November 21, 2018

By Jessica Oh

FEDERAL WAY, Wash. – The King County Council approved $3 million to build a brand new facility for homeless families.

The need to help homeless families in south King County is critical, the County Council said.

While two shelters already exist in Federal Way, this one will be unique. The funds will help Federal Way-based nonprofit Friends United to Shelter the Indigent, Oppressed and Needy (FUSION) build a family emergency shelter and a community resources center.

“When you don’t have any place to go, you’re going to couch surf, you’re going to sleep in your car or you’re going to sleep in a tent in the woods. That’s not a place for children,” said Byron Hiller, president of FUSION’s board.

The organization is partnering with Light of Christ Lutheran Church on 21st Avenue and aims to provide housing to 22 families who need emergency housing. FUSION will also work with Mary’s Place and Catholic Community Services.

“What’s different about FUSION is that rather than just giving families a handout with a place to live, we actually give them a hand up and provide them with counseling and case management to identify the root of their homelessness,” said David Harrison, vice president of FUSION’s board.

FUSION has helped hundreds of families get back on their feet for the past 25 years. The program has a 85 percent success rate in terms of permanently placing families in homes.

In addition to helping families through several transitional stages of housing, FUSION’s new facility will provide services like free day care and job resources. There will also be a community services center available to the public.

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