We Fortify Joins THIA

Working Fusion: Building A Tiny Home Village For At-Risk Young Adults

Written by Janet Thome

I recently had the great pleasure of speaking with Shelley Jensen, the founder of We Fortify, who just became a new non-profit member of THIA. We Fortify is a Colorado Springs, Colorado 501(c)3 non-profit that exists to shift people experiencing economic and housing instability into lives of purpose, economic independence, and social connectedness through the development of small, dignified neighborhood communities that offer supportive services designed with a tenacious belief in the human capacity for growth.

Working Fusion At Mill Street is a tiny home village for at-risk adults and is the first development of We Fortify, crafted after two extensive years of research. The Community Health Partnership (Point in Time Count 2018) has identified a lack of housing options and the need for safe, supportive, accessible, affordable housing as the most significant challenge in tackling housing instability and homelessness.

Tiny Building Experts

Photo Credit: Tiny Building Experts

Tiny Building Experts is the approved builder of the tiny homes for Working Fusion At Mill Street in Colorado Springs, Colorado.

Austin Baker

A Small Piece Of Our Hearts…..

When Austin found himself starting our Tiny Building Experts company a few years ago, we both knew we wanted this company to be bigger for us personally than just “running a family-owned business”. It needed to mean more than that to us in order for us to make the commitment to give everything we have into our business mentally, physically, and spiritually. In College when going to School for Business, you’re taught that you will want to truly love what you are doing because, in order to make a new small business survive the 2-year mark and the 5-year mark, you have to have great persistence and pure determination to see it through.
Why is this project near and dear to our hearts…what can we say, how can it not be near and dear to us?
Foster Kids…
Being in Foster Care himself although for a short time, Austin knows first hand what it’s like to grow up without a Dad and minimal positive influence in his young life so when the opportunity to be a part of this project came to us and offered us a chance to help people, we committed to being part of this critical cause.
We want to be a part of the solution and offer these young people a positive influence.  This program is bigger than affordable housing and getting these young adults started in the right direction in life. Having a program to work with the kids to teach life skills with surely motivate, and influence others to do the program and become leaders and mentors too.  This is going to be amazing Community development, watch the impact of this little neighborhood come to life and please consider supporting We Fortify!
On behalf of Tiny Building Experts, we are assuring these Tiny houses are made with love and well built so they are a blessing in our community. This is why we started our business, to help people have something they could call home.
Austin Baker & Tracy Manchego-Baker
Tiny Building Experts

Working Fusion At Mill Street

Working Fusion

Working Fusion is building a tiny home village for at-risk young adults, with a focus on those aging out of foster care in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Working Fusion has a beautiful and much-needed vision.

Working Fusion Vision

Working Fusion at Mill Street is a neighborhood community that fortifies motivated young adults to create lives of purpose and sustainable independence. By providing dignified housing, accessible support services, and an inspiring peer community, Working Fusion becomes a partner in creating a clear path forward for young adults who have experienced economic challenges.

With a deep respect for each person’s inherent worth, potential, and desire for self-sufficiency, Working Fusion offers compassionate guidance, tenacious encouragement, and caring accountability.

We are a HOMELESS PREVENTION initiative

Who Working Fusion Serves

Working Fusion at Mill Street is for young adults between the ages of 18 and 29 who:

  • Will Benefit From Close Proximity To Access Support Services
  • Are Able And Motivated To Be Self-Sufficient
  • Are At Extreme Risk For Becoming, Have Been, Or Are Situationally Homeless
  • Have The Desire To Live A Life Of Purpose And Independence

All Residents Will Be Vetted And Adhere To A Community Contract


Provide dignified housing as a first step toward self-sufficiency.
  • Move-In Ready
  • Fully Furnished
  • Clean And Dignified
  • Affordable

Support Services

Support and empower people to learn life-skills and create a path to independence.
  • On-site weekly wrap-around services
  • Collaborate with, but don’t duplicate, counseling and supportive

    services provided by other Care Referral Providers (CRPs)

  • Two-year leases allow time for residents to get on their feet and

    learn life skills that will enable them to become independent


Create and peer community that motivates and inspires

  • We believe in the stabilizing power of social connections
  • We foster a sense of belonging with community activities such as yoga, concerts and movie nights

    such as yoga, concerts and movie nights

  • We create an environment for peer understanding and encouragement
  • Community Gardens
  • Promoting Work Trades And Careers

About Shelley Jensen, The Founder Of We Fortify


Shelley grew up in Minnesota and moved to Colorado Springs in 1994. She worked at MCI as the Manager for a community of technologists in SMART – Strategic Management of Architecture, Resources, and Technology. Charged with collaborating, not duplicating initiatives to reduce costs, and share best practices. She left MCI when her first child was born but continued to stay involved in the community.

She co-founded, BRIDGES, a youth leadership program that works with the community to solve problems within schools and was also the co-founder of the Pikes Peak Lacrosse Association. As her children got older, she took a position as the Director of Operations and Strategic Development for the United States Box Lacrosse Association. There, her responsibility was to ensure that USBOXLA had the resources necessary to accomplish its goals and objectives, to grow the game and that USBOXLA’s activities across the United States were successfully executed while creating a positive community culture.


Working Fusion

Contact Working Fusion if you want to donate, volunteer, or have a service to offer. It takes a village.



719 232 1252



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