Wednesday, February 27, 2013

The Sophia Way Board Invites You to Festa Italiana

Greetings!


The Sophia Way Board cordially invites you to our Annual Benefit Dinner & Auction - Festa Italiana on March 2nd, 2013 at the Bellevue Hilton Hotel. Please see the invitation below. We hope you will be able to join us with your friends, family and co-workers in support of The Sophia Way and all the wonderful women we are proud to serve.

We have had some recent changes in our Board. Please see a complete list of our Board members below. Also, a special message from our Board Chair, Janet Donnelly, welcoming our newest member of the board, Helen Leuzzi.

Looking forward to a great event this Saturday and to sharing the evening with you in support of our mission!

Karina O'Malley
Interim Executive Director

Auction 2013 Invite
A Message from Our Board Chair:
We welcome Helen Leuzzi to the Board of Directors. Her commitment to the mission and previous service as Executive Director offers a connection to the past as we move into the future of The Sophia Way. Helen and our Interim Executive Director, Karina O'Malley, worked together to solidify an organization that continues assisting women from homelessness to independence. We are thrilled she will be working in this capacity and look forward to The Sophia Way's future.

Janet Donnelly
Board Chair
The Sophia Way Board:

Janet Donnelly, Chair
Janet Olin, Secretary
Paul Quinn, Treasurer
Cathy Goodrich
Lynn Engel

Helen Leuzzi
Jared Nieuwenhuis
Leslie Schofield
Kim Stohler

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Natalya is a Refugee

Thursday, February 21, 2013
Greetings!

Most of us do not have to think about where we'll sleep tonight. We are fortunate to have a place we call home - a place that is warm, welcoming and nurturing. A "place to call home" wherein we can feel safe from harm is NOT what most of our clients have. These sad and profound circumstances affect their lives in a myriad of ways. Today I want to share the story of Natalya, a refugee, who entered our program, took advantage of the services and opportunities we were able to provide, and in so doing, created a new life for herself. She is no longer experiencing homelessness having moved into her own home!

Karina O'Malley
Interim Executive Director

Natalya is a refugee

Natalya is a refugee. Before she found us, she was homeless, sleeping on friend's couches while trying to maintain employment. As you can well imagine, getting restful sleep each night when you don't know where you will be sleeping can profoundly affect your mental acuity. She found it increasingly difficult to be punctual for work and experienced a decline in her alertness. The husbands of her friends became tired of her sleeping on their couches, telling her to move on. Some of her friends would let her sneak into their homes late at night and leave early in the morning. One of her friends found us and brought Natalya into our office for an intake. Natalya was admitted to our shelter wherein she found stability and a welcoming environment where she could feel safe and hopeful. Finally, she knew where she would sleep every night. She had access to showers and laundry to help her prepare for her workdays. Being an outgoing young woman, Natalya soon made new friends, and enjoyed sharing her culture with them.
When a long term housing situation became available, we thought of Natalya. We knew that having her own apartment to come home to every night would help her continue to move forward on her journey. She has made herself a warm and cozy home and enjoys keeping it clean and cooking her own meals. She welcomes anyone from the Sophia Way into her home with offers of food and companionship. Natalya has found the confidence to return to ESL classes to improve her English skills. Improving her English speaking skills will definitely help to increase her employment opportunities.
In This Issue
Natalya is a refugee
Festa Italiana
Sophia's Thrift Shoppe Updated Hours of Operation

Festa Italiana
The Big Day is almost upon us!

FESTA ITALIANA - Benefitting The Sophia Way is now barely more than a week away! If you haven't registered, please do so as you won't want to miss this exciting evening that has been carefully crafted for your enjoyment, from strolling Italian minstrels, a wonderful Italian Menu and Hosted Cocktail Hour featuring a Seafood Buffet and Appetizers to over 200 auction items sure to delight with something for every size pocketbook; you can see these great auction items on our Auction Web Page. Please join Rick Little, Auctioneer, Kent Phillips (Fisher Broadcasting), Emcee, our Board and The Sophia Way family for this wonderful event benefitting the inspirational women we are proud to serve.
New Hours for the Thrift Shoppe

We have updated the hours of operation for our Sophia's Thrift Shoppe. We are now open 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. from Tuesdays to Saturdays and closed on Sundays and Mondays. This week we have some exciting deals at the Thrift Shoppe - remember to check them out!

Thursday, February 7, 2013

One Night Count and Beyond

Thursday, February 7, 2013
Greetings!

