Hello, supporters and friends of House of Ruth. My name is Lou Cardenas, and I’m the new board chair at House of Ruth. This is my fourth year on the House of Ruth board, and I just chaired the board meeting for the first time. At that meeting, after approximately six months of evaluation and discussion, the board unanimously and enthusiastically promoted Sandra Jackson to President and CEO of House of Ruth.
Sandra started at House of Ruth in 2013, as Director of Operations, and moved up to Interim Executive Director and then Executive Director in 2016. Since that time, she has started — and completed — House of Ruth’s first-ever capital campaign. She raised $7 million to construct Kidspace, and it will be open — with more than double the capacity of our last Kidspace facility — later this year.
Additionally, she has expanded and diversified the housing we offer to women and children at House of Ruth. In addition to our traditional care, in homes we own, Sandra helped pioneer ‘scattered site’ housing, where we use our name to secure leases on apartments throughout D.C. Our clients move into the homes, with their name co-signed on the lease, and pay a portion of the rent. As they are able, and they get back on their feet, they gradually take on more rent until they are at 100%.
This model is encouraging for participants, minimizing moves and increasing independence for clients who need an escape from domestic violence.
We’ve also hired two more licensed counselors — effectively doubling the reach of the domestic violence support center, our free therapy for survivors of domestic violence. With these additional staff members, we have increased our group therapy offerings in our homes and at partner agencies throughout the city.
What I’m trying to say is, Sandra is the definition of a high-achieving, highly successful, brilliant and kind leader — and it’s high time she became President and CEO of House of Ruth.
No matter how high Sandra goes, she always keeps our clients and our staff at the forefront of her mind. I’m grateful to partner with her, and grateful to be able to recognize her hard work.
Lou Cardenas, Board Chair