“I Got You!”
A place of hope and change for women.
women experiencing homelessness, women, homeless, homelessness, shelter, safety, stability, women's shelter, day center, Sophia's Place, Helen's Place, Bellevue, Kirkland, homeless in King County, housing
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“I Got You!”

Sally was working at her job when a 185-pound ladder fell on her, herniating a disc. Doctors told her she could not go back to work. Without a job, Sally lost her home. But she did not lose hope. Sally shares the struggles of her four-year journey to stability. 

I have been homeless on and off for about four years. After I lost my home, I found shelter at United Methodist Church in Kirkland. I have always been independent – I guess that comes from being a single mother – and do not like asking for help. I tried going back to school – I wanted to prove that I could work, but I could not.

It was tough. I started getting depressed and would have a drink sometimes to get through the days. But I realized that is not the way to live, and I thank God for that every day.

In 2017, I heard about The Sophia Way. I needed to rest after surgery and found a place in their six-month program. I got everything I needed. It’s hard when you have to struggle to find a place to take a shower. And, it is just amazing when you come to a place and get everything you need. I was blessed to have found Sophia’s Place.

After that I bought a van and fitted it with a bed. At one point, I tried living with my son, but they have a pit bull. He is a big lovable dog and loved jumping on me, and my body could not handle that.

Last year, I connected with Katie, a case manager at The Sophia Way. I was living in my van at a Safe Parking program, and she was doing outreach. I love her spirit! She understood and supported me in whatever I was trying to do. She did not look down on me. She would tell me: “I got you.” I remember those words so clearly! I have heard other women call her magical Katie, and she is one. She understood when I told her I did not want to get housing and about my idea of getting a mobile home. She gave me the strength to do things for myself, and I appreciated that. When I realized my body could not take living in a van anymore and that I needed a home, she helped me find one.

Now I have a roof over my head and am rebuilding my life slowly. I used to have a big cork board with pictures of me when I was little all the way to my son’s family – I would like to get that up again. I have a lovely cabinet that Katie got me – I will put it on the deck with some plants because I love plants.

I feel positive. It is good to lie down and rest my head. Every day when I wake up, I thank God it is over. I am happy where I am. I do not have to spend $20 a day driving everywhere like I did when I was homeless. I have been here a week and a half, and I have already saved $200 in gas.

I live a mile from my son and can walk to see my grandkids. I can spend more time with them and take them swimming. I cannot wait for Christmas. I used to have a real Christmas tree. I love the smell of a real tree and cannot wait to have one again.