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Families and Individuals Sharing Hope, or FISH, is a network of people-serving organizations working together to meet the needs of those in our communities of Scott County, Minnesota.
  
Our mission is to partner together to meet human needs so individuals
will be able to live healthy, transformed lives.
 
Working alone, no single organization or even sector can meet all needs in the community. For that reason, organizations in the faith community, service groups/nonprofits, business, and local government formed FISH with a simple objective:  How can we meet needs more effectively by networking together? 
 
The FISH network is becoming stronger every day through our unique partner collaboration.
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  • A school social worker referred a single parent family to FISH.  Mom was managing to keep up with house payments and basic expenses.  There was no help from dad.  However, within a week’s time, the clothes washer and microwave died and a storm damaged the gutters on the house.  They also needed help with food and gas.  The unique thing about this situation is that help came from many different sources; gas and food cards, offers to fix the gutters, and offers of at least six washers!

  • A woman who was a victim of fraud and lost a substantial amount of equity in a Parish Home, subsequently was in a serious car accident and couldn’t work for a time.  After she recovered enough to drive herself to physical therapy appointments, she was pulled over by a police officer and her car was determined to be unsafe to drive.  The bill was $750.99 and the mechanic donated $400 of that and completed the repairs “on faith” that FISH would receive donations to cover the rest.  Several donations paid the bill in full.

  • A 20 year old male with developmental disabilities and a seizure disorder is living with an aunt because his mother is deceased and his father is incarcerated.  He was sleeping on a blow up mattress on the floor, and had no dresser for his clothes.  Within an hour someone donated a whole bedroom of furniture for this young man.

  • A couple who have been in the United States for about 10 years were laid off from their assembly line jobs and asked for haircuts for job interviews.  A beautician who has provided back to school haircuts for children in need also provided the haircuts for this couple.

  • A pregnant woman who left an abusive relationship had to quit her job because of her high-risk pregnancy.  She received help from multiple agencies on rent, food and baby needs, but needed gas money to get to doctor and therapy appointments.  Money was donated through FISH. 

  • A woman who had knee replacement surgery fell and needed her ankle fused, then fell and injured herself again.  She was also having vision problems.  She needed a ramp so she could get out of her trailer home safely.  A church volunteered to donate materials and build the ramp.

  • A single parent of two children who was originally from another country lost her job, then lost her Unemployment compensation when her former employer appealed the UC.  A church referred her to FISH.  She owed $941 rent and had received a 3-day eviction notice.  She was mistrustful of county services and although she had made the rounds of several non-profits and was aware of many community resources, she didn’t fully understand the county process.  She was afraid of the father of one of her children and thought if she applied for county services the father would be told where to find her. It took several phone conversations to convince her that her best avenue would be to apply for MFIP.  The financial worker was able to contact her landlord and let them know that she would be receiving financial assistance and that the rent would be covered with a combination of a grant and child support.

  • Alpha Pregnancy Resource Center requested 8 families to adopt their clients for Christmas gifts and food items.  They had 8 volunteers very quickly and a couple of other volunteers who were directed to the Scott County Volunteer program to help other families.

  • A family of four living in a mobile home had a plugged kitchen sink which didn’t respond to liquid drain cleaners.  A professional drain cleaning service wanted $200 for each few feet, with no cap on how much it could end up costing.  Local church volunteers unclogged the drain and also repaired their clothes dryer!

  • Scott County Public Health sent a request through the FISH network for Spanish and Russian interpreters for the Ronald McDonald Dental Van that comes to Jordan on a regular basis to provide free or reduced cost dental care for children.  They quickly had enough volunteers for the dental van visits!

  • A man who had been incarcerated needed a ride to school until he could get a driver’s license.  A retired couple provided rides back and forth for about three weeks until he could pass the driver’s test.  He was also able to get a job through his instructor, which wouldn’t have happened if he hadn’t started school on time.

  • A woman was eligible for Minnesota Care, but was jobless and couldn’t pay the premiums of $4 per month, plus she needed transportation vouchers and gift cards for personal items.  Several people donated money for the insurance premiums and gift cards to help her out.

  • A female veteran with disabilities had a car that was no longer safe to drive.  Someone donated a van in good condition for her, and someone else stepped up to pay the state tax and title transfer fees.

  • A student in 11th grade was failing math because he didn’t have the proper calculator he needed for the class and he was embarrassed to tell anyone.  More than one calculator was donated so the school has extra loaners for students who need them.

  • A bicycle shop owner in Prior Lake offered to donate used bicycles he repairs to FISH if we had some place to store them.  A church in Shakopee volunteered to store them and now has regular hours for people in need to come and get a bike.