Lena's long road to housing And new dreams, after
years of homelessness
Meet our case management consultant Karen Staley brings
her decades of experience
An unexpected gift from a sister agency Imagine Housing
employees select The Sophia Way
Not one hundred, not one thousand, but 18000!
the number of meals you donated in 2014
Lena's long road to
hard-work finally paid-off for Lena
first contacted The Sophia Way through our Emergency Winter Shelter (EWS).
After a short stay at the winter shelter during the colder months, she left
the EWS for a spot at Sophia's Place, our 21-bed shelter located at St.
Luke's Lutheran Church in Bellevue.
House, our community home for 6 women, is made possible by East Shore
Unitarian Church who provided the space in their former parsonage
She made great use of the
resources offered by Sophia's Place, including laundry facilities,
computers, phones, showers, and more. She was a great help at the Day
Center, pitching in with chores and cleaning whenever possible. She was a
conscientious community member and a great person to have around! She
invested herself in her own success and developed a long term plan for
addressing one of the major obstacles in her way when it came to finding an
apartment: rental history. Without one, it was unlikely that she would find
a property manager willing to rent to her.
It's part of The Sophia Way's mission to provide every woman the
opportunity to live independently and move into permanent housing, and in
keeping with that, Lena was offered a spot at our Holly House -- a 6-bed
community housing program. We are thankful to East Shore Unitarian Church
for providing the space for Holly House in their former parsonage. This has
increased our capacity to serve more women and enabled us to add the
community housing program. Lena lived at Holly House for two years in order
to build up a rental history while she looked for permanent housing
options. Due to her mental health challenges, she required more help than
other women in our program. Her case manager helped her through each stage
of the process in applying for housing.
Earlier this month, Lena
was able to obtain housing that met her income requirements while also
being in a recently constructed building with plenty of storage space and
onsite housing management. Just last week, Lena moved from Holly House to
her own apartment. When she left Holly House, she had a rental history and
new skills to aid her at her own housing. She prepared her first meal in
four years last weekend and was very excited to let her case manager know!
She will continue to meet her case manager at The Sophia Way for some more
time to make sure this transition is a permanent success.
Despite many challenges and the difficulties that come with experiencing
homelessness, Lena proved to be a great community member and a great
advocate for her own independence. We wish her success.
Meet our Case
Management Consultant: Karen Staley
Karen brings her decades of experience and care to The
I am honored to join The
Sophia Way as a Case Management Consultant. I am providing interim case
management to newer shelter guests
as the amazingly capable and dedicated team of The Sophia Way take the time
required to find the right person to add as case manager.
For more than a decade,
beginning with volunteer work at a rape crisis line and work in domestic
violence shelters, and then continuing to work with homeless adults in
shelter, transitional housing and permanent supportive housing as an
advocate and case manager, I have been moved by the resilience,
resourcefulness and determination of the women whose struggle and
achievements I have witnessed. The work of advocating for and empowering
women experiencing homelessness is deeply meaningful for me.
I am all the more moved and impressed, then, to find in The
Sophia Way, a breadth of service, a depth of commitment, and a connection
and integration with the community that is both rare and powerful. It is my
hope that my experience will allow me to provide some additional
connections to resources and partnerships in the areas of supportive and
affordable housing and to offer some tools to strengthen and enhance the
flow of services across agency programs from initial contact to day center
through shelter and transition to independent, affordable, sustainable
Case Management Consultant
Not one hundred, not
one thousand, but 18,000!
That's the number of meals you donated in 2014
At the beginning of every
year, when we do our accounting for the previous year, your donations never
cease to amaze us. This is especially true for all the meal donations that
we get. 365 days a year, you provide healthy hot meals for our overnight
shelter residents. You provide meals for the Eastside Emergency Winter
Shelter when it's in operation. You provide lunches for our Day center
residents 5 days a week, when it's open. And all those add up to an
incredible 18,000 meals in 2014. Thank you!
If you are interested in donating a meal, check our meal donations website,
find a date on the calendar there, and signup! If you have any
questions, please email Delilah VanCourt at firstname.lastname@example.org
and she will get you all the information you might need.
An unexpected gift
from a sister agency
Imagine Housing employees select The Sophia Way
Interim Executive Director, Rae Levine, accepting the check from Gary
Helling, Interim Executive Director of Imagine Housing.
We are humbled by wonderful
support from a sister agency - Imagine Housing. They
had an opportunity to grant funds to a nonprofit as part of their Velocity
housing project. As part of that process, Imagine Housing staff voted for
The Sophia Way to receive this gift of more than $20,000 as a sign of their
'deep appreciation' for our work! We are deeply grateful.
Velocity is a brand new
affordable apartment community, located at the South Kirkland Park and
Ride, for low-income individuals and households. Some of the women
from our program have moved into Velocity and they love it!
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
On behalf of the Board and Staff at The Sophia Way, I am very
happy to announce that we have hired Angela Murray as our new Executive
After a thorough search, Angela rose to the top with her
experience in nonprofit management, fundraising, board development and
volunteer engagement. Angela brings not only the experience, but the energy
and enthusiasm, necessary to continue to advance the mission of The Sophia
Angela comes to The Sophia Way after serving as the executive
director of the Volunteer Center of Whatcom County, where she was
recognized for her success facilitating board, staff and community partners
working together in a strategic initiative to collaboratively solve
community challenges through volunteerism, donor engagement and partnership
with key stakeholders. She was also recognized with the 2014 Community
Achievement Award for her efforts in the local community.
With our new leader, we are eager to move forward, serving
women experiencing homelessness in our community and strengthening the
partnerships with our local providers, funders, and the many individuals
and groups who actively support our programs. Angela will start in her role
on April 14. Rae Levine, Interim Executive Director, will be working
closely with the staff, board and Angela to ensure a smooth transition.
Please join me in welcoming Angela to our Eastside community.
More details to follow on a welcoming meet-and-greet with Angela.
Finally I want to thank Rae Levine for her leadership as
Interim Executive Director. She has been invaluable in assisting us through
this time period and putting us in a strong position to move forward with
Thank you for your ongoing support of and collaboration with
The Sophia Way.