About FISH
Administration and Client Services
138 E. Long Street
Carson City, NV 89706
775-882-FISH (3474)
Client Services
Monday - Friday
9am-12pm / 1pm-5pm
Dining Hall
Mon-Sat: 3pm-5:30pm
Sun: 3pm-5pm
Food Bank
Monday - Friday
9am-12pm / 1pm-5pm
The Ross Medical Clinic
By Appointment Only
Ranchos Family Service Center
921 Mitch Drive
Gardnerville, NV 89460
Client Services
Monday -  10am - 5pm
Tuesday - 10am - 5pm
Wednesday - 10am - 5pm
Thursday - 10am - 6pm
Friday - 10am - 5pm

FISH Emergency Referral Services Program (also known as Friends in Service Helping) is a 501(c)(3) organization that was formed in May 1979 in direct response to the growing numbers of homeless and hungry residents in the Carson City community. Prior to the start of FISH, several organizations in Carson City had each been offering services to needy individuals and families. As the community need grew, these organizations decided to band together and work under one name. These visionary leaders and a dedicated VISTA volunteer, Lea Giffin, founded FISH. While FISH began as a small food closet, it soon began offering shelter services in Carson City when the organization merged with Friends of Citizens Under Stress (FOCUS). After the tragic death of a homeless man during a cold winter night, FOCUS renovated a deserted building in the Stewart Indian School complex and opened rural Nevada’s first homeless shelter; FOCUS House. FISH and FOCUS united in the early 1980’s to collaboratively serve the needs of the homeless and hungry in the community. FISH continues to operate FOCUS House for men along with the Wylie House for women and families. These are the only year-round, publicly accessible emergency shelters in Northern Nevada outside of Reno. Today, FISH has grown to become rural Nevada’s largest and most complete social services program. Our financial support continues to be community focused with only minor support from the federal government.  As the needs of our community have grown, so has our mission.  As we discover unmet needs in our community, we expand our service, or support other organizations that can fill the gap. FISH has met the United Way Standards of Excellence every year since that designation was created. FISH was named Organization of the Year in Carson City in 1992 and 2003-2009 and FISH received the prestigious US Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Best Practices Award in 2000. FISH is governed by a board of directors drawn from community leaders who have shown special interest in the plight of those in need in their community. Twenty-seven staff members and over 230 volunteers work side-by-side to meet the challenges of the mission of FISH every day. Our volunteers come from every walk of life and include professionals, retirees, and students. Together, they are the heroes who serve our community.

FY2019 By The Numbers

  • 6,492 People
  • 3,230 Households
  • 312 Veterans
  • 1,073 Disabled
  • 1,998 Children
  • 983 Seniors
  • 890 New Families

The above numbers are UNDUPLICATED numbers, meaning even if a person came in many times last year, they were only counted once for these statistics.

  • 382,641 Food Bank Meals
  • 27,361 Dining Room Meals
  • 2,125 Holiday Baskets
  • 13,528 Nights of Shelter
  • 1,637 Thrift Store Vouchers
  • 139 Gas & Bus & Misc Vouchers
  • 354 Job & Service Referrals
  • 13,972 Showers
  • 2,635 Laundry
  • 135 Winter Coats
  • 367 Medical Patients
  • 454 Prescriptions

FOCUS and Wylie House Emergency Shelters made 24 emergency beds available year round. The shelters averaged 21 people per night including some families with children in the Wylie House shelter.

FISH served as the agent for the NVEnergy Special Assistance Fund for Energy grant program in Carson City. In FY2019, FISH administered 172 grants for utility payments

FISH rolled out a “community database”, so local nonprofits and government agencies can jointly track and coordinate services for shared clients. This database improves overall services, reduces duplication of effort, and helps to identify “super utilizers” who over-use available community resources. We find that if our staff has to work harder than the client, the client will not succeed. So we challenge them to take an active role toward self-sufficiency.

Our Transitional Housing Program is designed to help families (who work a minimum of 40 hours per week and have kids under the age of 18) to get stabilized.  FISH offers housing with low rent and gives these families 24 months to achieve a stable financial path.  It's the next step to no longer needing assistance.

FISH is a NV non-profit established in May 1979, to help those in need.  FISH does not rely on the government for funding. 98% of our multi-million dollar budget is funded through the local community via donations and grants, saving millions of dollars in taxes for the communities that we serve.

