Thursday, October 8, 2009

House of Ruth

from Catholic Teacher's Musings

When I was in 9th grade, I was part of a CCD program that focused on social justice concerns. Several times throughout the year, we would visit organizations and institutions that served the vulnerable and the poor.
I have a vivid memory of visiting a DC facility called The House of Ruth,
an organization that serves women and children who have suffered from circumstances related to domestic violence, poverty, and mental illness .
During the 1976 class trip, our small group of 14 year olds had the responsibility of visiting with the residents and stocking the pantry with groceries I believe we had brought with us.
Out of the corner of my eye I remember seeing a woman take some food and put it in her sweater as if she were "stealing" it.
I didn't understand her self-consciousness, her fear, or her shame.
At 14, the behavior confused me, but also made me more aware of the devastating issue of domestic violence affecting women all over the globe.
Nowadays, House of Ruth has 13 DC locations and may serve nearly 600 women at any given time.
This past week the DC government has announced a 20 million dollar budget cut for homeless services. As a result, House of Ruth will lose close to $500,000 in funds. Whether or not the facility can survive with this loss of funds is highly questionable.

from the website:
House of Ruth helps women, children and families in greatest need and with very limited resources to build safe, stable lives and achieve their highest potential. We serve women, children and families who are striving to overcome domestic violence, homelessness, mental health disorders and substance abuse. Underlying their problems is the women’s experiences of neglect and abuse.
Please say a prayer for the survival of House of Ruth and the women under their care.

Visit the website for more information.

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