The Ruth House provides shelter and hope for those experiencing homelessness
For people experiencing homelessness, the Ruth House in Superior provides a warm place to stay for the night. Located at 632 Grand Avenue, the Ruth House is a ministry during the day and then allows those who need a place to stay to check in between 9:30 and 10 pm to sleep in the building.
“It’s a safe place. We do our best,” said Pastor Jack Swonger. “We open up our door to let people in because we’re gonna be heating the building whether anybody’s here or not.”
Swonger has been helping the community through this organization for around twelve years.
“Drugs and alcohol affected my family like it’s affected everybody else’s family. And always what we are is what we’re being exposed to is that a lot of folks really struggle in how to do life,” explained Swonger. ”They’re coming out of treatment programs, incarceration, things of that nature. And unfortunately, they have no place to go that will continue to help them with this sober walk as they’re putting their lives back together. So we decided we needed to provide a place of hope.”
Hope is one of the many ways the Ruth House provides support to those who need it most. Raquel is one of the people staying at the Ruth House regularly.
“I came out of treatment, and the counselor at the treatment center recommended the Ruth House. It’s a good place to go,” said Raquel. “Just being out in the cold and everything was it was not fun. I was very cold. I had just a sweatshirt and leggings, just a backpack on the back. No place to go, really. I was just going to park benches and stuff. Here I have a place. I don’t have to worry about the cold.”
The Ruth House also helped Raquel get her driver’s license, and Swonger and others provide support, advice, and compassion for everyone who needs it.
“It’s wonderful to watch these, especially like this young lady here, watch her come back to the area she came from, you know, in a sober foundation with a support team around her to the ministry here who are who’s helping her, who’s not judging her. She’s had enough of that,” said Swonger.
Volunteers cook two meals a day, and those experiencing homelessness are able to shower and do laundry as needed. According to Pastor Jack, the organization is currently serving between 26 and 35 verified homeless people, which is up around 15 percent from last year. The group also visits encampments in the Twin Ports area, often bringing warm gloves and other essentials to those who need it most.
“If you take all the layers away of homelessness and addictions, it’s going to some mental health stuff. We all struggle for mental health, some more at a higher level than others,” said Swonger. “But that compassion, that love, and that encouragement can go a long way in helping people stand back up and take their lives back.”
The Ruth House is always in need of hats, gloves, and mittens this time of year. Monetary donations are also appreciated. To donate money, click this link.
More information about the Ruth House can be found on their website.