The Sophia Way is the only homeless shelter for single women on the eastside. It opened in December of 2008 and has helped hundreds of women during that time. The shelter, which currently houses ten women, has been at capacity, with a waiting list, since day one. Most of the women who come to the shelter have been chronically homeless for more than a year.
I attended a luncheon today at St Luke's Lutheran church, which will soon be the new home of Sophia's Shelter. The entire ground floor of the church, 6,000 sq. ft., will house twenty private cubicles, effectively doubling the size of the current shelter.
Another reason for celebration today, was the completion of Holly House, a housing community for six women. This was a collaborative effort between The Sophia Way and many other generous community volunteers. The Holly House, in addition to Rosco House and several private subsidized apartments around the eastside, are a way that The Sophia Way helps women leave the shelter for permanent housing. That transition is coupled with mentoring and long term financial support to help women gain independence.
We were treated to the music of local musician Sonny Byers. Wow, he's very good.There are many ways to get involved with this needed and worthy program, through both finances and time given. They are currently raising money for their new shelter. One way to grow your gift is to donate on June 23, through The Seattle Foundation's, Give Big event, which gives matching funds to favorite Seattle area charities on that day. Another way to get involved is to volunteer. There ways to do this are listed on the website. I've been involved with the companion program since January and I love it. Even if you don't live on the eastside, or if this particular program isn't for you, I encourage everyone to find some way to give back to their community. I found out about The Sophia Way by searching for it on the internet, then e-mailing the director and asking how I could get involved. If you want to share a similar program, located around the Seattle metro area, please contact me. I would love to compile a list and post it here at Postcards from Seattle.