Housing and Services for Families

Safe housing is just the first step toward stability for a family left homeless by domestic violence. At House of Ruth, women and their children who are homeless and abused get the full array of supportive services they need to heal and establish safe and stable lives:

  • Intensive work on building a healthy parent-child bond and building positive parenting skills with each mother helps ensure the healthy development of the children;
  • Supportive groups as well as after-school and recreational activities for the children help them regain a more normal developmental path;
  • One-on-one caring attention from a skilled case manager helps each woman set and pursue new goals, such as maintaining sobriety, achieving mental health stability, and establishing healthy habits and relationships;
  • Mental health services, including ongoing therapy and support groups, help women and children learn to cope with the long-standing damage of abuse and trauma;
  • Addiction recovery services help women stay clean and sober;
  • Life skills training, one-on-one and in groups, helps each woman acquire the skills she needs;
  • Financial services help women establish their budgets, clean up bad credit and begin saving.

All of these services are offered in five homes for families, called A New Way, Freedom Place, Herspace, Hope Rising and Reunified Families. Families living in rent-subsidized apartments get supportive services from House of Ruth through the Bridges Program and FamilySpace. All together, more than 100 families are cared for annually at House of Ruth.

Many of the mothers at House of Ruth are unprepared for employment that will allow them to support their families. Staff actively links them to education and training that will lead to a living wage.

Like their single counterparts, the women we serve in our programs for families have long histories of abuse, beginning in childhood and often including adult domestic violence. A history of addiction and/or mental illness is common among the women. Their children have been hurt by growing up in unstable, violent surroundings and often have behavioral and emotional issues.

At House of Ruth, families find the tools and opportunities they need to transform their lives, finding safety and stability. Most important of all, the families find a caring, skilled staff who are available to them around the clock to help them overcome the many challenges in their lives.

Much More than Housing

House of Ruth helps more than 1,000 women and children annually at 14 programs located throughout Washington, DC.

We provide safe housing and comprehensive supportive services to women and families who are homeless through 10 residential programs. Two programs bring our supportive services to formerly homeless families who live in rent-subsidized apartments.

Our child development center provides therapeutic interventions to help young children who are homeless to overcome developmental delays, while delivering supportive services to help their parents address the challenges in their lives. At our free counseling center, women and children find skilled therapists who can help them heal from domestic violence.

The women we serve are victims of domestic violence. If you look back into their histories, adult domestic violence is just the tip of the iceberg. The abuse began when they were young children.

Little girls who are abused don’t do well in school and they don’t do well in life without a lot of help. And that is what House of Ruth provides.

Part of the solution is in the safe, nurturing environments we provide. Another part is the comprehensive array of supportive services we make available to the women and their children. Most important of all is a skilled and caring staff who are dedicated to helping the women and children achieve safe and stable lives. At our 10 residences, staff is on-site 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, ensuring the safety of the women and families and providing constant support and encouragement.

And it works. Three-quarters of the women and families who come to House of Ruth’s transitional housing programs graduate to more independent permanent housing. More than 95% of the women and families in our permanent supported living programs stay with us year-to-year, ensuring their ongoing safety and stability despite the women’s serious mental illnesses.