Thanks to additional emergency funding from the cities of Bellevue, Issaquah, Redmond and Kirkland, an emergency winter shelter for single women opened Jan. 20, 2016, in partnership with The Sophia Way and Catholic Community Services.
The shelter, located at Bellevue First Congregational Church, provides a safe, warm place for single adult women to receive a meal and a place to sleep during the coldest months of the year.
"With the weather getting colder, we do not want women and families to be turned away," said Angela Murray, executive director at The Sophia Way.
The shelter is scheduled to operate through the end of February to supplement The Sophia Way's emergency winter shelter at St. Peter's United Methodist Church in Bellevue, which supports women and families, including families with fathers and single fathers with children, and the Eastside Winter Shelter for Single Adult Men located at the old International Paper Company, 1899 120th Ave. N.E., Bellevue. There are up to 50 mats there for those experiencing homelessness to walk in, receive a hot meal and spend the night.
Doors open at 8:30 p.m., and people can take shelter until 7 a.m. the next morning. Since late November, when the shelter was located at Redmond United Methodist, it frequently was filled to capacity.
St. Peter's United Methodist will continue to serve the families. There is also a men's overnight emergency shelter operated by Congregations for the Homeless. All emergency winter shelters are open seven nights a week.
In the morning, women will have access to vital services at the Day Center, 3032 Bellevue Way N.E., in the basement of St. Luke's Lutheran Church. The Day Center opens at 8 a.m., Monday to Friday, and now has extended winter hours until 3 p.m., to better serve and help women and families experiencing homelessness in our community.