Ie'Shaei'e
Message from our Executive Director
Angela Murray
Growth! This aptly describes what’s taking place at The Sophia Way right now. It’s a very exciting time! We are growing to meet the increasing need as we serve more women in all of our programs. More women are accessing our life saving services at the Day Center. More women are seeking warmth and safety at our Emergency Winter Shelter and more women are getting into housing! 
 
But this doesn’t just happen. It takes a lot of resources to serve a vulnerable population-women who are experiencing homelessness because we have failed in our community to provide adequate affordable housing, women who tend to be older 55+, women who are underemployed or unable to work because they have a disability or face age discrimination in the workforce, women living on a fixed income and their rent just went up $120 per month and now have an eviction on their record, women who are domestic violence survivors, and women coping with mental illness or substance abuse. On a daily basis, our professional and dedicated staff work with all of these women and all of these challenges. 
 
Their work looks like this: In the middle of the night, staff will sit beside and comfort a woman experiencing a mental health crisis at our low barrier Emergency Shelter. Our housing case manager will assist 24 clients by driving them throughout King County to multiple appointments and interviews to complete their housing voucher applications in time to meet the deadline. And our Director of Emergency Services rolls up her sleeves to unclog the toilets for the umpteenth time that week, and then washes 50 blankets at the laundromat while answering several calls from desperate women throughout our area needing shelter right now. And did I forget to mention, they truly embrace their work and love getting women into housing.
 
As we approach the holidays and reflect on how we can give back, I ask that you consider a monetary donation to The Sophia Way. While we are always appreciative, and often in need of material goods and perishables being donated, what we really need and ALWAYS need, is  your support for operations . Operations doesn’t sound very exciting or urgent, yet it is. .  . operations is our staff-the hardest working women with compassion and patience that I have ever had the honor to work with.  Thank you for considering how you can make an impactful difference in the lives of our women.

Angela Murray
Executive Director
Our Record Breaking Impact in 2017
With your help, this year we’ve had a record breaking impact:

  • 112 women have been housed – a 320% increase from last year
  • 412 women have been served at the Day Center – a 35% increase from last year
  • Day Center operation hours have increased by 85% since 2015
  • 70 women have stayed at Sophia's Place – a 4% increase from last year
  • For the last 7 weeks, 95 women have had a safe, warm place at our Emergency Winter Shelter


Modupe, a past client

We are able to get more women into housing because of our shift towards Housing First approach.
Housing First is an approach to ending homelessness that centers on quickly moving women experiencing homelessness into independent and permanent housing and then providing additional supports and services as needed. Key piece is that there are NO requirements to getting into housing.
Another way we are attempting to effectively reach more women who are struggling to find affordable housing is through street outreach . This summer, we launched our first Street Outreach and Engagement Program, thanks to new funding from United Way.

We view this as an effort in expanding our mission reach and, more importantly, to provide a little hope and dignity for those women who may not experience much of this in their daily walk without a support system and/or place to call home.
You made #GivingTuesday a big success!
On Tuesday, November 28, 2017, charities, families, businesses, community centers and students around the world came together for a common purpose: to celebrate and encourage giving.

This #GivingTuesday, The Sophia Way had a goal to raise $5,000. Your generosity made our #GivingTuesday movement a huge success.

TSW Staff

You helped us raise $10,000 in 24 hours! So, we have 10,000 reasons to say thank you... It's moments like this, when supporters like you come together and take collective action to help women experiencing homelessness. With every dollar you give, you are making housing more attainable to our women.

We are committed to helping women get back on their feet with both dignity and respect. With your help, we are addressing extraordinary challenges with unique solutions. Thank you for your generosity.
Thanksgiving at the shelter
With the days getting shorter and darker, we are very happy to be open on weekends and holidays. Instead of trying to figure out how to survive outside in the cold, women who are experiencing homelessness come to our Day Center to rest, recuperate and recover while they get a warm meal, a hot shower and access critical human services.

On Thanksgiving day, we were one of the very few places that remained open. On top of that, thanks to our extremely generous community, we were able to provide some extra holiday warmth and cheer!
Meal Spread
We had a community member donate a big Thanksgiving meal to our Day Center that included turkey, mashed potatoes, stuffing, green beans and broccoli. In addition, every Thanksgiving, our clients are invited to Seastar Restaurant in downtown Bellevue. Chef John Howie has been serving our clients a wonderful (free!) Thanksgiving meal for the last 12 years and plans to continue this in the coming years, too.

