Janice’s Story

I was at House of Ruth for about 18 months, staying in an apartment in the Freedom Place facility. My son was 14 when we came into the program. We found House of Ruth through the website – I was searching and praying for something to turn around for us.

We had been through a lot of trauma and domestic violence, and had been admitted to a court-operated program. They didn’t have space in a facility at the time, so the courts put us in a hotel in Silver Spring MD, where men were standing around outside and the room was cold and dirty – I didn’t feel safe or good about staying there. We were there for a few days.

I had a job and was still working, we had been going from hotel to hotel when I found House of Ruth. I interviewed with the staff, then I came back with my son and we were interviewed again. When they said we were qualified I was overwhelmed and very happy, and expected to be given a room for my son and I to share.

I wasn’t expecting an apartment. When we walked into a full apartment where we could close the door and have our own space, it was truly a blessing. It was beautifully furnished, and I remember that my son’s room had a picture on the wall that said “Hope.” When he saw that picture, he smiled and said, “Mom, I know this is the right place for us.”

My mom passed away while we were in the program at House of Ruth, and the staff was so generous, understanding and helpful about everything. During that time I had a lot of trouble sleeping, and the midnight staff was my savior. I would go down and talk with her, and she was open and shared too: It was a great friendship.

House of Ruth did so much more than provide me with a safe place to stay. In the 18 months I worked with them, they supported me while I lost my mother and my son was hospitalized for mental issues. They gave me counseling to help with my own mental issues that I had going on at the time, got me grants, and helped me fix my credit. We are now in our own apartment, and House of Ruth helped us with the first month’s rent and the security deposit, as well as furnishings for my new place.

I would tell another woman in my situation do not give up. Forget about your yesterday, learn from your mistakes, press forward and move forward. After the storm, the sunlight shines. I am a woman of faith, and God presented House of Ruth to me. I am a believer and God saw me and my son through. I hope my experience at House of Ruth will open doors for other women to believe in themselves, strive to do more and be more. You may think that programs won’t work, or aren’t for you, but I urge you to try, because you don’t know what the outcome will be.

For me, this was a great program with so many benefits and rewards. Everything and everyone in our experience at House of Ruth Freedom Place was outstanding. The apartment unit was beautiful and bright and nice. Thank you House of Ruth for this program and all the great work put into it. I am very appreciative, blessed and grateful to have been a part of this program.