Symetra Donation to The Sophia Way Will Help Keep Eastside Emergency Shelter for Women Open Year-Round Again in 2019

BELLEVUE, Wash.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–Symetra, a national provider of employee benefits, annuities and life
insurance, has committed a second $100,000 donation to The Sophia Way, a
Bellevue, Washington-based nonprofit dedicated to helping end
homelessness for single adult women in King County. Like the company’s
June 2018 gift, the funding will allow the Eastside Emergency Shelter
for Women to remain open from mid-May through October. Symetra CEO
Margaret Meister announced the donation last night during her keynote
remarks at the Bellevue Downtown Association’s 45th Annual
Celebration at Meydenbauer Center.

“The Sophia Way provides a vital service to women experiencing
homelessness in our Eastside community. As a Bellevue-headquartered
company, Symetra is committed to being part of a broader solution to
address this ongoing crisis and joining forces with our Eastside
business peers to do so,” said Ms. Meister. “Symetra’s business as an
insurance carrier is all about helping people during some of life’s most
challenging moments. The Sophia Way has a similar mission, serving some
of our community’s most vulnerable members. We feel fortunate to have
played a role in supporting their much-needed work for many years.”

Currently based at an interim location at Lakeside Christian Church in
Kirkland, the shelter will ultimately become part of a new, permanent
facility in Kirkland for women and families with children that is
scheduled for groundbreaking this spring.

“For the second consecutive year, Symetra has made it possible to keep
the emergency shelter for women open during the summer and early fall.
Historically, we have only had funding to operate it during the coldest
months, but come mid-May, the women we serve are without a stable and
safe place to sleep until the shelter reopens in October,” said Angela
Murray, executive director, The Sophia Way. “Sleeping outside is a
terrifying experience for even one night, but the cumulative impact of
weeks on end without a safe place to sleep adds to the trauma these
women carry with them every day. Symetra’s generous gift again allows us
to provide comfort and hope for the entire year.”

Symetra’s relationship with the Sophia Way began in 2009, when the
organization operated its day center at the Bellevue First
Congregational Church’s former location across the street from Symetra
headquarters at NE 8th and 108th Avenue NE. The
company’s support has expanded over the years to include sponsorship of
The Sophia Way’s annual fundraising luncheon event and volunteer support
through the Symetra Week of Service. Last summer, Symetra
employee-volunteer teams helped prepare the interim shelter location for
its June re-opening by cleaning the facility and laundering bedding.

About Symetra

Symetra Financial Corporation is a diversified financial services
company based in Bellevue, Washington. In business since 1957, Symetra
provides employee benefits, annuities and life insurance through a
national network of benefit consultants, financial institutions, and
independent agents and advisors. For more information, visit

About The Sophia Way

The Sophia Way is a vital Eastside program dedicated to supporting
single adult women experiencing homelessness in King County move into
housing. Founded in 2008 to address the lack of resources and services
for the growing population of women seeking shelter and housing, The
Sophia Way has served more than 4,000 women with a comprehensive array
of support, the most important of which is help in exiting homelessness.
The organization believes every woman is housing ready and works with
the evidence-based Housing First approach to ensure the success of
housing many more women. For more information, visit


Diana McSweeney
(425) 256-6167

The Sophia Way
Sujata Agrawal
(415) 812-3364

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