House of Ruth

2022 Charity Navigator Recognition

2022 Charity Navigator Recognition

House of Ruth has once again been recognized with a 4-star rating! The 4-star rating is the highest possible rating and indicates the organization adheres to sector best practices and executes its mission in a financially efficient way. We are so grateful for this achievement and hope to continue to move forward in success to help our D.C community.

2022 Washington Women of Excellence

Pictured from left: Jennifer L. Porter and Mayor Muriel Bowser from the Executive Office of the Mayor; Sandra Jackson, President & CEO of House of Ruth

On Thursday, March 31, at 6 pm, Mayor Muriel Bowser and the Mayor’s Office on Women’s Policy and Initiatives recognized Sandra Jackson, President & CEO of House of Ruth as a Washington Women of Excellence — at an awards event. The eight honorees have all led trailblazing careers and in particular this class of women have fostered new pathways for mothers, women, and girls in the District of Columbia to thrive.

On the SAME NIGHT! Sandra Jackson was also recognized by the DC Democratic Women’s Club to honor her leadership, dedication, and service to women, children, and families of the District of Columbia. As they said, “As CEO of the renowned House of Ruth, you are among three community innovators DCDWC will recognize during our virtual Annual Women’s History Program scheduled for Thursday, March 31, 2022. The Servant Leadership Award celebrates exceptional community icons who advocate sustainability within our communities. Your leadership demonstrates the nobility of shared power, raising the needs of others and supporting individuals to develop and perform as highly as possible.”

We are so glad to have Sandra Jackson as president and CEO of House of Ruth, and proud of this well-deserved recognition.

House of Ruth Receives Bezos Day 1 Families Fund Grant

House of Ruth Receives $2.5 Million Bezos Day 1 Families Fund Grant to End Homelessness

Day 1 Families Fund grants $105.9 million to 42 nonprofits helping families gain housing support and stability

 

WASHINGTON, D.C. – (December 9, 2020): House of Ruth, the D.C.-based organization working with women and children survivors of homelessness and domestic violence, today announced that it has been selected to receive a $2.5 million grant from the Day 1 Families Fund. Launched in 2018 by Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, the Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families.

“There are not enough homes and resources available to help women and children survivors of homelessness in D.C.,” said Sandra Jackson, House of Ruth President and CEO. “The Day 1 Families Fund donation is a crucial first step toward the estimated $25 million we will need to provide additional support to the families in our community who are desperately in need of more support.”

This one-time grant, awarded to organizations doing meaningful work to connect families with shelter and support, will allow House of Ruth to fund a new housing program which, when complete, will provide housing for more than 100 families who have survived homelessness and other traumas.

House of Ruth is one of 42 nonprofits across the U.S. to receive the third annual Day 1 Families Fund grants, as part of a continuing commitment by the Day 1 Families Fund to help end homelessness for families. The Day 1 Families Fund issued a total of $105.9 million in grants this year. To select these organizations, the fund worked with an advisory board of homelessness advocates and leaders whose expertise spans housing justice, racial equity, direct services, homelessness policy, equity for Native American communities and anti-poverty work. This year, the grant recipients from around the country include: Anchorage Coalition to End Homelessness; The Cathedral Center, Inc.; Catholic Charities of Acadiana; Coalition for Homelessness Intervention & Prevention; Coalition for the Homeless of Central Florida; Community Action Council for Lexington-Fayette, Bourbon, Harrison and Nicholas Counties, Inc.; Congreso de Latinos Unidos; Coalition on Homelessness and Housing in Ohio; Denver Indian Family Resource Center; East Los Angeles Women’s Center; East Oakland Community Project; Facing Forward to End Homelessness; Families Together; Family Life Center; Friendship Place; HELP of Southern Nevada; The Homeless Families Foundation; Homeless Outreach Program Integrated Care System; HOPE Atlanta; House of Ruth; Housing Matters; Housing Up; Kahumana; MAHUBE-OTWA Community Action Partnership, Inc.; Metro Denver Homeless Initiative; MUST Ministries; The National Center for Children and Families; Native American Youth and Family Center; North Carolina Coalition to End Homelessness; One80 Place; Poverello House; Rainbow Services; Refugee Women’s Alliance; Safe Haven Family Shelter; Samaritan House; Solid Ground; St. Vincent de Paul CARES; Su Casa – Ending Domestic Violence; The Salvation Army Austin Area Command; Time for Change Foundation; United American Indian Involvement, Inc.; and WestCare California.

