FUSION welcomes new executive director

Robin O’Grady will begin her new role on March 1.

Robin O’Grady

Robin O’Grady

FUSION welcomes Robin O’Grady as its new executive director. A highly-regarded leader of human services organizations in Kitsap County, O’Grady will begin her new role on March 1 and joins the FUSION team at an important time in its history.

“We’ve been remarkably successful as an all-volunteer organization in our first quarter century,” said Board President Byron Hiller in a press release. “Hundreds of homeless families have come through our program, and the vast majority move on to permanent housing. But the homelessness crisis is getting worse, and our community needs us to do more. Robin brings the nonprofit leadership experience and the program development expertise we need to expand our service to even more families.” FUSION co-founder Peggy LaPorte is enthusiastic about the new leader’s arrival. “I’m so impressed with Robin, not only by her background and what she’s accomplished so far, but also by her way of dealing with people. Our volunteers will love her. And she has such a big heart for this work! I couldn’t be more pleased.”

O’Grady served for 10 years as executive director for West Sound Treatment Center in Port Orchard, which provides chemical dependency treatment, case management, supportive housing and other services to people who suffer from substance abuse. She grew the organization by more than 300 percent during her tenure. While there she developed the first substance use disorder treatment program in Kitsap County Jail, pairing it with re-entry services including supportive housing programs for those exiting incarceration. O’Grady then organized and led Kitsap Connect, a partnership with Kitsap Public Health District, Kitsap Mental Health and Kitsap Community Resources, which provides wrap-around services to high-frequency users of local emergency services. Most recently, she worked at St. Vincent de Paul in Bremerton where she supervised their homeless shelter program, advised their thrift store operation and served on the financial leadership team. She has received numerous honors in recognition of her work, including the YWCA of Kitsap County “Woman of Achievement Award” in 2016.

“What a legacy the FUSION founders and dedicated volunteers have created!” O’Grady said. “I’m honored to be a part of such an extraordinary organization. I look forward to increasing our community impact by advancing innovative programs and fostering community partnerships that uplift those facing homelessness and other critical barriers.”

FUSION is a nonprofit volunteer-powered organization that provides housing and support services for homeless families so they have a safe, secure environment as they work toward self-sufficiency. FUSION currently owns and manages 19 residential units in Federal Way and Northeast Tacoma, as well as a retail operation that generates a portion of the organization’s operating funds.

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