House of Ruth

Jamie’s Story

Jamie’s Story

Jamie* and her young son live in House of Ruth’s supportive housing for survivors of domestic violence. At House of Ruth, Jamie has found both safety and a refuge to rebuild her life. Without having to fear for her safety or the safety of her son, she has found the space to take a breath and focus on her goals. When she first arrived, Jamie was receiving unemployment benefits, coping with the emotional challenges of recent abuse, and feeling scattered as she tried to identify a direction for her next steps.

House of Ruth was here to provide safe housing, and comprehensive services for both Jamie and her son. Jamie has taken full advantage of the empowering services available to her through House of Ruth — case management, supportive counseling, group counseling, parenting support, therapeutic childcare, and more. She enrolled her son in our Kidspace childcare program, and credits Kidspace with helping him make great progress in overcoming some speech and behavioral challenges he experienced.

Jamie has overcome the past and found her way forward. With support from our staff, she identified her goals and actively began pursuing them. After completing rigorous training, Jamie acquired an excellent job working for local government. Her son is thriving, thanks to Kidspace and Jamie’s attentive focus on his needs. Jamie is actively saving money, and seeing is the benefits of this effort.

Recently Jamie was approved to transition to House of Ruth’s Bridges Program. Joining Bridges will enable Jamie to move out of House of Ruth’s site-based residential programming, and into her own apartment in the community. She will receive income-based rental assistance and supportive services from House of Ruth until she is ready to transition to full independence.

Jamie is in the process of apartment searching right now. Her journey is inspiring and we are so proud of her accomplishments in overcoming the challenges that came her way.

*Name has been changed.

Meera’s Story

Meera* has journeyed a long road to a healthy, holistic way of life.

Meera has suffered through trauma, many years of homelessness, extensive substance abuse that resulted in incarceration, and bouncing around from shelter to shelter. Finding herself tired and ill, Meera eventually decided to pursue substance abuse treatment. When she came to House of Ruth’s residential supportive housing for survivors of domestic violence, she had already been living substance-free for six months, and has continued to successfully maintain her sobriety. She is committed to attending AA meetings and speaks with her sponsor regularly.

When Meera first visited House of Ruth she didn’t know what to expect. She and her son had previously experienced living in shelters that were not very clean and offered limited support, so she was surprised to learn she would be living in a private two bedroom apartment. She said the space was beautiful, and felt both humbled and grateful for the opportunity to create her own home.

Meera places a strong focus on the energy she puts into the world, and using energy to create a better state of mind. The environment and support available at House of Ruth has enabled Meera to adjust her lifestyle to find healthier ways to cope with the challenges she has faced.

In early 2021, Meera started her own business by offering meditation and yoga online, and it has been a phenomenal success. When she posted her first video, she did not anticipate the popularity it would gain. Despite her surprise, Meera recognized the need for online services during the pandemic, and actively pursued this opportunity. She has found satisfaction in sharing her holistic values and expertise with others. In alignment with these values, Meera recently obtained a certification in permaculture.

Knowing people may shift their focus away from online experiences as the pandemic eases, Meera has concentrated on saving money. Thanks to her savings, Meera was accepted into House of Ruth’s Bridges program. She is putting in applications for her own apartment in the community. While in the Bridges program, Meera will receive income-based rental assistance and supportive services until she is ready to transition to full independence.

House of Ruth has empowered Meera with housing, case management, counseling, and more, and she has built upon this support to the best of her ability to create a meaningful, stable life for herself and her three-year-old son. Her son has demonstrated developmental challenges, and while resistant to assigning a label or diagnosis to her son, with support from her case manager, Meera has decided to seek the help of a specialist to find out how best to assist him. Her case manager is proud of Meera’s ability to re-examine the situation to the benefit of her son.

*Name has been changed.

Cara and Heather’s Story

Cara* came to know about House of Ruth through our Kidspace developmental childcare center. She brought her daughter Heather* to Kidspace when she was just six months old. Through Kidspace, Cara attended a group offered to parents on the dynamics of domestic violence. This experience led Cara to recognize the controlling nature of her partner, and she realized she wanted to leave the relationship.

Our Kidspace staff connected Cara to our Bridges program, where she was able to move into an apartment in the community, to receive income-based rental assistance, and to benefit from supportive services. At that time Cara began attending individual counseling at our Domestic Violence Support Center. With support and encouragement, she is able to successfully co-parent with her daughter’s father. She manages their interactions without being manipulated or controlled, and always prioritizes her daughter’s best interests.

