When I first sat down for my interview at House of Ruth for the Families First program, I didn’t have high expectations…I just knew I needed a safe space for my three children and I. Sitting there, talking with the case workers, I couldn’t really focus…My mind was all over the place, and I was stuck in these emotions of feeling lost and broken, scared and worried, angry, and relieved all at the same time.
I had just left my husband of almost 8 years…What was I going to do?
None of that mattered anymore…I was free. I did not have to live in fear or feel trapped and manipulated. This was my opportunity for a fresh start.
From the moment I walked in the door, I felt comfort. I felt safe and secure. I felt the women who worked there genuinely care about my experience and my future.
My caseworker is absolutely amazing. I love her more than she will ever understand. She has been my rock here at House of Ruth…She has pushed me, motivated me, and encouraged me to be my best possible self. From the start, she found resources for me…She was always there anytime.
[There was one time when] I was overwhelmed and didn’t know if I could do things on my own… [The staff at House of Ruth] explained to me that I didn’t have to…That there was a group of women here to support me through this journey…and that I was strong enough to endure. I really appreciate the amount of emotional support these women provided.
House of Ruth has changed my life in more ways than words could describe…having a safe space to not only live, but being able to have access to resources to help me and my children succeed when I leave…[It] is more than I could have ever hoped for.
I have taken financial literacy classes, parenting classes, job readiness classes and workshops…And I have savings, which I never had before…I can go to school to pursue a bachelor’s degree in business management. I was able to get my own car and start my baking business…I was also able to get day care for my youngest daughter at Kidspace (this is also part of the House of Ruth organization, and it’s simply amazing).
[The staff] took the time to explain everything about Kidspace and what to expect, answered any and all the questions I had, and was able to guide me through the entire process of getting [my daughter] enrolled.
I also met [my daughter’s teacher], who took the time to speak to me and make sure I had everything I needed, not just for [my daughter], but for myself. She let me know she was always available if I had any questions or needed to talk…
I love coming to the school and seeing their bright and warm smiles as I drop and pick up [my daughter] each day, and [my daughter] loves her school and her teacher! She is amazing with [my daughter], and I can tell she loves what she does and each child in her class.
I am forever grateful for this beautiful organization and the people who have helped me get where I am today.
–Shaunice*, House of Ruth program participant
*Name has been changed.
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