Friday, November 14, 2014

What happens at night

November 13, 2014

In this edition

What happens at night
A night shelter staff's experience at Sophia's Place
Barbara has a home to call her own
Finding home through life's ups and downs
Our most successful Luncheon ever!
What happens when a community comes together for a mission!
Eastside Emergency Winter Shelter Opening this weekend
A place for warmth, nourishment, and shelter

What happens at night 
Life at Sophia's Place through the eyes of a Night Shelter Staff 

When everyone prepares to go to bed at night, I start my work at Sophia's Place. I make sure that the needs of the women here are provided for throughout the night such as putting snacks out for the women that have a hard time sleeping and they use food to comfort them or just be there for someone to listen to them. We call it the grave shift. It is not easy work, but one that gives me a sense of fulfilment. It gives me a lot of satisfaction to know that I'm helping to provide a safe, secure facility for the women at night and to have them tell me how they appreciate me being here.
I started working at The Sophia Way in November 2013. I was originally hired as an on-call shelter staff for the East Side Emergency Winter Shelter. I started working at Sophia's Place in February of this year as permanent overnight staff. I have recently started interning at the Day Center as well where I'm learning the daily operations of shelter management and the role of case management.
My background is in working with men, women, children and families experiencing homelessness. I'm currently a student at Seattle Central College, studying Social Services to obtain my Bachelor in the hopes of continued work with the homeless population as a Housing Case Manager.
As I serve breakfast to the women in the morning, I'm re-energized every day, to hear their stories of receiving housing, going to school, or getting a job. As I keep the facility clean, the storage room organized, and track referrals and donations, I know that by addressing the needs of each women, we are helping them find affordable housing and a stepping stone out of homelessness to to stable independent living.
Frances Tucker
Night Shelter Staff
Barbara has a home to call her own
Finding home through life's ups and downs

Barbara became homeless in 2011 due to family difficulties that lead to an eviction. Having no home of her own, she couch-surfed with friends and family members for many years. She didn't have a stable job and barely managed to get by. Her future was uncertain and difficulties seemed insurmountable.

Barbara came to our shelter in early 2014. One of her top
goals, when she met with our case managers here, was to be employed in the food service industry. Having a stable place to sleep at night helped her concentrate on acquiring the skills she needed for her job and also for job search. We helped her get a license that was required for her job. Being as industrious as she was, she was able to quickly learn all the skills she needed and found a job at a reputable hotel in Bellevue. The next priority was to find her a housing. With high rents and a serious lack of affordable housing options on the Eastside, finding a home, where she can pay the rent with her salary, was a challenge. We were able to use Rosco Housing Fund, a program funded by a generous donor, to subsidize her housing for the first 6 months. She signed the lease and was getting ready to move in a few weeks. Everything was going well as planned.

Life, however, often has a way of throwing curve-balls at us; to destabilize things, at least for a while, when we think everything is going well. There was an unexpected family emergency and Barbara was not able to go to work for a couple of days. She called her work and left them a message to let them know that she was not able to come. When she didn't hear back from them, she was very afraid. Barbara was not sure if she might lose her job. That was a scary thought for her. Her case manager encouraged her to do her due diligence to let her employer know about her emergency and reason for her sudden absence. She did. However, the uncertainly still hung heavy on her. Those two days were long and stressful. Finally she learned that her job was safe. She got back to work as soon as she was able to and things got back on track!

After almost 5 months at the shelter, Barbara moved out to her own apartment! We are very excited about her future. We are glad that we were able to walk alongside Barbara in her journey from homelessness to shelter, and now, to her own housing.
Eastside Emergency Winter Shelter opening this weekend
A place of warmth, nourishment and shelter for Women, Children, and Families
 
We got a little taste of winter in Seattle area this week. We are so glad that the Eastside Emergency Winter Shelter for Women, Children, & Families for the 2014-15 season is opening this Saturday, November 15th at the St. Peter's Church in Bellevue. From our last year's experience, we know the huge demand for such shelters, especially where families can stay together. This year the Emergency Shelter will be operated by Catholic Community Services. Dinner, breakfast, and sleeping mats will be provided. You can help provide meals for the shelter by signing up using the meals calendar.

Please spread the word. See the flyer below for more details. We want to make sure that anyone in need is able to access the services. Together we can make sure no one has to spend the night outside in the cold and rain this winter.

Our most successful Luncheon ever!
What happens when a community comes together for a cause
  
What a luncheon it was! We had close to 300 people show up for our Annual Benefit Luncheon on October 30th at The Red Lion Hotel and together we raised just more than $50,000 at the event! This is huge. It was our most successful luncheon ever. We are grateful for the wonderful show of support from our community. Thank you! This is a great boost to us and will help us continue to provide the critical services assisting women from homelessness to independence.


 
The mission of The Sophia Way is to help end homelessness for adult women in King County by providing shelter, life skills training, social services and supportive permanent housing, offering a path from homelessness to stable independent living.

 

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The Sophia Way is supported by United Way of King County