Cara is fiercely committed to her autonomy, and to her daughter. She has graduated from our Bridges program and is fully independent. She successfully maintained employment throughout the pandemic. She is now saving money with the goal of eventually purchasing her own home with the assistance of a first-time homebuyer’s program.

Today, Heather is in the pre-K class at Kidspace and doing so well. She is a very outgoing, playful little girl with wonderful language skills. Cara is a very vocal parent who actively partners with Kidspace staff to facilitate her daughter’s positive growth and development. When a teacher recommended Heather receive an evaluation for occupational therapy, Cara readily gave permission and trusted in the expertise of our staff. She seeks out advice and support on an ongoing basis, and she always advocates for Heather’s needs.

Cara says she feels like the support she has received has really helped her to be resilient, and she feels like she wouldn’t be where she is now without Kidspace and House of Ruth. She always tells people that Heather’s school is the best! We are so proud to support Cara and Heather’s success.

*Names have been changed.

Ania’s Story

Ania* brought her young son to House of Ruth to flee domestic violence. During their time at House of Ruth, Ania steadily and successfully rebuilt their lives and established her independence.

They first lived in our residential housing with staff on-site, and after a year, they transitioned into more independent housing through our Bridges scattered site program. While at Bridges, they lived in their own apartment in the community, received income-based rental assistance, case management, and other supportive services.

Ania’s biggest obstacle was her fear of being on her own. She was worried about being able to support herself and her son for the long-term. But Ania was also committed to building on all the opportunities available to her to be successful through House of Ruth. She worked with her case manager to figure out how to bring down her debt, to improve her credit score, and to increase her income. She prioritized saving money. She also took care of herself by attending therapy at our Domestic Violence Support Center, and by participating in support groups.

Ania created a vision board with her dreams and goals early on during her time at House of Ruth. More than a year later, while attending a group session at Bridges, she was with a new group of peers who were creating vision boards. She was proud to share that she had already achieved all of the dreams on the first vision board she created.

When her case manager asked Ania if she was ready to be on her own, she responded, “I feel good, House of Ruth has done well by me, I was able to grow, and I am ready to be on my own.”

In November 2020 she transitioned out of our Bridges program, taking over the lease on her apartment and fully supporting herself and her son, all while working full-time at a nursing home and attending graduate school in the medical field. Now she is beginning to dream about and plan for the day when she will purchase her own home.

Ania is proud to know she is more than capable of standing on her own and thriving. We are honored to support Ania as she worked hard to build a bright future for herself and her son.

*Name has been changed.

Kenya’s Story

Kenya* and her three children came to House of Ruth to flee an abusive situation. They found safety and support at A New Way, our transitional housing for survivors of domestic violence. That was the beginning of their journey at House of Ruth.

Kenya is inspiring, a go-getter who has successfully drawn on the support available to her through House of Ruth to make her goals a reality. Her admirable resourcefulness was obvious from the very beginning. Upon arrival at A New Way, our staff supported Kenya in identifying her goals and next steps. Her top priority was finding housing for her family. When she learned about the possibility of graduating to our more independent Bridges program, she knew she was prepared to put the work in to qualify. Bridges enables clients to receive income-based rental assistance for an apartment in the community, and the assistance gradually decreases as the client becomes completely independent. The first step toward qualifying was finding a job, and the next step was saving at least $1,000.

After two months of proactive job searching, Kenya secured a great job with Metro. She works the night shift so she has more time to be with her children. She soon exceeded her goal to save $1,000. Our staff worked with Kenya to help her improve her credit score. This improvement enabled her to purchase a more reliable car, and made it possible for her to secure an apartment when she was ready to transition to the Bridges program. She has fallen in love with the apartment and thanks to furniture obtained through A Wider Circle, she has made it a beautiful home for her children.

Our staff has witnessed Kenya’s ebullient spirit and vivaciousness even in the face of tremendous challenges and the anxiety she has experienced while facing them. She has taken care of herself and her family. As her children have experienced emotional and behavioral issues in response to the abuse they witnessed, Kenya has made sure they attend family therapy to work on healing and overcoming these challenges. She participated in weekly group counseling herself.

We have been honored to support Kenya as she turned her anxiety into hope for the future, and to celebrate with her as she blossomed and reached her goals.

*Name has been changed.