19 Mar Message from the ED: March 2016
March Madness is here, but in a very good way at The Sophia Way. There’s so much going on!
Our direct service staff have been busy improving the way we do things at Sophia’s Place — our 6-month night shelter program and Day Center. Staff members have come up with a smooth system that allows the women to checkout a laptop that has the latest MS Office Suite uploaded so they can do effective job searches, complete housing applications or research for human services they may be eligible for.
I’m also excited to see a Client Survey being implemented so that we can get valuable feedback from the women at our shelter about their experiences and what we need to improve or change in terms of our services to them. We are also pleased to share that our extended Day Center hours that go until 3 p.m, have been overwhelmingly appreciated by the women. There is now more time to do laundry, have a shower, and enjoy a hot meal without being rushed and wondering if you can get it all done. Everyone is less stressed and much calmer.
Thank you to our Faith Based Partners
We would not have emergency winter shelters without the churches. The churches provide the warm space for women and families to rest and be safe during the long winter nights. Not to mention the numerous volunteers they recruit to help with gathering supplies and donating meals. I would like to thank the following churches who have been a host this season, are currently hosting, or are about to host:
- Redmond United Methodist: host from October to December
- Bellevue First Congregational: host from January to February
- Cross of Christ Lutheran: host for March and a special thank you for accommodating our urgent request at the very last minute!
- St. Peter’s United Methodist: host from January to March
- Overlake Park Presbyterian: host from April to May
We have had to find additional churches to host during winter 2016 because we needed more space. There has been a large increase in the number of guests we have served this season – especially among families who have children under the age of four. We also serve single adult women who are generally an older population in their mid-50s. Being able to provide separate shelters for both of these groups, who have very divergent needs, has been a tremendous improvement. Both staff and guests report a better experience. And of course, we could not have provided the additional shelter without the emergency funding we received from the Eastside Cities and King County. Thank you! It truly takes a community effort to respond effectively, efficiently, and humanely to the dire needs of our most vulnerable neighbors.
Angela Murray, Executive Director