Milestones

1976 

House of Ruth opened the basement of a row house on Massachusetts Avenue to eight women who were homeless.

1977 

Services were extended to families when The Annex opened to serve women who were abused and who had their children with them.  An average of 9 women and 12-15 children stayed in small quarters every night.

1978 

Madison opened, providing short-term housing with supportive services at a former elementary school on Capitol Hill. 

The original House of Ruth site became Unity, a transitional living program where women who were once homeless could prepare for independent living.  Today, Unity still serves as home for 25 women.

1985

Herspace replaced The Annex, providing a new, larger site for up to five families made homeless by domestic violence.   Services became more comprehensive and included counseling, a woman’s advocate and child advocate, and referrals to legal, medical, child care, and other service providers.

1989

Herspace II was created, adding transitional (18-24 month) housing for seven families, increasing total capacity to 12 families.  Services included community support groups, a children’s program, a 24-hour domestic violence hotline, and a growing community education program. 

1990 

House of Ruth opened Kidspace, a child and family development center for 26 children, to respond to the child care needs of women and the developmental needs of the many district preschoolers facing homelessness.

1992

Herspace moved to a newly-renovated home with room for six women and their children.

1993 

The Mothers and Infants Program opened in a townhouse, providing service-enriched housing for ten women who were homeless and pregnant (or who had recently given birth).

1994

Familyspace opened, providing ongoing supportive services to families exiting our service-enriched transitional housing programs.

1995

The Empowerment Center opened, expanding to 24 hours a day the services provided to women living at Madison, the emergency shelter.

1996

Kidspace moved from a rented church basement to its own spacious home with two buildings and two age-specific playgrounds, increasing its capacity to 60 children aged 6 weeks to 5 years.  At this campus, Kidspace now serves up to 76 children every day.

1997

Reunified Families opened, providing the 10 women at the Mothers and Infants program with a new home in a 13-unit apartment building where they could be joined by their older children.

New Pathways was opened in the former home of Mothers and Infants, to provide service-enriched housing for 10 more women.

New Beginnings opened, providing service-enriched transitional housing to 10 women who have no children with them.

1998

Domestic Violence Support Center opened, providing crisis intervention and mental health assistance to women and children affected by domestic violence.  Today, it provides counseling, tools for growth, healing and problem-solving to roughly 400 individuals each year.

2000

House of Ruth purchased and renovated an apartment building, Three Sisters, to house five families with 24-hour staff support. 

2001

Freedom Place opened, replacing Herspace II in a new site providing service-enriched transitional (18-24 month) housing to families left homeless by domestic violence.  The newly renovated building increased the number of families served from 10 to 13.

2005

House of Ruth opened our sixth location for families, Hope Rising, providing long-term, service-enriched housing for 12 more families that are homeless. 

2006

Kidspace was accredited by the National Association for the Education of Young Children (NAEYC).  House of Ruth continues cutting-edge standards to maintain this national recognition.

2008

Unity, House of Ruth’s first home, was spruced up with new paint, furnishings, a new fence and landscape.  Transitional service-enriched housing continued without interruption to 25 women.

2009

A New Way opened, providing transitional (18-24 months) service-enriched housing for 12 more families who are homeless as a result of domestic violence, bringing the capacity for families throughout House of Ruth to 74.

Two programs, Three Sisters (for five families) and Herspace (for six families), combined at a single location (also called Herspace) to house and assist 13 families.  The new site allows for better interaction with the families and can be staffed at a lower cost.

Madison, where 50 women receive service-enriched housing, was renovated to create more privacy and better spaces for interacting with the women.  The Empowerment Center was integrated into Madison to improve services and reduce costs.

2010

The building that housed Three Sisters, a small program for families, was re-purposed to provide long-term, supportive housing to 14 women who have no children with them.

2012

The Bridges Program extended House of Ruth’s supportive services to an additional 10 families exiting our service-enriched housing programs.

Vision

Our vision is to enable the largest number of people we serve to achieve stable housing, trauma recovery, mental health, addiction recovery, employment and abuse-free relationships.  To achieve this vision House of Ruth will:

  • Sustain an unwavering focus on our mission, principles and vision and the women, children and families we serve.
  • Seek continuous improvement by identifying and incorporating proven interventions and locating and employing staff and clinicians with specialized skills.
  • Achieve measurable successes by identifying and employing strategies to fully engage participants in the positive change process.
  • Increase staff’s effectiveness in consistently using proven interventions.