Free Closet

Hawaiian Theme Day!

When these volunteers started our weekly outdoor Free Closet, you could practically predict the weather based on whether or not it was Wednesday. If it was below zero, it was Wednesday. If the wind was blowing sideways, it was Wednesday. Six months later, they have good reason to don their Hawaiian shirts!
Why start an outdoor anything in the dead of winter? Well, in this case, longtime Fishline volunteers Helen Supancheck and Karen Calhoun heard a story. It was about a boy who came into Fishline without a coat. While we often give vouchers for folks to buy clothes at Second Season (our thrift store), no clothing was available on site. This was enough to spur these women into action. They enlisted their husbands, Greg and Steve, their neighbor Kaori, and even her spouse!
This operation is no easy feat: inventory is picked up almost daily from Second Season. They load and unload hundreds of pounds of clothing, haul it upstairs, and sort it in whatever available space they can find. But the service has been so well-received, they have no plans to quit anytime soon. Helen told me that they knew they had done the right thing when one day, early on, a homeless man without shoes came by. They had exactly one pair of shoes in their entire inventory and guess what? They fit him like a glove!

Fishline’s Comprehensive Services Center Receives $300,000 from the Birkenfeld Foundation


North Kitsap Fishline received a $300,000 grant from the Birkenfeld Foundation to support construction of its new Food Bank and Comprehensive Services Center in Poulsbo, Washington. Construction of the project is underway with expected completion in early summer of 2018.

The new building will provide both efficient food delivery and integrated comprehensive services to help clients achieve self-sufficiency and transform their lives.

The Comprehensive Services Center will create the first coordinated effort in North Kitsap to bring together providers partnering with Fishline to offer services related to food, employment, education, substance abuse, dental care, domestic violence, housing, senior, and veteran’s services.

Keith Birkenfeld, who died in 2005, was a Bremerton native who retired from the Bellevue School District, where he taught in the high school and served as an administrator. He spent his last 25 years living on Bainbridge Island and amassed a fortune through sound investing that he directed to support of impactful charities upon his death in 2005.

“Mr. Birkenfeld came from humble beginnings here in Kitsap County. He worked hard and did well and left his entire estate to benefit others. He believed in our collective ability to raise all boats and to therefore ensure the security of all. The approach taken by Fishline to raise all boats has inspired us to give, as it has so many others. We are proud to be a part of this caring community and powerful project.”
Claire Bishop, Birkenfeld Trust Director

Click here for more information on how you can support Fishline through the Birkenfeld Gardens.

Fishline is Hiring!

Update: Application period for these positions is now closed.

Front Desk Coordinator, Part-Time

Do you like helping people?  Do you have experience/education in social services?

Do you know how to prioritize tasks? Do you stay calm under pressure? Are you flexible and able to create new processes?

The Comprehensive Services Center Front Desk Specialist position at NK Fishline may be for you!

NK Fishline is a food bank, emergency and supportive services agency located in Poulsbo, WA that is ‘Serving the North Kitsap Community by providing food, emergency services and resources to transform lives.’

This position serves as the first point of contact for our Comprehensive Services Center where Fishline and multiple Providers collaborate to assist people demonstrating a need for crisis intervention and/or financial assistance. This position requires a high regard for client confidentiality and respect.

You will work closely with the Client Advocate to triage clients in crisis and will train Front Desk Volunteers in assisting clients with paperwork and appointments.

Must be personable and professional with healthy boundaries. De-escalation and/or crisis intervention skills are highly desired. This is a part time job consisting of 20-25 hours per week starting at $14.00 per hour. Current schedule is approximately Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday 9:30am-2:30pm and Wednesdays 11:00am-4:00pm.

To apply please send in your COVER LETTER explaining why you would be a good fit for the job and an updated RESUME to or by mail to P. O. Box 1517, Poulsbo, WA 98370, by January 22, 2018.

Job Description:

NATURE OF WORK:  This position works as the first point of contact for our Comprehensive Services Center where Fishline and other Providers collaborate to assist people demonstrating a need for crisis intervention and/or financial assistance. Works with the Client Advocate and Front Desk Volunteers. This work is based on 20-25 hours per week and requires a high regard for client confidentiality and respect.


  • Triages walk-in clients for emergency services/crisis intervention. Assigns people in crisis to the Advocate or Family Development Specialist for screening.
  • Tracks trends and gaps in services and works with the Client Advocate on appropriate client policies.
  • Oversees training of all Client Services Assistants (volunteers) on duties including greeting visitors, checking in clients for appointments, appropriate forms and applications, maintaining resource literature and community fliers.  Assuring professional standards for these volunteers as they will often be the first point of contact when speaking with donors, community members and other organizations.
  • Manages room scheduling for trainings and support groups.


  • Supports other staff with project management tasks as time allows.
  • Works with Fishline Staff and Providers to understand criteria for assistance and rules of confidentiality including HIPPA requirements.
  • Attends all staff training on issues such as de-escalation, HIPPA and trauma informed care.

RELATIONSHIPS:  Position reports to the Client Services Manager.  Works with the Client Advocate and Front Desk Volunteers to assure appropriate response to visitors at the front desk.

