In the past two years, we’ve had open houses directed at our clients, to tell them more about our services, and directed at our partners, to see how else we can work together. We also usually have an annual donor reception, where our loyal donors learn more about the good work they are funding.
This year, in our continuing virtual environment, we did an Open House for everyone! Last Friday, March 19, 2021, we hosted an Open House and had six separate videos (thanks to our amazing board member, Dan Morris, and his exceptional team) and Q&A involving 10 staff and many donors, clients, and partners. And, if you missed it, you can still watch it! We recorded the Zoom and you can see it all below. You can also watch individual videos about each of our programs, if you’d prefer, on House of Ruth’s YouTube channel.
We are so grateful for Polsinelli for sponsoring this event, and to Seteria Hollinshed, House of Ruth staff member, for hosting and emceeing it.
If you have any questions from the Open House, or just want to learn more about House of Ruth, please reach out to our Chief Development Officer, Elizabeth Kiker, at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202-597-5803.
Program Highlight: Hope Rising
“We plants seeds, water fertile ground, and watch our clients grow and blossom,” says Hope Rising Assistant Program Coordinator Chrishania Robinson. Hope Rising is one of House of Ruth’s permanent, supportive housing programs created for women and children recovering from the effects of domestic violence, homelessness and mental health challenges. Twelve families can live at Hope Rising’s permanent housing site. Mothers who come to Hope Rising arrive with a mental health condition or have experienced trauma that caused a mental health issue. The ultimate goal is for Hope Rising clients to stabilize their mental health and to access the resources needed to become self-sufficient.
Women arrive with their own unique priorities, and Hope Rising enables them to take the time needed to restructure their lives. Chrishania says, “We have had clients come so far in their healing process that they are able to purchase their own homes when leaving House of Ruth. They are able to piece back together the fragments of their lives that have been broken apart over so many years.”
Program Highlight: Domestic Violence Support Center
House of Ruth is a major force in the community’s response to relationship and domestic violence. We provide housing, services and counseling to clients and families leaving and recovering from violent relationships. In 1998, the Domestic Violence Support Center was opened to assist individuals and children who need help resolving abuse issues.
At the Domestic Violence Support Center, more than 200 women and men each year are provided with free counseling to help them work through issues surrounding domestic violence. Through individual counseling, clients come to understand the impact that abuse has had on their lives—and on their children. With their counselors, they develop and carry out plans to establish safer lives and avoid abusive relationships. Domestic Violence Support Center services are free, confidential and effective.
Professional counselors, trained in helping people deal with trauma, help clients determine their options and achieve safe, stable lives, free from violence and other forms of abuse. Counseling and support are available for youth as well, to help them cope. All services at the Support Center are free. Individuals who are dealing with or have experienced relationship violence are encouraged to call the Support Center at 202-667- 7001 ext. 515 to schedule an initial conversation about how the Center staff might be able to help.
Program Highlight: Three Sisters
Good things are happening at Three Sisters, House of Ruth’s long-term home for women. The 14 women living at Three Sisters have been chronically homeless, and many are dually diagnosed, or struggling with both mental illness and substance abuse problems – sometimes linked to their traumatic upbringing. For some women, a fully independent, self-sufficient life is an unrealistic goal. At Three Sisters, women receive daily, ongoing support and encouragement as they do the hard work of stabilizing their lives and building skills for more independent living. House of Ruth works with each woman to identify her strengths and her needs, and together, we create a plan to help her reach her goals. With 24-hour support and a consistent, nurturing environment, women learn skills and routines they need to thrive.
Program Highlight: Kidspace
“Kids here have experienced all kinds of things – life challenges associated with homelessness, domestic violence, and it affects them, even if it was in utero,” says Crystal Graham, Co-Director at Kidspace. “Almost all have developmental delays because of that trauma, and we help them here.”
Every day at Kidspace, donors like you allow House of Ruth to provide free, high-quality, nurturing, and responsive services to formerly homeless, developmentally delayed children ages six weeks to five years old. In bright, engaging classrooms with a small teacher-to-student ratio, kids receive top-notch specialized developmental day care and tailored therapies, while their parents receive services to help them address the challenges in their lives.
Nearly every child coming to Kidspace has some developmental delay, and many across domains. Kidspace’s educators and therapists are advocates for each child, assessing needs and proactively providing speech and occupational therapy. Kidspace offers children a learning environment they may not otherwise have access to and the therapies they need to prevent more debilitating delays later in life. Even more importantly, Kidspace prepares children to be ready to learn and succeed in school and life.
For more than 25 years, Kidspace operated on a small campus of two older homes. At first, that worked well and gave children a place of their own. Because of the deterioration of the two older homes, Kidspace is now located in temporary buildings. With support from our community of donors, we look forward to improving the physical space to match the quality of services we provide there. Please stay tuned for more news – and thank you for helping these children recover from trauma, develop and thrive.