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FISH in need of blankets

by F.T. Norton
Appeal Staff Writer

The first resources exhausted at Friends In Service Helping during the cold months are blankets and this winter was no exception – the linen closet is bare and in dire need of donations, said FISH Executive Director Monte Fast.

“There is an immediate emergency in our shelters,” he said. “The cold winter has depleted our supplies. Blankets, sheets, pillows and pillow cases are urgently needed.”

FISH operates two homeless shelters as well as six low-income housing units. Wednesday night 70 people will have stayed in those shelters, manned by three staff members who monitor and manage the facilities, said Fast.

“Quite often the managers of the shelters will allow a homeless person to take bedding materials with them when they depart for other housing or another city,” he said. “Managers launder and store bedding material, and the closet is nearly empty.”

The supply was further depleted by the donation of 50 blankets to homeless people encountered during the January Point In Time homeless count in Carson City.

FISH offers temporary and emergency services and referrals to needy families and individuals. Founded as an emergency food closet in 1979, the nonprofit organization has grown to include the full range of human services.

It also operates thrift stores in Carson, Douglas and Lyon counties, which accounts for more than 55 percent of its annual budget.

Fast said donations of blankets and bedding can be dropped off at any of the thrift stores – in Carson City at 138 E. Long Street, in Gardnerville at 1231 Service Drive and in Dayton at 4960 Highway 50 East.

“Any items that can be used in the shelter programs will not be sold in the thrift stores,” he said.

Donations to FISH Thrift Stores are tax deductible.

n Contact reporter F.T. Norton at ftnorton@nevadaappeal.com or 881-1213.