Save The Date

Annual Benefit Luncheon - Creating Spaces 
Oct 13th, 2016 from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.
Red Lion Hotel, Bellevue
Key Note Speaker : Sara Rankin, Director, Homeless Rights Advocacy Project, Seattle University School of Law. 


A message from our Executive Director 
I recently shared these important stories at Bellevue's Affordable Housing Community Education Forum. These women are in our shelter. Some of them have jobs; they are the working poor. Others are desperately seeking work but face age discrimination since they are in their 60s and may not have worked in the last 15 years. They are your neighbors.
Susan has an eating disorder and severe mental health issues associated with that. She's on a fixed income of $1,645/month but Medicare does not cover all the medical expenses which come to $700/month. She was renting a 125 sq. ft. studio in Redmond for $715/month but could no longer afford that with her medical expenses. She recently got a job as a certified nurse assistant.
Judy works full time at a retail store in Bellevue Square. She's established important roots and connections in this community yet she's willing to live elsewhere. She'll have to move south of SeaTac since her budget is just $800/month. This means she'll be dependent on the bus and long commutes. If the bus is late and she misses her shift, she may lose her job. It's happened before.
Their stories are unique but they all have one thing in common: they cannot afford to live in Bellevue. So please find out how the City plans to address this need with its new Affordable Housing Strategy, and why your involvement in this process is critical to its success.

- Angela Murray
From Homelessness to Home - Rhonda's Reflections
As I walk outside, I'm overcome with joy. I've been in my new place for close to ninety days.
Reflecting on being here, words run through my mind.
Gratitude is an attitude where gratefulness exudes and gives you the courage to care.
Many days life's struggles seemed to be never ending. Tearful nights, vivid recurring fears, and lingering unanswered questions.
Will I get a permanent job? Can I really afford to move? How will I get a car? Where did my life go?
These thoughts continually bombarded my mind.  Thanks to you, I feel safe today.  You helped me get here.
Staff knew what to say. Concern was conveyed. Compassion expressed, empathy imparted laced with decency. 
Now, I'm on my own. Not having a place to call home, is like a King without a throne. Feelings of powerlessness reign. One has to figure a way to thwart the shame and get back in the game of life. When strife appears, opportunity lies near. Dig deep to forge ahead.
You gotta do what you gotta do to make it through.

Outstanding Community Partner - Red Lion Hotel, Bellevue. 

Our hotel, the Red Lion Bellevue, has enjoyed a long term relationship in support of The Sophia Way. I wish to offer a few comments on how this relationship has benefited our hotel.
The daily grind of hotel work can be tiring and thankless. Our housekeepers clean 16 guestrooms per day. Our front desk staff members are expected to be relentlessly gracious and accommodating regardless of the situation. The majority do so with pay that is below what is now considered to be a living wage standard.
Within these conditions, it is my job to create a positive working environment. My task is to engender an atmosphere of kindness, warmth and hospitality.
When we produce an event such as the annual fundraising luncheon for the Sophia Way this task is made simpler. On this day, there is the shared sentiment within all of our staff that we are each doing something to help those made less fortunate through no fault of their own. Our hotel staff members may not have the personal resources to aid this organization as they would like.   They all derive great satisfaction in playing their part in enabling our entire workforce to give. For this reason, the day we produce the annual luncheon is a favorite workday of the year! On this day, we can truly celebrate the spirit of giving by offering graciousness, care and comfort on behalf of those in need. The warmth this creates within our staff brings us all joy. 
Think about the ROI. For our hotel it has been immeasurable.
- Danny Rogers, General  Manager, Red Lion Hotels.
A Note from the Heart : Natalie Minas, Case Manager
A day in the life of a case manager never looks the same as the previous day.  I am a resource provider through avid online research, a sounding board for women who need reassurance, and a guide for when women don't know where to start.  Having 21 women at various stages in their journey to independence means that each day is different as I strive to meet them where they're at. 
Being a part of the complexity of 21 individual lives with different needs, wants, and ideas for the future is what gets me out of bed in the morning. I can't imagine doing a job that doesn't bring me into contact with people in need.  My work keeps me humble, changes my perspective, and allows me to use my abilities in a way that supports those who need it the most.

The Biella Foundation 

Kirkland-based Biella Foundation has supported many important causes since their inception in 1982.
The founder of the Biella Foundation, Mart Bert, had a simple philanthropic philosophy: help those in need.  True to those words, their quarterly financial support to The Sophia Way assists women in need.
"The Biella Foundation is delighted to partner with The Sophia Way, which is making a significant impact in the lives of homeless women.  We have been very impressed by The Sophia Way's staff and volunteers who are dedicated to walking alongside women on their journeys out of homelessness by providing quality programs, resources and encouragement to help gain sustainable independence. Just as important is the organization's priority to maintain each woman's respect and dignity all along the way.  We are looking forward to seeing The Sophia Way impact our community for many years to come and stand with them in their goal 'to end homelessness for single adult women in King County.'"
- Joni Wolfe, Grants Administrator, The Biella Foundation
In Her Own Words 
The day before Lisa moved into her own home, she shared this thought with her friends and staff at the shelter.
"The impact this program has had on me has been a significant one.  It made me humble, and enabled me to understand fully about the flight and fight of being homeless.  It made me realize there is more needed to be done to help individuals/families to get back on their feet.  I want to give back to my community someday soon."  
- Lisa, past Sophia Way client