Muslim Community Resource Center and Holy Family Parish also invited our women to share delicious Thanksgiving meals. They are long-time supporters who have been inviting our clients for the past several years.

Finally, St. Andrew's Lutheran Church donated gift cards that were given out to 41 women who came to the Day Center on Thanksgiving. This was to ensure they had a place to go between 3 p.m., when the Day Center closed, and 8:30 p.m. when the Emergency Winter shelter opened. Usually, women will spend these hours in a library or other public space, but since most places were closed on Thanksgiving, these gift cards allowed them to spend the hours not only safely in a warm place, but with a nice warm drink for an extra holiday treat. Thank you St. Andrew's!

On Thanksgiving Day, the first Day Center client to arrive showed up right at 8 a.m. She stated, "As you can see, I'm here early. It's because I don't have anywhere to go today. Thank you for being open."
Spreading the Holiday Cheer
The Holiday Season is in full swing and it is truly evident by the number of donations and inquiries that are coming to us for our 2017 Holiday Initiative. Thank you one and all! 

This year we have more clients than ever and our goal is to provide the basic, general necessities they need as well as the items they may need when comfort and care are key to their survival. Basic necessities include hats,
Clients at the shelter

scarves, gloves, socks, and rain ponchos. Cough drops, band aids, postage stamps, chapstick, combs and brushes are examples of items that clients need on a less frequent basis but which are also necessary. And of course, gift cards – the gift of a hot drink time in a coffee shop on a winter’s afternoon when the Day Center is closed and the winter shelter yet to open. Gift cards also provide a personal item of clothing, gas for a car, or, perhaps, special food for a dietary requirement. All these items bring comfort and joy to our clients.

Our donor list is growing! Thank you to the following organizations and individuals who have already donated or pledge donations.
  • The Thyagaraja Family
  • Dignity For Divas, Bellevue
  • Trader Joe’s
  • Cathy Relyea and Holiday Bazaar donors
  • Assistance League of the Eastside
  • Bellevue City Hall employees
  • St. Madeleine Sophie Church
  • Mike Glenn and Friends
  • Susan Harvey
  • St. Andrews Lutheran Church
  • Cepheid
  • Master Builders, Bellevue
  • National Charity League GLA Class of 2021
  • St. Louise Church
  • Pink Panters
  • Suzie Nelson
  • Deepa Venky and Amazon Team
  • AAA Soap for Hope
  • Eastshore Unitarian Church
  • St. Louise Sock It to Me Homelessness sock drive
  • Lumedx
  • Beverley Scruton
  • St. Andrews
  • Natalie Gauthier & the Kirkland Girls for Good
  • New Seasons Market
  • Forest Ridge School
  • St. Luke’s Lutheran Church
  • Holy Family Kirkland Church
  • Relief Societ, Cougar Mountain Ward, LDS Church
  • Microsoft Issaquah Team
Please contact Pat Landy ( pat@sophiaway.org ) if you would like to partner with us this year for the Holiday Initiative. 
Move-on Vouchers - How this helped in Housing
King County Housing Authority (KCHA) serves as a safety net for people with the greatest housing needs. Tenant-based Section 8 vouchers help approximately 11,400 households with low incomes rent homes on the private market. With a voucher, tenants pay 28-40% of their incomes for rent and utilities and KCHA pays the rest.  We are incredibly grateful that KCHA granted us an additional 18 "Move-on" vouchers this year to give out to clients in all of our programs!
Apartments where our clients live
These "Move-on" vouchers allow women that have been in our Sophia's Home program for years to live completely independently (without regular case management,) while remaining in their current apartments or moving to another permanent, Section 8 funded home. This in turn has allowed us to invite 18 women from our Sophia's Place Shelter, Emergency Winter Shelter, and Day Center to take their places in the Sophia's Home program, where they will now have their own TSW Case Manager and best of all, their own permanent, affordable home.

Obtaining these additional vouchers and helping women actually move into their new homes takes a great deal of work and resources, so we could not do it without YOU! On behalf of the women we are proud to serve, thank you again for your support and generosity. We look forward to your continued engagement in our mission of ending homelessness.
Our Office
The Sophia Way
11061 NE 2nd Street, Suite 223
Bellevue, WA 98004
Ph: 425-463-6285
Fax: 425-455-8607
Our Shelter
Sophia’s Place
3032 Bellevue Way NE
Bellevue, WA 98004
Ph: 425-896-7385
Bus Route: 249
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