This is where I belong Holding hands through
celebrations and hardships
Kathy and the key to a new home And new dreams, after years of homelessness
Looking forward 2015 and beyond
Home for the Holidays
stories happen right here
is where I belong
through celebrations and hardships
years ago, as a single mom, I searched for services that could help me. I
was able to find several resources and with those services, I usually had a
case manager that was there to help me
navigate unfamiliar territory. Some of these case managers were amazing and
others were not. I knew that everyone deserved to be treated with dignity
and respect and that did not always happen. I knew that I could help people
if I had the right tools. So I went back to school, earned a degree in
Human Services and set out to find a job helping people.
October of 2013, I found The Sophia Way, and was lucky enough to join the
team! I began working long overnight shifts at the Emergency Winter
Shelter. I had never worked an overnight shift before and it took some
getting used to. Although I was often tired on my way to work each night,
seeing the clients come in from the cold, eat a hot meal, and get ready for
bed each night, seemed to energize me.
a few months, I was trained to work a regular shift at Sophia's Place, our
6-month, 21-bed program shelter that offers case management, life skill
classes, and helps to provide a sense of community for the women while they
deal with other aspects of their lives. I liked the change and got to
know all of the clients very well. I often helped the ladies find
resources, actively listened to them and shared many cups of coffee with
several residents. It was during one of those shifts that I learned that a
case management position was opening up at the office. I jumped at the
chance! Becoming a case manager was what I really wanted to do. I applied,
got the position and began readjusting to sleeping at night and working
during the day.
love being a case manager. I have had the chance to witness the amazing
opportunities that The Sophia Way provides for our clients. I get to help
people find resources that can change their lives. I get to listen to
clients tell their story, where they have been and where they are heading.
I get to celebrate their successes and hold their hand when they feel
defeated. I get to call them with exciting news and I love to hear them
tell me about the strides they are making towards independence.
every day is a celebration, but every day I learn more about what the women
we serve need and how I can help them obtain those needs and reach their
goals. I can confidently say that I have found exactly where I belong.
Case Manager, The Sophia Way
Kathy and the key to a new home
And new dreams, after years of homelessness
We first met Kathy when she and her child arrived at The
Sophia Way Emergency Winter Shelter, operated by Catholic Community
Services. They had each other and little else. Kathy had been on the road
for a long time, traveling across the country to escape domestic violence
in her home state. She left a good paying job and everything else in order
to find a better situation for herself.
got the keys to her new home just a few weeks back. New city, new life -
we couldn't be more excited for her!
After staying at
various shelters in several states for the past four years, Kathy came to
our Eastside Emergency Winter Shelter late last year. We soon had an
opening at Sophia's Place, our programmatic shelter, and she moved in
there. Once her immediate needs of shelter and food were taken care of, we
discussed how we could help her find a more permanent place to live.
Despite being in a new city with minimal resources and no
contacts, Kathy found her own housing and did all of the legwork herself,
with a little bit of our help. Fortunately, she was approved for housing
under section 8 at the beginning of this year. Just a few weeks back, she
moved into her own home in Bellingham, with her child, and is in the
process of getting settled for the first time in a long while. One of our
case managers, Rebecca, accompanied her to the housing and helped her get
comfortable. We provided her with all of the household items she needed,
donated by generous donors like you, to get started in her new life in a
In a situation that
would have been intimidating for anyone, Kathy was her own best advocate.
She took care of herself. She had a lot of spirit and she was never too shy
to ask for the help that she needed. Thanks to her hard work and
resilience, she is well on her way to living a normal life again.
Kathy was an amazing client and a good friend to many people
at the shelter. She stays in contact with her friends she met through the
program and we are very happy to have known her!
2015 and beyond
The Sophia Way has been
extremely fortunate to earn the love and support of so many individuals,
faith organizations, businesses, and foundations since its inception. You,
along with our government partners, have made it possible for us to provide
shelter and a pathway to independence for hundreds of women experiencing
homelessness. It was your support and encouragement that helped us through
some bumpy time during the last half of 2013 and beginning of 2014. Last
year, our board made the decision to hire a professional Interim Executive
Director, Rae Levine, to bring in stability, to give the board more time to
find the right Executive Director (ED), and to strengthen our
organizational foundation and processes during this transition period. More
than six months and some tough decisions later, we are stronger than ever.
Thanks to your incredible generosity, we ended last year on solid financial
footing. This year, we are able to expand our direct client services staff.
And, we are in the process of interviewing for new Executive Director to
lead the organization into the future. Please watch for the announcement
about our new ED in March/April.
In case you are wondering about our Auction, we are not having one this
year. Instead, our BIG event of the year will be our Luncheon on Thursday,
October 1st. Save the date on your calendar now! We will have more
information coming your way about that in a few months.
Your support is going to be the most important asset for the new ED as
he/she takes the reign. We are ready to move forward. Thank you again for
walking with us on this journey of The Sophia Way.
Home for the
Great stories happen right here
Imagine a single mom with
four children. Now imagine they don't have a home to go to and are looking
for a shelter on a cold and wet winter night. This is the story of
Hanna. At the end of last year, when she was looking for a shelter, she
found out about the Eastside Emergency Winter Shelter (EWS) for women and
families and was grateful to find a warm place to sleep and a hot meal,
especially for all her children. It turned out to be a pivotal moment
in her life. The shelter staff of Catholic Community Services was able
to give her Family Housing Connection program resources and through that
she soon found her own apartment. The apartment was a tremendous relief,
but she was not prepared for what happened next!
need for permanent and emergency shelter services is greater than ever --
the EWS has assisted more than 225 individuals this winter alone.
A Bellevue city police officer, during his regular security
check at the shelter learned about Hanna. He was so moved by her story that
he called some of his friends and together they helped set up Hanna's new
apartment with everything they needed to get started on the right footing.
And the timing could not be more perfect - it was right before Christmas!
Hanna and her children were able to spend the holidays in the security and
stability of their new home.
It is indeed heartwarming to
see community members stepping up to take care of others, like Hanna, who
are not so fortunate. Unfortunately, for every happy story like Hanna's,
there are many other not-so-happy stories of women and families who are
forced to spend their nights unsheltered. There has been a huge increase in
the number of people accessing the EWS for Women and Families this year
and, we are very grateful that Catholic Community Services, working with
our church partners, is providing shelter services at full capacity. We are
actively exploring options for separate and permanent emergency shelter for
women and families to meet the need. In winter 2014-2015, the EWS has
served more than 225 individuals already, providing food, clothing, and
shelter to women and families in need during the coldest months.
At the beginning of this
month Catholic Community Services staff moved the winter shelter to Redmond United Methodist
Church. We want to take this opportunity to thank them for hosting the
shelter again this year. Our gratitude to St. Peter's United Methodist
Church in Bellevue for hosting the EWS there from mid-November until
the end of January. And many thanks to Catholic Community Services for
operating the shelter. Together we are making sure that women and families
have a warm place to go this winter.
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
Sophia Way is supported by United Way of King County