Women: In their Own Words

Lauretta S.*

“I couldn’t have found a better place to be than House of Ruth. New Beginnings has been a loving home, like an extended family. It truly has afforded me a new beginning.

The staff has been very helpful to me in solving my problems and achieving my goals. I’ve progressed in my education and have been drug-free for 15 months. The staff have given me guidance, direction and support.”

Charlene T.*

“I’m very grateful this place exists. Before, I was staying in a place that was so dangerous I was terrified. I was so scared I couldn’t sleep. I feel safe at House of Ruth. I’ve been at other day programs and in comparison to them the staff puts a lot of thought and effort into our groups; they are really relevant and dynamic. The staff is never condescending, they treat the women here with respect and caring.”

Joyce L.*

“I am so grateful; House of Ruth has really saved my life. This program is here to help you. Anything you need is available; if not, the staff will find a way to make sure you get it. I love it here, we go places, do things, they make sure you keep growing. I have my food handler’s license and a job. Now I am saving for a place of my own. After my time at House of Ruth, I will never be homeless again.”

Renata R.*

“I’m happy about being at House of Ruth. It’s a blessing. I came here at a critical time in my life. Before, I was always working and taking care of my family, so I never stopped to know where I was going or what I wanted. I was so used to being independent, used to doing everything for myself. I didn’t know how to ask for help. They helped me with that here. I was able to slow down and look at myself. For the first time in my life, I know who I am. And I like who I am!

They expect a lot from you here. They’re here to support you, but they’re not going to do the work for you. And they are always here. I’ve been through so many ups and downs here, and not once has anyone been too busy for me. The staff is so passionate. They’ve been the link to finding my strength. Even if they don’t know the answer to something, they will help you figure it out.

The structure here is good. It teaches you to be responsible. They want you to understand there is routine in life, and you will be doing chores for yourself when you leave. So they set up a structure for you to practice.

It’s been an awesome journey. I can’t think of another place I could have grown like this. It saved my life. I don’t know where I would have been without it and the staff and other women. I am ready to start a new journey, but I will always have this family.”

Ruth V.*

“My ultimate goal is to have my own place and a job as a social worker. I got a Pell grant and I‘m in school to help make that happen.

It has been such a blessing to be here. The staff have made a tremendous difference in my life. They are my mentors.

When you give from your heart it shows, and that’s what I feel here. The staff really cares and they are always open to listening.

I’ve learned that when you’re trying and you’re sincere, people want to help you. That’s what happens here. House of Ruth is a real home for real people with real issues ... and they really care.”

Danielle F.*

“House of Ruth was a life-saver. This program worked for me. If I went somewhere else, I don’t think it would’ve worked for me. Something about the staff here is special. They always knew just exactly how to reach me, how much pressure to put on me to do something I needed to. Everyone is a resource. It is so much a part of my support system.

When I came here, I didn’t know where I was going, but I knew I had to do something different. When I started on that road, I couldn’t see where it led. But as I kept on, I saw small signs, new goals, small goals that I could meet. And as I met them and kept going down this new road, the signs got bigger, and I kept meeting bigger goals. I stayed here long enough to get things done. I’ve been working and saving, and just bought a two-bedroom condo.

You can tell... at AA or NA meetings, you can tell who is a House of Ruth woman. They look more together, healthier. After three months at Unity, I went to visit my Mom. I looked so much better she didn’t recognize me at the airport, she walked right past me!

I’m never ashamed to say I live at House of Ruth. It saved my life!”

Tamika M.*

“Before House of Ruth I was just existing, not really living. And I got tired of being tired. I wanted to live a normal life in society.

What people need to understand about us (the women at House of Ruth) is that we weren’t loved the way we should have been. And we weren’t taught responsibility, I never saw someone go off to work every day when I was a kid. Being here is an amazing second chance. It’s like growing up all over again, really fast!

The first thing the staff does is let you know you are worthy. The staff is really concerned for me, I matter to them.

I have a home here and I am so thankful, and I’ve gotten so much better. I’m up and out at 8:00 every morning. I’m searching for a job and volunteering until I get one. For the first time in my life, I’m happy and looking forward to the future.”

 

*Not their real names.

Building on Strengths

The women at House of Ruth have had terrible things happen to them.  From early childhood on, violence has been a part of their family life.  It’s our job to find the strengths that each woman and child possess and then help them build on those qualities.  It may be intelligence, a talent, resiliency, or the memory of a positive relationship – whatever the asset, it provides a starting point for building a relationship.

As time goes on, the women and children learn that the staff truly has their best interests at heart.  They see it in the actions of staff, the nurturing and support that is offered, and, gradually, they begin to trust us.  Great change can happen from that foundation of trust and respect.