The Sophia Way | Homelessness: Myths and Facts
Assisting women from homelessness to stable independent living.
homeless women, homeless, homelessness, shelter, safety, stability, shelter, women's shelter, Bellevue, homeless in King County
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Homelessness: Myths and Facts

Myth Busters

People are homeless because it’s their own fault.

The primary reason for homelessness is that 95% lack affordable housing.

$850/month is the average income of our clients.

$1566/month is the average rent of a one-bedroom apartment on the Eastside.

Homeless people have been homeless too long to re-enter society.

50% of our clients were first time homeless with the average length of homelessness being five months.

Homeless people are too lazy to go to work or to school.

48% of women were employed while staying at the Sophia Place shelter.

30% of the women have a college degree.

58% of women had a disability prohibiting them from working.

Homeless people have addiction issues.

93% of women did not have an addiction issue.

Homeless people don’t give back to society.

The Sophia Way clients contributed in many ways:

  • They volunteered at our Day Center or at their church.
  • They donated money and items to the shelter.
  • They served meals.
  • They shared resources and helped others network.

Data Sources

Data is compiled from client intake forms stored in the King County Housing Management Information System.

The data is based on a 25-month period (April 2015-May 2017) of The Sophia Way clients in our Night Shelter Program. The average age of the clients we serve is 55 years.

Challenges they face

Physical abuse and assault

Lack of funds

Little or no access to healthcare

Little or no access to legal assistance

Lack of community support

Lack of confidence

How does a woman become homeless?

Each woman’s story is different…

Kathy left everything she had and traveled across the country with her child to escape domestic violence

Beverly was beaten down by the circumstances of her life and had no idea how to continue to live; she had lost all hope in life…

Evelyn worked as a housekeeper in an upscale retirement facility but could not afford to rent an apartment. She spent her nights sleeping in airport seating areas…

Patty had debilitating mental health issues as she had been victimized throughout her life, going all the way back to the early days of her childhood…

Martha worked as a private caregiver in a patient’s home. Sadly, when her patient passed away she found herself without employment and could not get another job. She was 70 years old…

Edna and Yvette, mother and daughter were homeless for nearly 20 years and lived in their pick-up truck making sure not to stay in one area too long to avoid detection and to stay safe…

Dawn endured a long struggle with alcohol addiction, which led to the loss of her job and eviction from her apartment…

And the women come from all walks of life.

They are young and old, well-educated and illiterate, employed and unemployed.

They are U.S. born and recent immigrants.

They are from different religions, cultures, races and ethnicity.

The Sophia Way assists women from homelessness to independence

The average age of the women who walk into Sophia’s Place is 51. Some of them have adult children but do not want to become a burden to them, or there may be barriers to their support. And they have different needs: some need a safe place to stay and an address to use while job hunting; some need case management help to complete applications for a lifetime housing subsidy; some need to be connected with mental health services, counseling, or legal assistance.

All the women benefit from compassionate guidance and support that is the hallmark of The Sophia Way.