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January 2016
Message from the ED 

We are off to a great start in 2016!  Thanks to supporters like you, we ended 2015 with very generous donations that help us operate our programs. The year ahead looks very promising in terms of improving our services for women experiencing homelessness on the Eastside. Already we have extended the Day Center hours until  3 pm  every weekday during the winter. Longer hours means the women will have more time to meet with our professional staff who can connect them with vital resources such as housing, physical and mental health providers, legal assistance, and job search tools, just to name a few. The women will also have more time to shower, eat a warm, nutritious meal, do laundry, and get much needed rest.  Thank you for making this happen. 
In addition to extended Day Center hours, The Sophia Way, in partnership with Catholic Community Services (CCS) is opening an Emergency Winter Shelter specifically for single adult women. Currently we have the Eastside Winter Shelter at St. Peters United Methodist in Bellevue that is open to women and families including fathers with children. However, this shelter has been reaching its maximum occupancy capacity for several nights since Thanksgiving weekend. In order to meet the increasing need from more women and families seeking shelter, The Sophia Way and CCS worked together with dedicated staff from the Eastside Cities to find additional funding to open up the second shelter. Thanks to emergency funding from the Cities of Bellevue, Kirkland, Redmond and Issaquah we are now able to open the other site.  We are relieved and grateful for the opportunity to provide better respite and care for the guests by separating  the populations, since they have very divergent needs, so that we can serve single adult women at one shelter and the families at St. Peters United Methodist.  
Finally, I would like to give a very special thank you to Danny Rogers, the General Manager at the Red Lion in Bellevue. He graciously and generously gave The Sophia Way four hotel rooms throughout December and January to take in women and families when the shelter was full.  One family had a toddler and an infant.  I continue to be overwhelmed by the generosity of this community. Thank you.

                                                                          -Angela Murray, Executive Director  
Extended Day Center Hours - Thanks to YOU
There were tears of joy when our women heard that the Day Center is going to be open until 3 p.m this winter.  On average, there are 35 women walking in everyday this season. We have also had an increase in the number of children at the Day Center - we have at least 5 families utilizing services through out this week. 
'It feels like we have more time now. The showers are less crowded and all of us get a chance to use the washer and dryer.  I am so pleased with the present hours. I feel relaxed, I don't know if it's just my mind playing tricks but can't believe this change has had such an impact on me' - Isabella, client at the Day Center
Emma's Story contd..

Thanks to you, Emma, who featured in our appeal letter moved into her own home. 
Emma runs her own cleaning business and has clients all across Eastside. With your support, she was able to buy a car which allowed her travel quickly and not use the bus anymore. She moved into Jubilee Transitional Housing in early January. You made her dream of being in (and cleaning!) her own home come true. Thank you for changing Emma's life. 
Our Second Emergency Winter Shelter to open on January 20th!

A woman with an 8 month old infant (from Operation Nightwatch) called at 11:00 p.m. and wanted to find out if she had space available in our shelter. 
This sparked discussion in the community about the need for another Emergency Winter Shelter. Thanks to the support from the Cities of Bellevue, Redmond, Kirkland and Issaquah, this shelter is now a reality and will be open from January 20th till end of March. 
The shelter will be located at Fenwick Hall,  Bellevue First Congregational Church. Doors open at 8:30 p.m. and will operate on first come first serve basis. The capacity is 50 beds. 
For more information, please email
Companion Program - Walking alongside

The Sophia Way Companion Program is an excellent asset to the organization's ability to serve women in need. Like all aspects of The Sophia Way, the Companion Program lives out the philosophy of the organization, while engaging the culture of compassionate authority.
This program gives a woman in the community a meaningful  opportunity to be of service to another woman  on her journey from life on the street to  independence, stability, and greater wholeness.Becoming a companion is a way of life and a way of being in the world with others.
Our (YOUR) Month of Success 
We had a record breaking number of women who moved into stable and permanent housing last month. Seven is the MAGIC number. Two of them moved back with their families, Three of them into permanent housing, One into Holy House and One into a transitional home. We help women at all points in their journey towards independence. 
These women have lived in our shelter for an average of 6 months before moving into their own HOME. Thanks to YOU, all of this happened. 
'I am still getting used to my big apartment. I love it here but miss having lunch and dinner with my friends at Sophia's Place.' - Lily, a client who recently moved into her own home
Meet the Hero's who helped us build our website! 

Michael Glass has been living in Seattle for the last 35 years. He was a consultant at Microsoft for 15 years where he focused his attention on digital marketing. About 10 years ago, he made contact with Wimmer Solutions where he was introduced to Nicole Brown, who is Director of Corporate Communications and Community Outreach at Wimmer. And through this relationship with Nicole, he has had the opportunity to direct a large part of his energies towards building web sites for non-profit organizations.Michael also teaches Vinyasa flow yoga classes at the University of Washington intramural activities center. 

Sujata Agrawal is an independent consultant based in Seattle, supporting nonprofit organizations in crafting strategic communication plans and storytelling to help them make a bigger impact in the lives of the local community. 
"To do more for the world than the world does for you - that is success" -  Henry Ford
In This Issue
Check out our new look!   

Thanks to Michael Glass and Sujata Agrawal, we have a new look to our website. 
Check it out here
Do you want to walk alongside and be a companion? 

Companion Training on 
Jan 30th 
10 a.m. - 1 p.m. at Sophia's Place.
Open to anyone wanting to be a companion.  
Click here to register. 
THANKS TO YOU, our women had an amazing Holiday Season! 

Here is a Glimpse:
Day Center Updates

We are thrilled to share that our partnership with Catholic Community Services has brought on a new Mental Health Professional, Tracy Stewart- who will be at the Day Center on Thursdays, in addition to our housing case manager from CCS: Allison, who currently comes on Mondays and Thursdays.
Looking for easy ways to donate? 

Check out our Amazon Wishlist here
for making things happen at