An Invitation


On August 7, 2008, Eastside community members met to discuss setting up a new shelter. It was the beginning of The Sophia Way’s journey. Barely five months later, on December 8, The Sophia Way opened its doors to welcome women and offer a place of safety at night. The shelter was housed at Bellevue First Congregational Church and had eight mats on the floor.


Read the email from Karina O’Malley inviting Eastside community members to the meeting. 

Re: Shelter for Eastside women’s center, exploratory interfaith meeting at FCCB on August 7.

Please join us as the Eastside faith community continues to explore the development of a shelter for homeless women on the Eastside. This desperately needed service has been blessed by the calling of many of us. Let us continue to put our efforts together and make a difference in our community.

As you know, the YWCA is the service provider, and the leader of the Eastside Women’s Center and the First Congregational Church is their partner acting as host as well as offering volunteer services. The interfaith community has contributed in many ways, including a wide variety of donations from fiscal to meals, etc. The shelter would continue that format but seek further assistance from the faith community by asking individual congregations to have ownership of specific needs.

Where are we so far? The YWCA has expressed a willingness to explore funding opportunities to provide for shelter staffing. The First Congregational Church is coordinating the effort and is currently exploring our ability to commit to 5 nights (Sunday – Thursday) as a shelter host.

What are we asking from you? At this time, we are asking all those who are interested in coming together to make a shelter a reality to come to a meeting to discuss what needs might fit your congregation’s interests and abilities. No commitment to meet those needs is anticipated at this time; instead, a dialogue to explore the ability to make a commitment and to clarify interests is sought.

What needs might congregations consider? There will be many options. Some are:
• A congregation willing to host Friday and Saturday nights
• The procurement of sleeping items – mats, bedding, etc.
• A congregation willing to organize the evening meal – NOTE: This will most likely be lunch style as a full hot meal is offered during the day. Currently, FCCB coordinates this daytime meal effort with a fabulous response from the interfaith community who provide the actual meals. This is an organizational slot.