The Bezos Day One Fund was launched in 2018 with a commitment of $2 billion and a focus on two areas: funding existing nonprofits that help homeless families, and creating a network of new, nonprofit tier-one preschools in low-income communities. The Day 1 Families Fund issues annual leadership awards to organizations and civic groups doing compassionate, needle-moving work to provide shelter and hunger support to address the immediate needs of young families. The vision statement comes from the inspiring Mary’s Place in Seattle: no child sleeps outside. For more information, visit www.BezosDayOneFund.org/Day1FamiliesFund.

About House of Ruth
House of Ruth empowers women, children and families to rebuild their lives and heal from trauma, abuse and homelessness. House of Ruth offers comprehensive support for women, children and families. Our continuum of services encompasses service-enriched housing for families and single women, therapeutic childcare and free counseling to empower anyone, regardless of gender, who is a survivor of trauma and abuse. Our programs provide support to rebuild safe, independent and sustainable lives.

Media Contact:
Elizabeth Kiker
202-425-0627
ekiker@houseofruth.org

Sandra Jackson Promoted to House of Ruth President & CEO

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.

Sincerely,

Lou Cardenas, Board Chair

My COVID Hero Campaign: Chaikin Sherman

House of Ruth Receives $5,000 Donation from Chaikin Sherman law firm

Chaikin, Sherman, Cammarata & Siegel personal injury attorneys recently visited House of Ruth to learn more about the nonprofit organization and donate $5,000 to support women, children and families healing from trauma, abuse and homelessness.

Since the COVID-19 pandemic began, House of Ruth has seen an increase in domestic violence reports and homelessness. The donation from Chaikin Sherman will go toward comprehensive programming, services and housing for families and single women in crisis as they work to rebuild their lives.

“Local partnerships like this are vital to House of Ruth and our clients. We are grateful,” said Elizabeth Kiker, Development Director. “We appreciate Chaikin Sherman’s generosity, partnership and continued support of the community.”

The donation is part of the law firm’s “My COVID Hero” photo and video campaign to highlight COVID heroes and support local nonprofits providing essential services and care throughout the pandemic.
“Throughout the pandemic, House of Ruth has done an incredible job of supporting and empowering some of the most vulnerable members of our community,” said Allan Siegel, firm partner. “This campaign was a way for us to thank them for making a positive impact and to bring more awareness to the critical work they do. We’re happy to contribute to their efforts and encourage others to do the same.”

Life Preservation Initiative Donates 50,000 Masks

Foundation’s Gift to Help Women Who Need it Most During Pandemic, and Staff Serving Them

On May 19, 2020, the Life Preservation Initiative donated 50,000 masks to help House of Ruth clients and staff — the most vulnerable citizens in Washington, D.C., during the COVID-19 crisis. This new partnership is just the latest way LPI and House of Ruth are working to help those in need during this unprecedented time, especially as domestic violence reports are on the rise during shelter-in-place mandates.

“For some of us, COVID-19’s stay-at-home orders have been inconvenient. But for those facing violence in their houses, staying home is unthinkable,” said Daofeng He, the main donor to the Life Preservation Initiative. “We want to do what we can to support women who are ready to leave, especially during these unprecedented times. We are making our resources available to assist those who have escaped homelessness and domestic violence.”

“At House of Ruth, we help more than 1,000 women and children survivors of homelessness and domestic violence each year,” said Executive Director, Sandra Jackson. “Our staff and clients are almost all in at-risk categories for COVID-19, and these masks will help immensely as House of Ruth serves the most vulnerable women and children in Washington, D.C.”

Anyone experiencing domestic violence in the Washington, D.C. metro area can find help at House of Ruth — by calling us at (202) 667-7001 x. 320 — we are open, and accepting new families and women (as spaces are available) during this pandemic.

College HUNKS Hauling Junk Partnership

Moving Company Provides Free Services to DV Survivors at House of Ruth

On May 1, 2020, College HUNKS Hauling Junk & Moving moved two survivors of domestic violence in Washington, D.C. into new apartments, away from their abusers. The women moved into House of Ruth programs, and are receiving help from House of Ruth’s expert staff. This new partnership is just the latest way these companies are working to help those in need during this unprecedented time — and comes as domestic violence reports are on the rise during shelter-in-place mandates.

“For some of us, COVID-19’s stay-at-home orders have been inconvenient. But for those facing violence in their homes, staying home is unthinkable,” said Nick Friedman, Co-Founder and President of College HUNKS Hauling Junk and Moving. “We want to do what we can to support women who are ready to leave, especially during these unprecedented times. We are making our resources available to assist those who are looking for a safe way out.”

“At House of Ruth, we help more than 1,000 women and children survivors of homelessness and domestic violence each year,” said Executive Director Sandra Jackson. “Sometimes, finding the strength to leave an abuser is the hardest part — and we are grateful to College HUNKS for helping these survivors take a huge step on their journey into healing.”

