From left: Mayor Jim Ferrell, King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer, FUSION Executive Director Robin O’Grady, FUSION Founder Peggy LaPorte, former Speaker Frank Chopp and Sen. Claire Wilson at the ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 8. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror

From left: Mayor Jim Ferrell, King County Councilmember Pete von Reichbauer, FUSION Executive Director Robin O’Grady, FUSION Founder Peggy LaPorte, former Speaker Frank Chopp and Sen. Claire Wilson at the ribbon cutting ceremony on Oct. 8. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror

15 families progress to permanent housing thanks to Pete Andersen FUSION Family Center shelter

To date, the short-term shelter has helped more than 200 individuals.

The Pete Andersen FUSION Family Center has helped 15 families move on to stability since its opening in 2020.

The short-term shelter is the first of its kind in Federal Way, providing temporary housing and resources to families experiencing homelessness.

Formerly the site of an old and shabby Econo Lodge hotel, 1505 S. 328th St., the family center was transformed into a place of hope and healing.

FUSION’s family center was completed with the help of a $1 million donation from the Lennar Foundation on behalf of former Lennar Homes associate Pete Andersen, who died from COVID-19 in March.

Andersen, 43, worked for Lennar Homes for seven years. He was one of the first people in the country to become diagnosed with COVID-19, and became the third person in the United States to die from the disease.

Since opening the doors on Christmas Eve last year, 57 families (about 200 individuals) have been served, said Robin O’Grady, executive director of FUSION.

The guest count averages 28 adults and 60 children on any given day, she said.

Of these families, 15 have successfully moved on to find permanent housing and self-sufficiency.

Guided and individualized family stability planning with each family by the center’s housing and employment specialist has been key in families finding success, O’Grady said.

Close community partnerships have also created access to critical community services and proven to be effective.

Current partners of the family center include the Multi-Service Center, Catholic Community Services, St. Luke’s Lutheran Church (Operation Blessing), Phenomenal She, Child Protective Services and Career Pathways, Department of Health and Social Services, and Food Lifeline, among others.

Families at the center also have the opportunity to apply to FUSION’s Finally Home Fund, which provides first month’s rent, security deposit, and moving assistance funds to transition into permanent housing, O’Grady said.

“This has been critically important as many community organizations exhaust these types of available subsidies quickly and this can create a bottleneck to permanent housing opportunities for families seeking permanency,” she said.

To date, FUSION also owns and manages 21 transitional housing units in the Tacoma and Federal Way areas.


Talk to us

Please share your story tips by emailing editor@federalwaymirror.com.

To share your opinion for publication, submit a letter through our website https://www.federalwaymirror.com/submit-letter/. Include your name, address and daytime phone number. (We’ll only publish your name and hometown.) Please keep letters to 300 words or less.

The Pete Andersen FUSION Family Center is located at 1505 S. 328th Street in Federal Way. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror

The Pete Andersen FUSION Family Center is located at 1505 S. 328th Street in Federal Way. Olivia Sullivan/the Mirror

More in Life

The Enumclaw library is passing out free at-home rapid COVID tests. Photo by Ray Miller-Still
8 King County libraries passing out at-home rapid COVID tests

Supply is limited; patrons are asked to limit themselves to two tests per household.

2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport
Car review: 2021 Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport

By Larry Lark, contributor The Volkswagen Atlas Cross Sport full-size SUV has… Continue reading

2021 Lexus RC 350 F Sport
Car review: 2021 Lexus RC 350 F Sport

By Larry Lark, contributor The 2021 Lexus RC 350 F Sport is… Continue reading

2021 Chevrolet Trailblazer RS
Car review: 2021 Chevy Trailblazer RS

By Larry Lark, contributor Chevy’s 2021 Trailblazer is an entry-level, compact SUV… Continue reading

2021 Toyota Corolla XSE
Car review: 2021 Toyota Corolla XSE

By Larry Lark, contributor Hatchbacks are all about versatility and fun. The… Continue reading

tsr
Celebrate the holiday season in Federal Way

Santa parades, holiday tree lighting, Federal Way holiday market and more.

Centerstage Theatre
Centerstage Theatre’s holiday pantomime tradition returns

“Puss in Boots” is showing Nov. 27 through Dec. 19 in Federal Way.

2022 Infiniti QX60 Autograph
Car review: 2022 Infiniti QX60 Autograph

By Larry Lark, contributor If you want your SUV to make a… Continue reading

2022 Mini Cooper S 2-door. Courtesy photo
Car review: 2022 Mini Cooper S 2-door

By Larry Lark, contributor They don’t come around very often, but when… Continue reading

2022 Telluride Nightfall Edition
Car review: 2022 Kia Telluride

By Larry Lark, contributor Big, bold and boxy, that’s the newly tweaked… Continue reading

2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Overland
Car review: 2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Overland

By Larry Lark, contributor With almost 30 years and four generations under… Continue reading