Tierra* and her two children recently entered one of House of Ruth’s scattered site programs for survivors of domestic violence. In our scattered site programs, clients live in their own apartment in the community and pay a portion of their rent based on their income. That portion grows as clients stabilize their lives and increase their income. Clients also benefit from access to counseling, case management, and life skills training.
Tierra and her children left a very abusive home situation, and our staff worked hard and fast to quickly get them out and into a safe apartment.
When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, Tierra was enrolled in the DC Career Connections employment program but was not able to be placed in a job because of the crisis. This created a temporary gap in her income, and House of Ruth was there to support her — with additional rent money to prevent her from losing her apartment, and necessary food supplies. With support from House of Ruth, she made it through that uncertain time and has started to receive payments from the employment program.
Tierra is focused and driven. She has earned her Commercial Driver’s License and is preparing to put it to use at work. Ultimately she wants to work for the Washington Metro Transit Authority, and the Career Connections program will give her the employment experience needed to pursue this goal.
With help from House of Ruth, Tierra and her family were able to receive the emotional support they need to heal from the trauma they have experienced. Tierra goes to therapy herself, and she also goes to counseling with one of her children every week, supporting her child in their recovery process.
Tierra wanted to move her children away from the abuser into their own apartment for a long time, but it wasn’t possible. She had debt and her credit wasn’t perfect. She was incredibly grateful and relieved to be able to take the next step to safety and independence with House of Ruth. Today their lives are free from violence because of Tierra’s bravery.
Our staff has watched Tierra’s joy in setting up her family’s apartment — arranging furniture, unpacking boxes and gradually creating a safe and happy home of their own. Tierra has proudly declared, “this is my apartment, my kids, and we are moving forward.”
*Name has been changed.