House Of Ruth Expands in Size and Services

by Iris Sauber
       Over the years, the House Of Ruth has not only expanded its services; it has expanded, period! Requests from domestic violence victims seem to be on the rise in the Baltimore area. Being the largest domestic violence organization in Maryland, and the only shelter for these victims in Baltimore City, means we are a busy group.

       Started in May of 1977 by a coalition of women’s organizations, religious groups, service providers, and elected officials to provide a safe haven for victims of domestic violence and their children, the house originally operated with one paid staff person.

       Since then, our organization has grown to about 100 paid employees and approximately 500 volunteers per year. Programs offered include a 24-hour hotline, an 84-bed emergency shelter for women and children, a legal clinic and advocacy efforts, group and individual counseling, an abuser’s intervention program, transitional housing, community education, consultation and training and the newly created life and job skills program: Esther’s Place.

       Esther’s Place was designed to ready women for return to work and financial independence This program is a joint effort of the House Of Ruth and the Jewish Women International group, whose Jewish Vocational Services will assist clients in attaining their career goals, working with our clients until each is employed and beyond. The first class of 10 from the Esther’s Place Program graduated on March 8.

       We have come a long way from the one-person-staffed row house on Calvert Street to the multiple- building, many-faceted service organization we have become today.

       We are, however, not pleased to announce this.

       Iris Sauber is the Community Relations Manager at the House Of Ruth and a freelance writer. One of the things she produces is a free inspirational newsletter, which is sent weekly via email. You can contact Iris at or


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This story was published on April 4, 2001.