FISH has currently raised $12.7 million of this $17.5 million project to develop the local workforce and fill high-paying technical jobs in the region. As a 501(c)(3) non-profit, any donation would qualify for tax exemption, as the law provides. This funding is for the construction of our FISH Student Housing Project. The project will provide housing, and wrap-around services, as needed, for underemployed individuals earning college-level technical certifications and training to qualify for higher-paying jobs, helping to grow our regional economy. After students are established in their new careers, they will transition to other housing.
For 43 years, FISH has been working to meet the needs of those in need by providing various resources and referrals to help individuals and families overcome the hardships they face. Our goal is to ensure that those willing to help themselves will not go without food or other necessities crucial to obtaining dignity and self-sufficiency. Our social workers, doctors, nurses, and other staff/ volunteers have earned us multiple honors in our region. We develop individual plans for our clients to identify their needs and provide appropriate care/training, so they accomplish individual goals to change behaviors. With changed behaviors, clients change their lives.
The most significant issues in our region are the lack of affordable housing and skilled labor to fill jobs that regional employers require. FISH believes the best approach is not to build more affordable housing but to develop a workforce that doesn't rely on affordable housing. This project will serve a new level of clients. We are looking for those with a solid work history and academic skills to succeed in higher education. These are individuals that should have attended college but, for one reason or another, did not. In our beta program, we discovered that most of these students are single parents. FISH has found that when children see their parents doing homework, they are more serious about their role as a student. Therefore, we determined that everyone in the family will receive age-appropriate training so that we can impact generational poverty as the families transition out of our program.
Our project’s primary goal is to provide a supportive and stable living environment for individuals/families while the underemployed adults focus on technical training. This will take them from minimum wage to meaningful careers that provide healthcare and additional training/development opportunities. College-level technical training will be provided by partner organizations, like Western Nevada College, to meet the needs of regional employers (medical, IT, HVAC, manufacturing, long-haul trucking, etc.). We have started construction on the two apartment/family dormitory towers, which should be completed by August 2023 (just in time for the fall semester). Once completed, FISH will provide not only housing but training for all members of the family so that they may have the necessary skills to move forward in society with renewed job opportunities. FISH and its partners will use various funding sources (HUD vouchers, Pell grants, etc.) to offset participant costs through graduation and initial employment. We will then work with the families to transition to other housing as they grow their financial resources. FISH is revitalizing Carson City’s downtown, workforce, and, most importantly, families.
Sarah and her daughter Morgan successfully completed technical training at Western Nevada College and are now fully employed in their specialized field.