We have been successful in keeping many women off the streets over the years and providing them with shelter, housing and many other supporting services. However, the One Night Count numbers suggest that the homeless population is still growing in King County - see the article on One Night Count below. It is clear that there is a lot more work we need to do. With your support, we hope to continue to expand our programs toward ending homelessness in King County.

Karina O'Malley
Interim Executive Director
One Night Count and Beyond

At the end of January each year hundreds of volunteers spread out across King County during the night and into the wee hours of the morning in an effort to count the number of people without shelter including people trying to survive in cars, tents, riding late night buses, and those curled up in blankets under bridges or in doorways. 2013 was the 33rd year of One Night Count. This year it was done on January 25th between the hours of 2:00 to 5:00 a.m. with the help of 800 volunteers.

At least 2,736 men, women and children were found that night without shelter - this is an increase of 5% over last year's numbers; 897 men, 205 women, 19 minors (under 18 years of age) and no gender identification for the other 1,615. These numbers are considered inaccurate and an undercount since volunteers do not get to every street corner and people take great care not to be visible, especially women. Therefore, the actual number of people is likely higher. The full details on the count can be found on the 2013 results web page of Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness.

One Night Count gives us a great data point that is essential for us to understand the magnitude of the problem. Clearly we have a lot more work do to. The challenge now is to go beyond the One Night Count and make those numbers more significant. Seattle/King County Coalition on Homelessness is offering free Homelessness Advocacy 101 workshops. The Sophia Way is proud to host one of these workshops in our new shelter, Sophia's Place at St Luke's, from 2:00 - 4:00 p.m on Saturday, February 9th. For further details and to register please visit the Homelessness Advocacy 101 web page.

The workshops will be led by the incomparable pro-democracy cheerleader Nancy Amidei who can shed wisdom to a growing societal problem while also interjecting a little fun into the process. Together with local experts and allies, you will learn the facts about important proposals, along with simple actions and sample messages. You will leave informed and inspired - with tools for engaging your classmates, fellow congregants, neighbors and others to speak up and make a difference. Join in and spread the word.
In This Issue
One Night Count and Beyond
Thank You Expedia Employees!
Sophia's Thrift Shoppe Open for Business

Cell Phone Recycling Drive at Expedia

We want to thank Expedia and all their employees for organizing a cell phone recycling drive and gathering almost 150 old cell phones!

Getting the three boxes of old cell phones donated by Expedia employees ready to ship.
We are partnering with Phones 4 Charity in this cell phone recycling program. For every cell phone that is recycled through us, The Sophia Way gets some donation depending on the phone. All your data from the phone will be removed securely and phones, along with any accessories, will be recycled in an environmentally friendly manner.

If you know any business or other organization that would be interested in conducting a similar cell phone recycling drive, please let us know. We can provide all the materials to make the campaign successful.
Sophia's Thrift Shoppe Open for Business
After many months of preparations, Sophia's Thrift Shoppe will open for business on Friday, February 8! We are proud to have this exciting employment training and work contracting program launched for our clients. This will be a unique thrift store with unique opportunities for our clients - it is the training ground in soft and technical business skills including customer service, inventory management and principles of sales and marketing. Upon completion of our Employment Certification Program by our clients, we will seek employment contracts with local businesses where we will provide our client's first month salary while a new employment opportunity provides them with the tools they need to succeed. We are confident that through this program we will be able to achieve our goal of helping our clients become financially independent so they can return to an independent stable life.
Countless hours of volunteer effort have gone into arranging the Thrift Shoppe and now we are excited to open its doors to you!
This project would not have been possible without the tireless work of many volunteers, board members and staff. We want to especially acknowledge the help of Kimberly Stohler, Janet Olin and Kay Hollingsworth who have spent countless hours sorting and arranging items, painting - doing everything possible to create a professional environment for our customers and for our clients. We also want to thank Denise Auld, the Store Manager and Sue Peebles, the Assistant Store Manager for their help in getting our Shoppe operational.

Sophia's Thrift Shoppe is located just above Ski Mart at 13219 NE 20th St, Suite 200, Bellevue, WA 98005. Our hours of operation will be: 10:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. on Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays; 11:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. Saturdays; 10:00 a.m. to 7:00 p.m. on Thursdays; 12:00 noon to 4:00 p.m. on Sundays and closed on Mondays. We will have the GRAND OPENING in March, but don't let that stop you from checking out the store now. Let the shopping begin!