01 Dec I was the first woman to find housing
SNIPPETS FROM THE PAST
In May 2009, C moved into her own apartment. She was the first woman to seek shelter at The Sophia Way and the first to get housing. That year, 16 women found their homes. The late Helen Leuzzi (founder of The Sophia Way, and then executive director) expressed her joy and appreciation in the organization’s first annual report:
“Our first-year statistics show the fruit of our efforts. We cannot thank you enough, for without you this agency would not be successful. At the Sophia Way, we plan to continue our efforts in not merely touching women’s lives but changing them. 2010 will be marked by the delivery of enhanced services, community building, and housing more women as they journey to their destination of independent living. We need your support and assistance as we continue to meet this growing need. Thank you for helping us provide women on the Eastside the opportunity to change their lives. It is their opportunity to seize and ours to provide.”
C sent this email after she moved to her apartment.
The Sophia Way program is a real savior for women who need help getting their lives back. I came to the organization when I needed shelter in December, after I was laid-off from my job. I have worked all my life and the reality is that it only takes a few paychecks for anyone to be without a home. Then, the domino effect takes place.
It was interesting to learn what The Sophia Way offers through its program and how they could help me. They truly demonstrated what they do to help women in need. The Sophia Way offers shelter (a place to call home) and meals, case management, life skills training, healthcare referrals, clothing, including office wear, and phones to keep you connected. All these are necessary elements for daily living. I had a case manager who helped me set and manage goals, and checked on my progress. I attended life skills classes, facilitated by a volunteer. She taught us basic house management and cooking healthy and nutritious meals. It kept me focused, and helped me reach my goals.
More importantly, women who come to The Sophia Way walk through the door and find themselves in a safe place. They are treated with dignity and respect. The thing I most admire is that women are welcomed from everywhere, not just from the Eastside. Poverty does not discriminate, and homelessness can happen in any county or city.
I am grateful to be the first woman to find my apartment after being on an endless wait list. The staff was there to break down the barriers and help me get housing. They hold your hand through the process of getting back what you lost, and in my case, it was housing.
My feelings, when I first walked into my new place, was one of amazement. I was so overjoyed to finally have a place I could call my very own; an apartment to come home to. I shed tears of relief and joy. I am so grateful for all who organized my apartment with furnishings and all the wonderful items that make it a beautiful place for me to live. It is nice to be able to feel normality again. I appreciate all that I have been given. It is wonderful to know that this all mine and I do not have to give it back. Sometimes, I have to pinch myself to know that this is not a dream.
The Sophia Way continues to support me as I live my new life, and so does a very caring and generous community. Many thanks to the churches, supportive friends, and The Sophia Way Board Members and staff who made it all possible. You are changing women’s lives in a very special way.
My sincerest gratitude!