The Pete Andersen FUSION Family Center
Serving 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 for them. Sketchy access to laundry facilities and after school study space also sets these students apart from their housed peers.
To address this problem of homelessness in our community, FUSION purchased an Econo Lodge hotel in Federal Way and converted it to an emergency shelter providing 29 safe and secure private rooms with full baths. This FUSION Family Center, opened in December 2020, houses individual families experiencing homelessness for up to 90 day stays. Referrals to the facility are from the coordinated entry list managed by Mary’s Place and community partner agencies.
The FUSION Family Center provides 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 employment and permanent housing. A FUSION-created Finally Home Fund also helps families with moving expenses when no other community funds are available.
A professional support services team at the Family Center triages priorities and creates a Family Stability Plan in collaboration with parents and their children. They meet weekly with a Housing and Employment Specialist to assist with housing and job searches. They also discuss needed support activities for children, determine appropriate referrals to community resources, and build life skills that progress to self-sufficiency.
The Family Center is professionally staffed at all times. After-school youth activities are available on-site. Residents share community recreation rooms and kitchens for preparing their own family meals. There are self-service laundry facilities on each floor. And professional security provides on-site safety.
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 families becoming stable, thriving and self-sufficient; a reduction in the number of families experiencing homelessness in South King County; and increased community partnerships that promote a seamless continuum of services to improve outcomes for the families we serve.
For more information about the FUSION Family Center contact:
Robin O’Grady, FUSION Executive Director
See how “The Pete” FUSION Family Center got it’s name.
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