Peggy LaPorte, the founder and president of FUSION, has been named the Mirror’s Citizen of the Month for July. FUSION, which stands for Friends United to Shelter the Indigent, Oppressed and Needy, is a nonprofit charity organization that provides transitional housing and support services for homeless families and has been a mainstay of non-governmental social services in Federal Way for a number of years now.
“I’m truly honored and humbled by [being chosen as Citizen of the Month],” LaPorte said. “There are so many well-deserving citizens in our community, and I really appreciate the honor.”
LaPorte said that while she may be the public face associated with FUSION, the organization’s work wouldn’t be possible without the help of the broader community.
“I truly believe in the mission of FUSION. It’s not about promoting myself, but about promoting families in our community and helping them become stable and self-sufficient,” she said. “This is a group effort, it’s not about one person’s actions, but about a community that comes to support the mission in so many ways.”
The others that comprise the group that helps FUSION accomplish it goals include “businesses, churches, non-profits and service organizations in our community,” she added.
FUSION is an all-volunteer driven organization. There are currently over 180 volunteers, who contribute approximately 18,000 hours per year. As it currently stands, FUSION maintains 17 fully furnished homes and condominiums in Federal Way, five homes in northeast Tacoma, and can also boast an 85 percent success rate of getting the families they help into permanent housing, self-sufficiency and employment.
“The volunteers are the heart and soul of the organization,” LaPorte said. “Without them, we couldn’t possibly do what we do.”
To learn more about FUSION, visit www.fusionfederalway.org.