In 1971 eight local churches established FISH to provide emergency assistance to the people of Sonoma Valley. Founded as a 24-hour telephone answering service, FISH volunteers provided food, clothing, rides, referral services and a listening ear to those who called. FISH has always been run by an all-volunteer staff and enjoyed financial support from individuals, churches, service clubs, businesses, and organizations within Sonoma Valley.
In 1973 FISH was instrumental in the inception and development of Care-A-Van, a locally run, all-volunteer transportation system that scheduled individual appointments for home pick up. The Crisis Line, Meals-on-Wheels, Sonoma Overnight Support, La Luz, and The Migrant Workers’ Camp also received the support of FISH as fledgling organizations.
As the valley grew and the requests for food and assistance kept pace with the increased population the nomadic FISH services found a home at 18330 Sonoma Highway. In 2002 community donations allowed FISH to establish a permanent Food Room and Clothing Closet. This space has allowed for the expansion of the Food Room so surplus groceries and bakery items can be safely stored for redistribution. The Clothing Closet expanded its hours from one day per week to four days each week, including Saturday.
FISH continues to respond to the needs of the people within the valley. As FISH has grown as a community based organization, it has been able to respond to requests for utility and rental assistance. FISH is proud of its history as an all-volunteer organization that has focused on community building by caring for our neighbors. Our FISH volunteers and numerous contributors work together to act as a lifeline to those in need.