October 13, 2005: Headlines: COS - Bulgaria: Service: Newszap Florida: Bulgaria RPCV Monica Fish named director of Immokalee Friendship House (IFH), which houses approximately 1,000 homeless persons and serves more than 30,000 meals annually

Peace Corps Online: Directory: Bulgaria: Peace Corps Bulgaria: The Peace Corps in Bulgaria: October 13, 2005: Headlines: COS - Bulgaria: Service: Newszap Florida: Bulgaria RPCV Monica Fish named director of Immokalee Friendship House (IFH), which houses approximately 1,000 homeless persons and serves more than 30,000 meals annually

By Admin1 (admin) (pool-141-157-6-135.balt.east.verizon.net - 141.157.6.135) on Thursday, October 20, 2005 - 5:33 am: Edit Post

Bulgaria RPCV Monica Fish named director of Immokalee Friendship House (IFH), which houses approximately 1,000 homeless persons and serves more than 30,000 meals annually

Bulgaria RPCV Monica Fish named director of  Immokalee Friendship House (IFH), which houses approximately 1,000 homeless persons and serves more than 30,000 meals annually

“My primary project was teaching English as a second language at a high school,” said Fish. “Some secondary projects were individual tutoring, adult English classes, college preparatory classes, translating, teaching at a local orphanage and hosting a radio talk show.”

Bulgaria RPCV Monica Fish named director of Immokalee Friendship House (IFH), which houses approximately 1,000 homeless persons and serves more than 30,000 meals annually

Change at Friendship House; Monica Fish named director

The Immokalee Friendship House (IFH), which houses approximately 1,000 homeless persons and serves more than 30,000 meals annually, has a new executive director.

Monica Cecile Fish was promoted to the position of executive director upon the departure of Ed Laudise, who accepted a position with The Immokalee Foundation.

Fish, a native of Indianapolis, Indiana, graduated from Xavier University in Cincinnati, Ohio in June 2000 with degrees in philosophy and peace studies.

She also earned a Masters of Arts degree in International Human Rights from the University of Denver's Graduate School of International Studies in March 2005.

Upon graduating from Xavier, Fish entered the Peace Corps and served in Bulgaria for two years.

“My primary project was teaching English as a second language at a high school,” said Fish. “Some secondary projects were individual tutoring, adult English classes, college preparatory classes, translating, teaching at a local orphanage and hosting a radio talk show.”

After returning to the United States and graduating from the University of Denver, Fish accepted a position with the Immokalee Friendship House in February 2005.

“I chose to work at a homeless shelter because I want to help alleviate poverty and homelessness constructively,” said Fish. “It has always been very hard for me to accept extreme poverty and homelessness, be it in America, Bulgaria or Bosnia and Herzegovina, where I did research on Roma rights trafficking of people.”

Fish added, “The mission of the Immokalee Friendship House at its core is to reduce poverty and homelessness. It does this by giving emergency housing, clothing, food, referrals to other agencies, and support from the Immokalee Friendship House staff.

These things are given with the motive of empowering clients - meaning clients are expected to put forth their own effort at improving their individual set of circumstances.

Fish said one of her biggest challenges in her new role will be assisting the people of Immokalee who come into IFH to find secure and stable housing.

“There is not enough affordable, safe or programmatically appropriate housing in Immokalee for many of our clients,” she said. “Another challenge is to create more awareness about the needs of the Immokalee community and to get neighboring communities to take more of a concerted interested in the shelter.”

The Immokalee Friendship House, which is open 24 hours a day and 365 days a year, is located at 602 West Main Street in Immokalee and operates on budget of approximately $750,000 annually. IFH has a total bed capacity of 44 and runs at an occupancy rate of between 100 to 120 percent during the seasonal months.

To assure a smooth day-to-day operation, The Immokalee Friendship House has a full time staff of six and a part time staff of nine, as well as a dedicated group of volunteers who donate their time and energy. Students attending universities all over the United States also volunteer their time during the weeks of their spring break.

Groups like United Way, the Department of Children and Families, Collier Harvest, churches and synagogues and individual donors help fund and supply the shelter, making it possible for the shelter to stay open.

For additional information regarding the Immokalee Friendship House call (239) 657-4090.





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Story Source: Newszap Florida

This story has been posted in the following forums: : Headlines; COS - Bulgaria; Service

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