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New Bellevue emergency shelter helps homeless women

A new emergency shelter in Bellevue is providing a safe and warm place for as many as 50 women to spend the night.

BELLEVUE, Wash. — A new emergency shelter in Bellevue is providing a safe and warm place for dozens of women to spend the night.

The temporary shelter is in a multi-purpose room at Temple B'nai Torah and has taken in as many as 40 women on recent nights, according to organizers.

“Most of these women, if you saw them on the street, you would have no idea that they’re experiencing homelessness,” said Sydney Danziger, Temple B'nai Torah Senior Rabbi.

The temple partnered with The Sophia Way, a non-profit organization for homeless women, to open the overnight space, which will be available through May 2020.

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“We really are seeing more women experiencing homelessness,” said The Sophia Way interim executive director Alisa Chatinsky.

In addition to a place to sleep, the temporary shelter provides meals and bus tickets, so women can travel to The Sophia Way's Day Center, or to jobs.

Temple B'nai Torah has in the past hosted tent cities for homeless people.

“Having been part of an oppressed people that have been driven from country to country, from land to land, knowing what it feels like to be without a home, this particular issue resonates very strongly with us,” Rabbi Danziger said.

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