The Sophia Way Programs
We believe in the necessity of shelter and safe living conditions for all persons. Our goal is to address this fundamental need of citizens of our community and improve the quality of life of adult women experiencing homelessness. We believe in the equality of all, cherishing diversity, and treating each person we meet—client, volunteer, donor, staff—with the same respect, dignity, and care. The Sophia Way journey’s alongside women as they transition from homelessness to stable housing. We services can be categorized under three broad programs:
At the Day Center we provide a safe, warm environment where women eat prepared meals, do laundry, take showers, use computers and phones, and benefit from resource referrals, rotating service providers, and life skills classes.
Sophia’s Place Shelter Program assists up to 21 women at a time for approximately 6 month each. These women meet weekly with a case manager and receive life skills training and help accessing needed resources. Residents benefit from having the Day Center operations onsite. Volunteers provide hot meals and supplies for the shelter, including hand sewn quilts that are gifted to the women when they leave. Sophia’s Place Shelter and Day Center are hosted by St. Luke’s Lutheran Church.
In collaboration with Catholic Community Services and local churches, our Eastside Emergency Winter Shelter provides immediate, temporary shelter for women and families experiencing homelessness and for five to six months a year. Women and children are accepted at any hour of the night, and to preserve families, fathers are also welcome.
The Sophia Way helps women move from temporary shelter to transitional & permanent housing as quickly as possible, with subsidies made possible by King County and King County Housing Authority. We provide case management support to all the women in our housing program to help them continue making progress on their pathway to stable independent housing.
We operate a community residence, Holly House, which provides transitional housing for six women at a time for approximately one year each. Holly House is hosted by East Shore Unitarian Church.
Recent Successes and Current Challenges
One of our biggest recent successes were in providing housing for women experiencing homelessness. In 2014, 23 women succeeded in moving to stable housing from Sophia’s Place Shelter Program. This is a huge success considering the shortage of affordable housing options and multiple barriers that they face. More recently, in March 2015, six women from our Sophia's Place Shelter Program moved to Independent housing.
As evidenced by the 2015 One Night Count, the need for services for women experiencing homelessness is still strong. In April 2014, we took over the operations of the Day Center from YWCA. We served 370 unique people, including children, at the Day center between April and December 2014. We need financial support to keep the shelter and Say Center programs going. For example, it costs about $1000/month for water for showers and laundry at the Day Center and Sophia's Place Shelter.