Vital social services in Carson City have been secured with the purchase of property by Friends in Service Helping.
Better known as FISH, the board of directors and Executive Director Monte Fast have bought the property at 138 E. Long St.
"We have been at this address for 18 years, making improvements along the way," Fast said. "With the grant we received from Carson City Redevelopment Authority and a line of credit from Colonial Bank, we had enough money to make the purchase possible."
Fast credits the nine-member board of directors, Mayor Marv Teixeira, Carson City Board of Supervisors and Joe McCarthy and downtown redevelopment for helping the purchase process.
"This means permanence to the community," Fast added. "It's not something that's going to succeed then go away in a couple of years.
"When the mortgage is paid off there will be a major financial impact on behalf of the needy people. There will be more than $200,000 a year available to pump into services. Any gifts we receive now will be applied to the mortgage.
"And it means we can increase and offer better services."
The property is on the northeast corner of Long and Carson streets between Carson and North Fall streets. FISH will have one tenant, Barb's Y-not Saloon, which signed a five-year lease just prior to the sale of the property. Fast said FISH will honor the lease.
FISH operates two homeless shelters as well as six low-income housing units. The Long Street location has a dining room to offer a hot meal to families, showers, a medical clinic, emergency food closet, thrift store - a full range of human services.
Fast, executive director for the past 18 years, said the fiscal budget for FISH programs for 2006-07 is $1.4 million. They received a $10,000 grant from the United Way and $46,500 from three other federal agencies.
"One of the things we don't do is rely on grant income to pay our bills," Fast said. "Thrift store sales income is about $830,000. That's for Carson City, Gardnerville and Dayton thrift stores. They're not the fanciest, but everybody in town, for one reason or another, has donated or purchased there."
Marie Rose Wolf, a 51-year resident of Carson City, said the property has been in her family for two generations. She said they didn't consider selling it before, but with FISH representatives wanting it so badly, she talked with her children before making a decision.
"I talked with my three children and we agreed to sell," Wolf said. "FISH being the buyer and what they do for the community was a factor in our decision."
Fast added additional operating funds come from in-kind donations of food from supermarkets, churches, schools, businesses and private donors, and from the low-income rental properties.
"That people can be served through a community-sponsored charity like FISH and believe it so strongly, they have made it permanent," Fast said. "We now have title to a fine piece of real estate in the heart of Carson City - a culmination of work by the community, not just one person."
• Contact Rhonda Costa-Landers at firstname.lastname@example.org or 881-1223.
FISH fast facts
WHAT: Friends in Service Helping
WHERE: 138 E. Long St.
WHEN: 9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-
Friday; closed noon-1 p.m.
ROSS CLINIC: By appointment only
Carson City open 9 a.m.-6 p.m. Monday-Friday; 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Saturday; 1-4 p.m. Sunday
9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday
9 a.m.-5 p.m. Monday-Saturday