Last week, The Sophia Way, a nonprofit organization helping homeless adult women based in Bellevue, received a “retired” King County van from King County Councilmember Claudia Balducci.
Founded in 2008 with the mission to help end homelessness for adult women in King County, The Sophia Way provides shelter, life skills training, social services and supportive permanent housing, offering a path from homelessness to stable independent living. The organization offers five programs, including two drop-in shelters, where women can go immediately in a time of crisis. Each program offers assistance and guidance to not only meet its clients’ immediate needs, but to reach and maintain the universal goal of stable, permanent housing as quickly as possible.
“We are so grateful to receive this donated van from Councilmember Balducci and King County Metro,” said Tara Noyes, operations manager from The Sophia Way. “This replaces our previous van, which served us well for several years before breaking down a few months ago. We are looking forward to using our new van to help transport clients between our shelters and Day Center, to and from community events, and best of all, from shelter to their new homes.”
“I was happy to be able to donate a van to The Sophia Way this year,” Balducci said. “This nonprofit does phenomenal work for homeless women in our community and I know they have already been putting this van to good use, getting at-risk women the skills they need to succeed.”
Since 1995, the King County Council has donated vans from Metro’s Vanpool to local cities and non-profit organizations to provide transportation for low-income, elderly, youth and disabled residents. The vans are part of a fleet of county vehicles that have been “retired” after accruing a certain number of miles.
Recipients of the vans must meet specific requirements, including outlining detailed plans for using the van, ability to provide quality and trained drivers and assurance that the van will be available to assist persons without regard to affiliation with any particular organization.
The vanpool program provides mobility for a diverse array of King County residents, supports the positive work of various local organizations and relieves traffic congestion by reducing the need for single-occupancy vehicles. Interested organizations can contact the County Council member representing their district for more information on applying for a vehicle.