Snapshot Sophia
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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Sophia Hernandez

Executive Director, Finance & Operations

Sophia is a dyed-in-the-wool Pacific Northwester. She grew up on the Oregon coast and has been in Seattle for almost 23 years. “I think it’s the most beautiful place in the world. I love the cold, rugged, deep water”.

Her childhood shaped her life. She grew up in an arts community; her parents had a theatre company, big dreams, and someone who helped them come true. That is the career she chose. To be that someone who supports small businesses, entrepreneurs, artists, nonprofits to realize their dreams and passions.

“I can’t say that finance, in particular, was my passion. But I believe there is honesty, justice, and accountability in finance. You can peel off a lot of rhetoric and see the true picture; numbers truly tell you the real story. And, serve you well.”

Last year, Sophia experienced a crisis of consciousness – she wanted to work for a nonprofit that either touched her life directly or had a meaningful mission. So, she quit her job without a safety net. Just then, The Sophia Way was looking for a finance director. “It was serendipitous,” she acknowledges.

Sophia loves being given the space to make an impact by setting up robust systems instead of being a historian and a document gatherer. “I’m very grateful and love, love the freedom.”

She is also grateful for the opportunity to share her work with her young daughter. Sophia speaks to her about the different paths to homelessness, the impact on women experiencing it, and the difficult decisions they need to make to survive. “I encourage her to think about the resources we can use as a community to support the women.”

While Sophia loves spending time and traveling with her family, husband Dave and daughter Paloma, what also gives her joy is the vegetable garden that enables her to be productive differently.

Sophia cannot wait for what’s next. “I’m excited about creating a framework that honors a multitude of multiple voices. I’m looking forward to bringing our shared experience and skill to lift up the voices within the organization, create a culture of inclusion and be leaders in serving women.”

Favorite place for coffee: Retreat on Green Lake

Currently reading: The Nest by Cynthia D’Aprix Sweeney

A song that inspires me: A Place in the Sun by Stevie Wonder

Most treasured possession: A painting of my hometown that my father left for me when he died

A skill I wish I had: Public speaking and penmanship

My family includes: Boba, a teacup Yorkie

What I learned during the pandemic: To take care – of your community, your family, and yourself

I hear “women experiencing homelessness” and think: We need to act

Our clients inspire me because: They do not give up on themselves or us

My year at TSW has been: Dynamic and inspiring