Post by Sandra L. Jackson, President & CEO of House of Ruth
As I’ve mentioned in the May, June and July notes from me to you; House of Ruth has only grown in the last 45 years in direct response to requests and needs of our clients. This is no exception — in our 12 housing programs (which you can read about in my (May note here) — we serve hundreds of women. Some of these women have taken what they need from House of Ruth — have been life coached to complete a degree, or helped to find a higher paying job; or supported in staying in a good job. Their children are flourishing at Kidspace (click here to learn more) and the women have gone to therapy (click here). They are ready to move out, and yet stay in the neighborhood which has become home. The issue? There are no apartments or homes they can afford left in D.C. They cannot get a voucher, and if they get a voucher, it is impossible to find a vacant apartment. We have heard this from client, after client, after client.
So, we are exploring affordable housing. We have received preliminary funding from the Day One Fund, and we have a knowledgeable board chair who specializes in real estate. Between myself (born and raised in D.C.); our board chair, with his knowledge of the real estate market; and loyal funders like you — we are bound and determined to offer our clients the next step in their journeys — a permanent home of their own.
Even when I started at House of Ruth in 2013, we had clients who could partner with D.C. and get help with a down-payment and purchase nearby homes. Additionally clients were able to rent apartments close to our programs; keeping their children in the same schools and themselves in the neighborhood they were comfortable in. This is certainly not possible today — prices on houses and apartments have just gone up and up; particularly during the COVID housing market.
We have looked at apartment homes as varied as 200 apartments in SE D.C. or 12 apartments in NW D.C. No matter what, I am committed to having homes that our clients and former clients can be proud of; homes that I would be willing to live in myself. This is vital to our clients’ futures … and I will be telling you more about it as the work goes on in the coming year.
Thank you for your support of our clients, and their futures.