FUSION Family Center

FUSION Family Center

Opening Fall 2020

Will Serve 116 Families — 400 Individuals — Annually

Did you know that more than 700 students in the Federal Way School District report that their families are experiencing homelessness? These youngsters likely go without beds and a healthy night's rest. Cooking facilities to maintain good nutrition may be nonexistent. Sketchy access to laundry facilities and afterschool study space also sets them apart from their housed peers.

Loss of employment, rent increases, a death in the family or costly illness are often the reason families lose their homes. Children pay an especially high price in disruption of education and an increase in emotional and health issues.

To address the problem of homelessness in our community, FUSION has purchased a hotel building in Federal Way and is in the process of converting it to an emergency shelter facility with 29 safe and secure private rooms with full baths that will house individual families experiencing homelessness for up to 90 day stays. Referrals to this FUSION Family Center will be from the coordinated entry list managed by Mary's Place and community partner agencies.

The Center will provide individualized services using a trauma-informed approach that acknowledges the unique challenges and distress each family member is experiencing due to living with housing instability. The goal is to assist guest families with a customized plan to secure permanent housing and employment. FUSION also has created a Finally Home fund to help families with moving expenses when no other community funds are available.

A professional support services team will triage and create the Family Stability Plan in collaboration with parents and their children. Families will also meet one-on-one weekly with a Housing and Employment Specialist to assist with permanent housing and employment searches and discuss needed support activities for children, determine appropriate referrals to community resources, and build life skills that progress to self-sufficiency.

The Family Center will be professionally staffed and after-school youth activities available on-site. Residents will share community recreation rooms and kitchenettes for preparing their own family meals. There will be self-service laundry facilities on each floor. And security will provide safety for the building and surrounding property.

Community partnerships with the FUSION Family Center include social service agencies, employment development organizations, youth activity groups, Federal Way School District, Communities in Schools, McKinney Vento, and professional programs for children and youth.

FUSION Family Center long-term outcomes are housed parents and their children becoming stable, thriving and self-sufficient; a reduction in the number of families in South King County experiencing homelessness; and a decrease in community "silos" as partnerships support a collective impact approach to assisting homeless populations.

For more information about the FUSION Family Center contact:
FUSION Executive Director, Robin O'Grady

Learn more about FUSION Finally Home funds.

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