We have new chairs at the shelter, thanks to YOU! 


A message from our Executive Director 
Even though we're experiencing Juneuary right now, summer is approaching with all of its wonderfulness. For most of us summer means vacations, barbeques, swimming, hiking, beaches, and more time with our families. But for our women who access Sophia Way's services, summer has a different meaning.
No matter the season, women without housing cannot escape the elements. "Nicer" weather to someone who is housed means they can go outside, enjoy the sun, then return to an air-controlled environment with immediate access to water. That same weather for someone who is unhoused means sunburns, dehydration, heat stroke, and the general discomfort of being hot and sweaty. We have many menopausal or perimenopausal women who often sweat and fan themselves on a cool day, but summer gives added distress. Constant exposure to the elements also means that allergy sufferers struggle (often without funds to purchase allergy medication), and those prone to skin cancer leave themselves dangerously exposed. I am  especially worried about our older clients and clients without transportation. People who are housed have the luxury of having a wardrobe that has pieces for all seasons; when you only have what you can carry, you either have to get rid of clothing that will help you during cold nights, or endure heavy sweating. With no place to go, long hot days can be agonizing.  I'll be thinking of our clients on the weekends. Our clients will most likely be looking for safe places to stay for relief from the heat. However, like in the winter months, it may be difficult to stay in one place too long (a coffee shop, restaurant, etc.).  If you would like to help our clients get through the summer safely, we are gratefully accepting the following donations at our Day Center and Shelter location:
  • bottled water
  • sunblocks
  • hats
  • light summer clothing/sandals
  • baby wipes/hygiene wipes
  • foot care products
- Angela Murray
Muslim Resource Community Center 
The Muslim Community Resource Center (MCRC) has a longstanding relationship with The Sophia Way since 2010. 
You have and will continue to be our outstanding partner. You started off by providing hot meals to our women at the shelter, slowly building a group dynamic wherein you were able to get personally involved in the lives of our women. This was not only by providing the women with a meal different from the one they get every day, but also by sitting with them as they ate and engaging in insightful conversation about everyday life. Your goal of allowing everyone to feel included in the community, regardless of age, living condition, work status, etc. has worked wonders with our women. 
The companionship between MCRC volunteers and our women is special. There was an instance where a MCRC volunteer heard from Beth, who had newly moved to Seattle that she needed to make a trip to California to bring her cat back. MCRC arranged a round trip airfare for Beth so that she could bring her cat back. The personal letter of appreciation that they received from Beth is one of their most cherished possessions. 
In addition to providing meals and companionship to the women's shelter, MCRC has engaged with our Emergency Winter Shelter for Women and Families.  They were also a gold level sponsor at the 2014 Sophia Way Fund Raising Luncheon and also a key sponsor for the 2015 event.
MCRC strongly believes in the motto "love for Humanity what you love for yourself," and we aim to treat every individual that comes through The Sophia Way as a member of our community and MCRC family."
Cabi - Making our women smile 
T he Heart of Cabi Foundation is proud of its mission to encourage and empower women in need. 
You were the reason for our women to smile! There were close to 50 women from all our programs who had an amazing time shopping and walking back with essential clothes. 
'What a heart warming day we had at the Sophia Way serving your beautiful women!.  It was a joy to see the smiles and hear the laughter echo throughout the room we were in. I'm so proud to be part of a company , founded by women for women,  who do so much in good in local communities and around the world.  I believe that all of us need a little help at times in our lives and was grateful to be able to offer just that.  I felt the gratitude from the ladies and a tear sprang to my eye when one of them told us "you C abi  ladies will never be forgotten".  Thanks for the opportunity to serve.'  
-  Lindsay Hellinger, Cabi Stylist
Audrey's experience at the shelter

'My name is Audrey Curran. I just finished my freshman year at Eastside Catholic.  
Every year, students complete 25 service hours as part of our ministry. I wanted to have a meaningful, hands on experience, helping others. Through my Parish, I got connected with The New Bethlehem Project.  This is a new and upcoming day center, helping homeless families on the Eastside --- get back on their feet.  
This brought me to The Sophia Way. I wanted to learn more about this concern closer to my own home. When I walked into Sophia's Way for the first time, I immediately felt a feeling of love. Walking around the shelter was an experience I will never forget. The fridge was full of yummy foods of all varieties. The rooms and bathrooms were spotless and newly remodeled. Volunteers, and staff genuinely seemed to care about every single woman. The building was kept in exquisite shape, and the calendar for volunteers to bring food in was booked weeks in advance.  My mom and I made a trip to Costco and donated food. It was a simple, yet a meaningful gesture. 
The Sophia Way isn't just a shelter; it's a place for women to feel important. Anyone looking for service hours or to just volunteer - contact Sophia's Way. You won't be disappointed.' - Audrey 

The New Bethlehem Project will be serving families experiencing homelessness  on the Eastside. Their Day Center will be open from 2 - 8 p.m., Monday through Friday at the lower level of Salt House in Kirkland, WA. They are expected to open in Fall 2016. 
Support Network 

For those who help to meet the needs of women experiencing homeslessness in East King County I have often said, "If not us, then who?" It is the people who make up the Sophia Way Support Network who take these words to heart!
Each of you who attends the Sophia Way Support Network's monthly meetings represents either a congregation, community group, or non-profit that supports The Sophia Way. You are passionate about meeting the needs of women experiencing homelessness and spreading the word about our mission. This group has been meeting once a month since 2009! That is a commitment to the cause!
Words cannot express the gratitude we feel for all the work you have done to help women on the Eastside. Because of your efforts, we have been able to help so many women's journey from homelessness to independence. We are thankful!
If you would like to join us, we meet at noon on the fourth Tuesday of every month at Bellevue First Congregational Church at 11061 NE 2nd St, Bellevue, WA 98004. 
Email volunteer@sophiaway.org for more information.  Please come join us!
Cheers for Volunteers 
Thank you to everyone who came out on a chilly, rainy Thursday afternoon for our Cheers for Volunteers picnic! We were so glad to see so many long-time volunteers, new volunteers, and future volunteers, and have the chance to thank you for all that you do for us! About 30 people came out to enjoy some pizza and snacks, receive certificates of appreciation, and chat and get to know each other and our staff and board members who were there. The wind made things a little tricky, but fortunately we had the beautiful picnic shelter at Crossroads Park here in Bellevue to keep us dry- the sun even poked it's head out by the end of the evening! 
Once a year, we have a volunteer appreciation event, but really, we could never begin to give back to you as much as our volunteers give us. I will say it again and again- we would not be here doing the good work that we do without the time, talent, and support of so many wonderful volunteers. We are so grateful to you not just once a year, but every single day.
You are The Sophia Way. Thank you!