper resources there and the ability to serve clients more thoroughly through case management.

— Mark Ince is executive director of ShareNet. Contact him at 360-297-2266, ext. 3 or sharenet director@centurytel.net.

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