House of Ruth

Focusing On Staff Wellness

“It is health that is real wealth and not pieces of gold and silver.” — Mahatma Gandhi

Post by Sandra L. Jackson, President & CEO of House of Ruth

We are focused on wellness and healing from trauma at House of Ruth, and during ongoing mass shootings; the recent Chauvin verdict; continued racial unrest and ongoing pandemic — not to mention that our clients have their own traumas — it continues to be a challenging time.

As we continue to navigate these challenges in 2021, I wanted to share with you how we have responded to these challenges that is different than our investments in PPE and will be a long-lasting investment at House of Ruth.

We invested in staff wellness.

Now, staff wellness has always been a priority at House of Ruth — and the longevity of our staff speaks to how well we have done it. At the same time, the way staff wellness has looked in the past is different from what we know now, what we value now and what we invest in now.

Starting last year, thanks to a generous grant from the Washington Area Women’s Foundation, we started bi-weekly sessions with our Kidspace staff — on the clock — focusing on their wellness. We know that when our staff are mentally healthy — they bring their “A” game to their work supporting the children and families. We offered meditation sessions; and offered staff the opportunity to speak in a confidential, trusted setting about their challenges, needs and opportunities. The program was so well-received that we have expanded it this year to more teachers at Kidspace, as well as a staff member from each of our family housing programs (where our families live). We hope to create enough cohorts that every staff member has one of their own.

I, too, have a trusted and valued cohort of CEOs that I meet with, navigating my way through these times, and I am very thankful for their support and guidance. As I am grateful to you for your support and guidance — I hope you are taking care of your own wellness, as generously as you partner with us to take care of the women and children at House of Ruth.

“A healthy outside starts from the inside.” — Robert Urich