The FUSION Story

Transitional Housing for Families in Need
FUSION is an all-volunteer nonprofit organization in Federal Way, Washington, with a mission to provide housing and support services to the homeless in our community so they will have a safe, secure environment as they work toward self-sufficiency. Learn who we are and how we serve.

Hear about our FUSION Story in videos.

How FUSION Came To Be  |  FUSION Provides  |  FUSION Gives Hope
Fusion of Community  |  Get Involved

Profile of Homelessness
The face of homelessness in your community is changing. You may have thought of destitute people as socially unstable, irresponsible misfits, aimless wanderers, and nearly all of them single men. Surely they are nothing like you and I. Look again.

A missed paycheck, a health crisis, or domestic violence can quickly push a person over the edge, from a home and stability into poverty on the street. Homeless families live with continual uncertainty about where to find shelter for their children and how to provide the next meal.

For youngsters, the stigma of being homeless can be especially brutal. They face disruptions in every aspect of their lives: in health problems that often go undiagnosed, irregular school attendance, insecurity, anxiety, depression. The worst part may be concealing where they live, afraid friends will find out how different they are.

Shelters are a short-term solution. What families facing abject homelessness need are programs that provide a safe place to live long enough to establish the finances and resources needed to become stable and productive members of society.

How FUSION Came To Be
In 1993, Peggy LaPorte, with a small group of women, came up with a concept to help the homeless. They named the organization envisioned "FUSION: Friends United to Shelter the Indigent, Oppressed and Needy."

Deciding to center efforts on women with children — sadly, the fastest growing segment of the homeless population — they went to work involving the community in raising funds for their grassroots effort. Within two years they purchased a one-bedroom condominium with a Community Development Block Grant. The first FUSION residents were a mother and infant, victims of domestic violence.

Both FUSION and the ecumenical-based Joseph Foundation operated independently for 15 years, providing housing and support for homeless families within Federal Way and Northeast Tacoma. FUSION served women and their children; Joseph Foundation helped both single and dual-parent families.

It became apparent that both organizations could better serve the community by merging. FUSION and the Joseph Foundation became one and the same in January 2009, operating with the single mission to help homeless families under one name: FUSION.

FUSION owns and manages 20 transitional housing units in Federal Way and Northeast Tacoma.

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FUSION Provides
Through housing and case management services, FUSION has helped create new and better lives for the people who come through its doors. Client families enjoy:

  • Fully furnished condos and homes tastefully decorated to be cheerful and functional to the needs of a family.

  • Support services with professional advocates who provide families with resources including education, employment search assistance, budget and financial guidance, as well as additional help ranging from finding childcare and medical aid to family counseling.

  • Special funding to allow children to take part in extracurricular activities such as athletics, the arts and youth camps.

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Giving Hope and a Future to Families in Need
FUSION has given more than 200 families a chance to move from destitute homelessness to a self-sufficient and productive life. More than 85 percent of guest families successfully find permanent housing following their stay in a FUSION home.

FUSION has a consistent and unusually high success rate due largely to contracting case management services for client families. This begins with a selective screening of applicants willing to set goals and work toward self-sufficiency as guests in FUSION housing.

In-house Case Management helps families use this valuable time to accumulate basic assets and pattern a new lifestyle, all crucial steps in a successful transition from poverty to self-reliance. FUSION partners with community organizations for additional support services.

A case manager meets weekly with each family to assist in learning about, applying for and effectively using resources available to them. Highly important is training for job skills that will eventually support the family. The goal is to empower clients so they become self-sufficient, thus breaking the cycle of poverty, abuse, and all factors that led to homelessness.

Letters from people who were helped by FUSION show how courageous families have rebuilt their lives. Read their stories.

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Fusion of Community
A fusion of community support is critical to FUSION's success. We are truly friends united in serving families as they work toward self-reliance.

Managing and maintaining beautiful housing units takes a considerable effort. Businessmen offer services, individuals donate furniture, volunteers give thousands of hours a year to make FUSION the viable and vibrant organization it has become.

FUSION has consistently raised more than 75 percent of its budget needs with help from corporations, foundations, service groups and local businesses who donate goods or financial sponsorships and grants. Support also comes from individual pledges, churches, and civic groups in financial and in-kind donations.

An annual Summer Art Event on the beautiful grounds of Dumas Bay Centre at Dash Point is a community gala that raises a substantial amount of FUSION's yearly operating funds. With silent and live auctions plus art sales, this longstanding fund-raising event is well attended by supporters.

As a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, FUSION appreciates contributions in any amount. Tax deductible donations from generous benefactors give homeless families a chance to start a new productive life in a safe and secure home. The pride felt by client residents is reflected in the hearts of all who made it possible.

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Get Involved
There are other ways FUSION can use your help in providing housing and support services to homeless families. We gratefully welcome:

— Do you have a professional service to donate, time and talent to share, a few hours to join with like-minded volunteers on special projects?
Get started here.

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