FUSION receives $1M donation in honor of man who died from COVID-19

The Lennar Foundation recently donated $1 million, new Federal Way emergency shelter to be named The Pete Andersen FUSION Family Center.

Federal Way’s FUSION recently received a $1 million donation to help create The Pete Andersen FUSION Family Center in honor of a Seattle man who died from COVID-19 in March.

FUSION, a Federal Way-based nonprofit organization dedicated to providing temporary housing and support services to homeless families, received the donation from The Lennar Foundation, the charitable arm of Lennar home construction company.

Due to the generous donation, the facility will be named The Pete Andersen FUSION Family Center; Pete, a longtime Lennar Seattle Associate, passed away on March 2 due to COVID-19.

“It was following the tragic passing of Pete that the Lennar Foundation decided to donate $1 million to the local FUSION project after learning how much it meant to the former Associate and division,” FUSION wrote in a July 17 news release.

The new facility will be FUSION’s first emergency homeless shelter and the first shelter within Federal Way city limits.

The new Pete Andersen FUSION Family Center will provide much needed services in the South King County area. It is expected to serve up to 116 families or 400 individuals, with more than 250 of those anticipated to be children, struggling with homelessness each year.

The project is scheduled to be completed in Fall of 2020.

“Pete Andersen was known as the ‘Big Deal’ in Seattle. He was an impact player, and positively affected the hearts and minds of the Seattle team, of all of his customers, and of many of our trade partners as well,” said Bill Salvesen, Seattle Division president for Lennar.

Pete was an integral team member at Lennar.

He worked in the Seattle Division for seven years, helping to evolve and develop it into a successful branch of the company. Pete passed away at the age of 43 and was one of the first fatalities in the U.S. due to COVID-19.

A beloved husband and father of three children, lover of square dancing and church, he is remembered by his great laugh, generosity, and heart of gold.

“On behalf of our family, we are so incredibly grateful to Lennar and FUSION for this loving and beautiful tribute Lennar helped provide. Pete worked hard for his company and his family. One of the best and hardest working men you will ever meet,” said Tammy Andersen, Pete’s wife.

In November 2019, prior to COVID-19, FUSION purchased the Econo Lodge in Federal Way.

As part of Lennar’s Focused Acts of Caring program, Lennar’s Seattle division committed to complete all demolition and provide services and materials necessary to convert the hotel into a shelter.

An active community volunteer, Pete was excited about being involved in the project on the ground level but when on-site work began in February, he unfortunately had already become ill.

On April 29, the FUSION Board of Directors voted unanimously to rename the shelter The Pete Andersen FUSION Family Center.

With the donated money, the facility will be able to complete all of the renovations needed and anticipate a Grand Opening for the first families later this fall.

FUSION currently owns 20 residential homes located throughout Federal Way and neighboring Northeast Tacoma.

To learn more about FUSION, visit fusionfederalway.org.

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