Thursday, April 9, 2015

Getting the results you want

April 9, 2015
In this edition

Passing on the baton
As my journey with The Sophia Way ends, another begins
Getting the results you want
Through support, resources, and most importantly, kindness
Six women moved to independent housing 
Just in the month of March
Join us for GiveBIG on May 5
Be a champion on the biggest giving day
Passing on the baton
As my journey with The Sophia Way ends, another begins
How time flies! It's been nine months since I started here at The Sophia Way. From my first day on the job, I have been impressed with the level of community support that The Sophia Way was fortunate to have. The organization had key ingredients for success - a compelling mission and a track record of positive results, dedicated board and staff, and huge community support and engagement.

It has not been all rosy. There have been ups and downs and some hard decisions to make. We focused on building on our core strengths and strengthening our partnerships. After nine months, I'm happy to say that The Sophia Way is now stronger than ever. Through this time, your support has helped us stay on course and do what we do best -- assist women from homelessness to independence. Thank you!
As an Interim Executive Director, my goal is to help an organization through the period of change and hand over the helm to a capable hand. I'm excited about the future of The Sophia Way with Angela Murray coming on board as the new Executive Director next week. Angela brings a broad range of experience and expertise to this organization. I will be working closely with her for a smooth transition over the next few weeks. Please extend a warm welcome to Angela as you have done for me. And please mark your calendar to attend the meet-and-greet reception for Angela on Friday, May 8.

It's been a pleasure working with you. I look forward to hearing about The Sophia Way's ongoing success. I'll be reading these newsletters and plan to attend the Annual Luncheon on October 1.

Thank you for all you do and for your continued support for The Sophia Way!

Best wishes,
Rae Levine
Interim Executive Director
Getting the results you want
Through support, resources, and most importantly, kindness
Kim recently went through a divorce after 20 years of marriage. She suddenly found herself in a tough situation. She had spent the last twenty years supporting her husband in his career, and now she had to find a job as soon as possible.
Kim spoke at our Luncheon in 2014, just a week after she received her full time job with benefits

"My first job after my divorce, I was a lead at a retirement home," she said. "I reported abuse and neglect. I was demoted and so turned in my keys." Kim immediately went out looking for a new job, but it was impossible to keep up with the rent, so she lost her apartment.

Kim accessed the resources offered by the Emergency Winter Shelter. "That is when I met The Sophia Way," she said. "When I reached out for help, they were there to help. Not only there to help, but there to guide those looking to better their lives."

She stayed at the Emergency Winter Shelter rather than with friends, because she wanted to learn and to become independent. Like many women, she transitioned from the Emergency Winter Shelter to the six-month program at Sophia's Place. She was given her own quiet space, and she was given access to resources for her job search, along with guidance and encouragement.

After a few months, Kim moved on to a six-bedroom transitional housing with a house manager, where she pays rent. "The Holly House has given me almost complete independence," she said. "But the Sophia Way is still there if I need guidance, advice or encouragement. If I need any information about programs that would help me, they are there."

She mentioned the kindness of The Sophia Way staff and all the different ways they helped: general encouragement, financial guidance, emotional guidance, nutrition advice and exercise tips. She described the staff as non-judgmental and kind. Kim believes that the kindness the women receive is one of the most important things about The Sophia Way.

A week before Kim gave her speech at The Sophia Way Luncheon, she received a big piece of good news. She was offered a full-time job with full benefits, which would let her take the next step towards living on her own. Kim described herself as independent, with confidence that she could stand on her own, thanks to everything she learned through The Sophia Way.

"You follow this program, you will get results in life," she said.

Kim has recently produced a song -- Always U -- that will soon be released for radio and itunes. Follow us on Facebook and we'll share the link to the song as soon as it is released!
Six women moved to independent housing
Just in the month of March!
March was an exciting month for us! Six women from our Sophia's Place Shelter Program successfully moved into independent housing -- four of them into permanent housing and two to transitional housing. We are proud to be part of their journey from homelessness to independence. And, we are thankful to you for your ongoing support. None of this would be possible without you! 
In addition, two women from our supportive housing program recently won the housing lottery for new apartments through  Low Income Housing Institute (LIHI) in Bellevue. They will be moving into their permanent housing soon!

Congratulations, ladies!
Join us for GiveBIG on May 5
Be a champion on the biggest giving day in the Northwest
Mark your calendars and spread the word -- The 
Sophia Way is going to be part of The Seattle Foundation's GiveBIG again this year on May 5th. And we need your support.

GiveBIG is an online event coordinated by The Seattle Foundation to promote charitable giving in our community. A portion of every contribution made that day, Tuesday, May 5, 2015, will be matched. This is a great way to stretch your donation dollars and make them go further. We know you receive many requests for donations on GiveBIG and we hope you will keep The Sophia Way on the top of your list.

We need your help in reaching out to community members who care about the issue of homelessness, but may not be aware of our programs or the need of services on the Eastside. We know you care passionately about this issue. Now we want you to be an advocate for the women we serve as well and bring your friends and co-workers on board. We cannot solve homelessness alone. We need to work together to make meaningful long-term changes. We count on you as our partners in this mission.
Upcoming Shelter Tours!
Sign up now for the shelter tours in April

Join us for one of our upcoming Sophia's Place shelter tours this month and experience first hand how your donation dollars are assisting women from homelessness to independence. The next tour dates are Thursday, April 23rd and Tuesday, April 28th, both at 2:00 pm.

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