Anyone experiencing domestic violence in the Washington, D.C. metro area can find help at House of Ruth — call us at 202-667-7001 x. 320 — we are open and accepting new families and women (as spaces are available) during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Supporting Our Front-Line Workers

On Tuesday April 21, 2020, House of Ruth’s executive director Sandra Jackson joined Congresswomen Pramila Jayapal, V, formerly known as Eve Ensler, the author of the Vagina Monologues, and several other organizations on a Facebook Live event to talk about the women workers leading us through the COVID-19 crisis, and how we need to support these essential women workers during and after this crisis. It was an energizing and thought-provoking conversation during these difficult times.

Click here to watch the recorded discussion on our Facebook page!

Building D.C.’s Beloved Community

On February 19th, House of Ruth’s Executive Director Sandra Jackson joined Bread for the City’s CEO George Jones and CARECEN’s Executive Director Abel Nunez for a discussion at Georgetown University in honor of Black History Month.

The topic was Living the Dream: Advocacy and Building DC’s Beloved Community. Ms. Jackson spoke up as an advocate for helping women and children where they are, today, and thus building a stronger next generation. “We are the voice for women and children that can’t speak for themselves,” she said. “We share with advocates, founders and policy makers about how their investments change lives.” Thank you to Georgetown University for convening such a thoughtful conversation.

Legacy Of A Dream Award Speech

This is the speech given by Sandra Jackson on January 20, 2020 as she accepted the John Thompson, Jr. Legacy of a Dream Award from Georgetown University and its president, Dr. John J. DeGioia. We hope you are as inspired by the speech, and Ms. Jackson, as we all are.


To Dr. DeGioia and the Georgetown University Selection Committee—I am extremely thankful and honored to receive the John Thompson Jr. Legacy of a Dream Award named in honor of a giant on the basketball court and an advocate for justice. And, receiving this award on this day—honoring another giant and drum major for justice, Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.—is humbling.

I am a long way from the little girl growing up in Washington, D.C. where I have fond memories that include meeting my soulmate more than 50 years ago, but also where I encountered my own challenges. My journey here can be traced to a family that loved, supported and sacrificed for me. My mother the social worker (with no formal degree), was an architect of wrap-around services for the family, her friends and community. I credit her with the inspiration for my journey.

This also framed my approach to this work; I see something special in the women, children and families we serve—even when they don’t see it in themselves. When I look into the eyes of a child, I don’t see what’s not possible, I see possibility at the highest level. And, as Marian Wright Edelman said, “The question is not whether we can afford to invest in every child; it is whether we can afford not to.” And, through the support and services House of Ruth offers, we believe that the women, children and families are not what happened to them, but they are created masterpieces on the journey, to becoming and realizing their purpose.

When Dr. DeGioia visited one of our family programs, he heard the stories of several mothers, and how the support they were receiving was moving them forward to achieve their goals and dreams. One mother in the group has four young children—but she is up and out the door by 6:00 a.m. with her children (including one-year-old twins), delivering them to three different schools by way of public transportation, before she arrives at her training program for the day.

Dr. DeGioia asked what was the model that supports the women—we talked about the trauma-informed practice, safe housing, child development services, counseling, financial literacy, life skills, budgeting, debt remediation, and the list goes on—all of which are critical to their success, but the resounding themes the women shared were…

  • the staff believed in them—even when they did not believe in themselves,
  • the staff listened and supported them through difficult times,
  • the staff pushed them when they felt like they could not go on.

I stand before you today, because someone believed in me and I answered the call to serve: putting one foot ahead of the other and moving forward—not always sure what lied ahead but confident that my steps were being ordered and if I kept moving forward, I would walk into my purpose—to defend and help others.

I accept the John Thompson Jr. Legacy of a Dream Award on behalf of Dr. Veronica Maz, a Georgetown University Professor who founded House of Ruth 43 years ago—with one program providing housing for eight women;

I accept this award on behalf of the 13,000 women, children and families we have served over the 43 years;

I accept this award on behalf of our 100+ staff, who serve in the 16 current programs;

I accept this award on behalf of our board of directors, who have supported this out of the box executive director;

I accept this award on behalf of the public funders and foundations, who hear my appeals for funds;

I accept this award on behalf of the 20,000 committed donors (who helped House of Ruth raise 7 million dollars to build a state of the art child development center in Ward 7—for the future leaders);

I accept this award on behalf of my husband and family who comforts this social worker;

Finally, I accept this award and share it with my mother who I believe is in heaven, saying “you did good, baby girl.”