Post by Sandra L. Jackson, President & CEO of House of Ruth
As we start to prepare for House of Ruth’s 50th anniversary, my heart and mind are full. With your help, this organization has helped so many women and children transform their lives, and heal from trauma and abuse. As we look ahead to the next 50 years, we are planning for bright futures for our clients.
House of Ruth has always been led by our client’s needs. We started housing women who had experienced homelessness, and then in conversation with many of them, realized the intersection of domestic violence and homelessness. Prior to House of Ruth, women who made the hard decision to leave an abusive situation found themselves and their children homeless. And for others the fear of being homeless prevented them from leaving. We started offering childcare because we found that if you help women — children come with them, and they need a safe, nurturing place to go as well. When learning about the traumas many of our clients have faced, we realized trauma informed counseling was a needed tool, and opened our Domestic Violence Support Center.
And now, faced with rising rents, and the increasing unaffordability of Washington, D.C., we are once again being client led to offer affordable housing to ensure our families can continue to be successful in their journey to independence. Affordable housing provides stability, supports families by liberating them from poverty, violence, physical and mental hardships and placing them on a path of new opportunities and increased confidence and self-reliance. A stable place to live means a place for families to spend time together, establishes home as a place that protects — instead of endangering — their physical and mental health. Stable housing provides the foundation necessary to prepare, support, teach and model skills for future generations. It also allows families to totally engage in communities and advocate for their communities through support of local leadership.
We are building partnerships, and reaching out to funders, and listening closely — and we realize there is a deep need for affordable housing in D.C. Not just for our clients — but for thousands of families. We hope to raise $50 million for this capital investment before our 50th anniversary in 2026. We also hope this money will help us offer between 150-200 affordable apartments.
But we are not stopping there. We are also working on partnerships to encourage home ownership — to help our clients, who have secure, reliable jobs and affordable apartments, to start saving to purchase a home. We are breaking the cycles of trauma, violence and housing insecurity for our clients (and their children) as we open the door to the knowledge of home ownership and building generational wealth for future generations.
Thank you for continuing with us on this journey; you help make all of this possible.