We have found that by creating a stable living environment, and providing nutritious meals our clients find a renewed hope.  With hope, clients can more accurately assess their behaviors and skills, and develop a willingness to change behaviors and improve their skills.  Clients create goals and FISH holds them accountable. As clients achieve small goals, we work on bigger goals, like developing skills to move from minimum wage jobs to meaningful careers. 

We summarize our services using our name, FISH provides Food, Instruction, Shelter, and Health care.  FISH has locations in Carson, Douglas and Lyon counties, where we provide “a hand-up, not a hand-out”.  During FY 19'-20', FISH served 3,672 Households of which 2,719 were under the federal poverty level.  We provided 403,219 meals between our food banks and dining room, and 7,712 nights of shelter at our two emergency shelters.

jim peckham
Jim Peckham (Executive Director)

After nearly 25 years working for corporations, Jim began serving as Executive Director of FISH in 2009. Jim has experience rebuilding non-profits so they are self-sustaining and valued by the local community. He has focused on developing collaborative relationships to help improve and enhance the non-profits that he works with. Jim has a Master's Degree from Michigan State University and is a member of the local Pastor's Association and Rotary Club.

Alivia Flewellen (Client Services Manager)

Alivia joined FISH as Client Services Manager in June 2018, after completing her Masters in Social Work from University of Nevada, Reno. Native to Las Vegas, Alivia relocated to northern Nevada in 2016 to dive into the world of social work and familiarize herself with the systems and challenges our community’s homeless and low income families face. She has previous experience as a Safe Schools Professional in Sparks, NV and working in suicide prevention.

Gillian Murdock (Food Distribution, Volunteers, and Events Manager)

Gillian Murdock joined FISH in January 2019 as the Manager of Food Distribution, Volunteers, and Events. She oversees the operation of the Food Bank and Family Dining Room, organizes our amazing volunteers, and manages the event coordination for FISH. In her downtime, Gillian loves to spend time with her family, compete in archery tournaments, and explore the outdoors with her husband and new puppy.

jimbo cox
Jimbo Cox (Dining Room Manager)

Jim has worked in a number of hotels and restaurants around the West and Colorado and came to settle in the Tahoe/Carson City area in 1979. He enjoys his profession and the food industry. On his off time he enjoys camping, reading, hiking and, of course, cooking.

john fecanin
John Fecanin (Shelter Manager)

John manages FISH's two homeless shelters. He has been with FISH since 2011 and has lived in Carson City since 2000. In his free time he enjoys fishing, sports, and attending to church.

augie gallegos
Augustine "Augie" Gallegos (Carson Thrift Store Manager)

Nikii McClain (Minden Thrift Store Manager)

Nikii manages the Minden thrift store . She has been with FISH since 2018.

Logo FISH - transparent
Champ (Mound House Thrift Store Manager)

Champ joined FISH in 2019.

Jayme Durkee (Operations Manager)

Jayme joined the FISH team in October of 2019. As Operations Manager, she has oversight on every department in FISH. Born and raised in Reno, Jayme graduated with her Masters in Health Administration from UNR. On the weekends, Jayme loves hanging out with her family and going to Graeagle, CA.

Megan McKeon (Marketing Specialist)

Megan joined the FISH team in August of 2020. Originally from Los Angeles, she graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a B.A in Sociology. Megan loves to explore Northern Nevada, golf, hike, and do yoga in her free time.

Dawnyel Algien (Receptionist)

Dawnyel joined FISH in 2018. As the receptionist, she is the first point of contact with our clients and guides them to every resource they need. In her spare time, she loves hanging out with her son and puppy.

Kim Cash
Kim Cash (Accountant)

Lover of all things motorcycle. And rock 'n' roll. And football. And the great outdoors: hiking, biking, skiing, kayaking.

Valerie Cooney (Chair)
Retired Attorney
Class of 2021

Brad Harris (Treasurer)
Vice President
Southwest Gas
Class of 2019

Doug Carlton
VP Standards
Click Bond
Class of 2021

Barabara D'Anneo
Barbara D'Anneo
Healthcare Development
Class of 2019

Greg Dye
General Manager
Briggs Electric
Class of 2021

Tracey McCollum
Director of Patient Care Services
Carson Tahoe Health

Larry Werner
Retired Engineer

Selina Giesler
Relationship Banker
City National Bank

Jenny Treece
Ad Director
Carson Now

  Phone   775-882-FISH (3474) ...OR