Kidspace, founded in 1990, is a nationally accredited child development center for children ages six weeks through five years old. The children are from families that are homeless and living at House of Ruth or other programs in the District of Columbia.
At Kidspace, children have individualized learning and care plans to help them achieve their highest potential. In bright, engaging classrooms, each child is taught by nurturing, well-trained teachers. The goals are to help the children develop skills and autonomy; to promote a life-long love of learning; to increase communication skills; and to promote positive development.
Being born into a homeless family is very hard on a little child. In fact, every child entering Kidspace has delays across all developmental domains. The enriched learning environment helps many of the children achieve their developmental milestones. For children who need more help, speech and language therapy, psychotherapy and occupational therapy are provided on-site.
In addition to offering a safe, nurturing and educational environment for the children, Kidspace provides parents with counseling, support, advocacy and connection to resources in the community. Social workers work directly with the parents to help them address their issues and involve them as positive actors in their child’s education. Parents are expected to commit to improving the situation of the family. Assistance is provided to parents with many issues, such as housing, education, training, health care, and employment.
Children who have special needs are given additional help. The staff works closely with parents of these children to gain the resources to meet special needs once the child leaves Kidspace and enters kindergarten.
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.