REQUIRED QUALIFICATIONS:  Associate Degree in Social Services or closely related field and one year of experience working with clients in a non-profit or governmental agency.  Additional experience may substitute for education on a year for year basis. Knowledge of Microsoft Word/Excel, solid computer and phone skills. Ability to maintain client records via hard copy forms and software systems.

DESIRABLE SKILLS:  De-escalation and/or crisis intervention skills are highly desired. Detail oriented while able to discern client need and triage those needs. Must be personable and professional with healthy boundaries.  Must be flexible and able to create new processes.

HomeShare/Alternative Housing Coordinator, Part-Time

Wanted: a dynamic, self-motivated candidate with a desire to make a difference in our community by securing housing for those experiencing housing instability and homelessness.  This position will partner with community agencies, local churches, private individuals, and county authorities to increase housing options in North Kitsap. This position is part of a pilot program and may or may not be renewed next year dependent on funding.

Requirements include the ability to work independently and possess strong interpersonal and mediation skills. Light computer skills and strong written communication skills are also needed.  Experience with real estate or low income housing populations desired. This position is paid at an hourly stipend at a range of $16-$18.00 per hour, 15-20 hours per week.

This position may be eligible for a paid internship program, please check with your educational institution to verify.

Please send your resume and a detailed cover letter explaining why you would like to be considered for the position to Mary Nader, Executive Director, by January 22nd, to NK Fishline by mail at P.O. Box 1517, Poulsbo, WA 98370 or by email at

Job Description:

NATURE OF WORK:  The HomeShare/Alternative Housing Coordinator is responsible for coordinating and implementing the HomeShare, Safe Park, and Alternative Housing Options Programs.  Duties include working with public, governmental, private and religious organizations and land owners to explore and secure a spectrum of affordable housing options in the Fishline service area of North Kitsap County. These options include home sharing, boarding houses, RV parks, Transitory Accommodations (Tent Cities), and other unconventional housing.  This position is part of a pilot program and may or may not be renewed dependent on funding.


Increase marketing and awareness about HomeShare program to invite more participation, especially from home owners.

Identify and procure new Safe Park sites, for single men and families including those with teen-age children.

Work with local non-profits and private land owners to find locations for transitory accommodations; work with local officials to assist with permitting and community consent processes.

Identify, procure and work with partners to acquire or build transitory accommodations, including RVs, Tiny Homes, shareable homes and tents.

Prepare monthly, quarterly, and annual program activity and performance reports that include demographics, successes, and gaps with recommendations for strategic improvements to close gaps and increase successes.

Be the direct and immediate contact for any partners or sites with concerns and proactively monitor that the relationships are positive and rewarding for all involved. Refer any client related concerns to the Fishline Advocate and/or KCR Family Development Specialist for case management.

Network in the community to build relationships with property managers, private landowners, community organizations, churches, and elected representatives to find opportunities to partner in establishing housing options that include boarding houses, RV sites, and other housing options.

REPORTING RELATIONSHIPS:  Position reports to the Client Services Manager.

DESIRED KNOWLEDGES, SKILLS OR ABILITIES:  Ability to communicate clearly orally and in writing.  Ability to initiate and maintain working relationships with a variety of persons including volunteers, representatives of government agencies, and local community service organizations.  Ability to work productively with persons of all backgrounds and ethnicities.  Ability to maintain accurate records and to prepare reports; must have strong sense of organization and be good with details.  Ability to work independently and possess critical thinking and problem solving skills.  Knowledge of and ability to use Microsoft Word and Excel. Knowledge of low income and housing and homelessness issues, current best practices, organizations, policy and laws.  Mediation skills are a plus!

Volunteering: A Full-time Job (no, really!)

Wells Fargo volunteers

The spirit of the season is year-round for some local businesses and their employees. Take Poulsbo’s Wells Fargo team, for example. Each week one person from their branch joins our Wednesday morning crew, helping to stock our market’s shelves, receive donations, and pitch in where needed. Les Schwab owner Brett Clark not only gives his time as leader of Rotary’s Interact Club, but encourages volunteerism among his employees. In fact, at Les Schwab, fulfillment of community service plays a role in their promotion process. Other employers, like United Health Care, not only compensate employee volunteer time, but they’ll match that contribution in dollars. Workplace volunteerism is traditionally viewed as an employee benefit, but it’s a benefit to the whole community! More than 8 in 10 companies believe that volunteerism can help nonprofits accomplish long-term social goals (from a recent Deloitte survey). It’s a win-win and we’re fortunate to have these forward-thinking businesses right here in Kitsap to show use that you don’t have to be retired to volunteer! Why not ask your employer whether they offer workplace volunteerism as a benefit? If they don’t, maybe it’s time to start! If they do, we’d love to have you join us here at Fishline.

Homeless Needs for Cold Weather Months

Current Needs

We are in need of supplies for our homeless clients during these cold weather months, please contact us at if you are able to provide any of the following items:

  • 1 or 2 person tents
  • Sleeping bags
  • Sleeping mats
  • Tarps
  • Lightweight wool blankets
  • Camping stoves
  • Small propane tanks
  • Lanterns (with batteries)
  • Head lamps
  • Hand and foot warmers
  • Hot chocolate packets
  • Travel mugs
  • Can openers
  • Gas cards
  • Walmart gift cards
  • Gift cards for hot meals
  • Prepaid cell phones

For men and women:

  • Long underwear
  • Winter socks