November, 2022

House of Ruth Happenings!

Candlelight Vigil Highlights

During Domestic Violence Month in October, House of Ruth Hosted the Annual Candlelight Vigil, Voices Emerging From Within The Walls, highlighting stories of individuals who experienced domestic violence during the COVID-19 Lockdowns.

The night was kicked off by an enchanting vocal performance from Ehmandah Ramsey, House of Ruth Vice-President, followed by compelling testimonials from dv survivors, speeches from local government officials and community partners recognizing House of Ruth's 45 years of service.

Those in attendance enjoyed interactive exhibits, workshops, art displays, performances, and resources. Additionally attendees were able to appreciate the heartfelt Voices From The Hearts uplifting positive message display from our donors to survivors.

Over 100 people attended this powerful evening. A big shout out to the House of Ruth Staff who coordinated vigil and everyone who participated in this event, we are thankful for your friendship and continued support throughout the years.

House of Ruth Survivor Panel

As part of Domestic Violence Awareness Month, House of Ruth hosted Emerging Voices: From Healing to Wholeness – an intimate conversation with survivors of domestic violence. A panel of 6 survivors had open conversations about their stories, facilitated by Chief Program Officer, Melissa Pitts.

Each panelist had a story to tell, and a connection to House of Ruth. The panelists included: Krystal Minniefield, Cecilia Gonzalez, Ashley Henkels, Caroline Campbell, Martha Martinez, and Debbie Lopez.

They each shared a brief history of their story, how it affected them and the importance of having this discussion publicly. For several panelists, it was the first time they’ve told their story out in the open. They all hoped their stories would reach someone in an abusive relationship, so they would know they weren’t alone.

One panelist said, “I want to inspire hope. There are agencies like House of Ruth that will fight for you and advocate for you, so you can start over.”


They were asked questions like:

Did the abuse tactics end after you left? Many answered that the abuse attempts still occurred, in the form of power and control. Particularly when child custody was involved. The most dangerous part of a domestic violence situation is when the victim/survivor is getting ready to leave. Each panelist spoke about how they were able to navigate that safely. One panelist still battles the control of her abuser through stalled divorce proceedings. She’s been trying to get divorced for the past 8 years.

What made it difficult for you to reach out for support? Several panelists spoke about the inherent shame that occurs. It’s common for victims to feel alone and isolated and no one will believe them. Each person had different reasons for not asking for help. One was a law enforcement officer. She felt she needed to present herself as having her life together. She blamed herself and was worried about looking good. She did not feel safe discussing her abusive relationship with others, therefore she was alone. Another panelist said that her deep faith in her religion prevented her from reaching out for support. She felt marriage was for life.

How did hearing the question, “why don’t you leave?” contribute to the isolation and abandonment of family and friends? Leaving is difficult because of the control tactics. Often there are threats made – “if you leave, you will never see your children again.” Or “if you leave, I will kill you.” When family and friends keep pressing on “why don’t you leave?”, a victim will continue to withdraw into shame and fear from the threats. One panelist said she didn’t trust anyone. She felt dumb and suffered from deep isolation, abandonment, and betrayal. She said “my mother was in an abusive relationship, so I just repeated the cycle with my generation. When my mom said to me, “why don’t you leave?” I wanted to say back to her – why didn’t YOU leave?”

How do you think different oppressions and privileges affect survivors’ experiences?

One panelist said that every time the police responded to her apartment after an explosive argument, “She felt she needed to protect her husband. My husband was a black man. I would downplay what was really going on.” Another panelist said that she was afraid to report the abuse to authorities because her husband was undocumented.

What do you think is important for people to know as a survivor of domestic violence?

Each panelist offers these words of wisdom.

“It might get worse before it gets better. But a life without domestic violence IS possible. Healthy relationships are possible after DV.”

“I thought to myself, I’m broken. No one will want me. Today I have a healthy relationship.”

“Each one of us is a warrior. If we use that power, we can accomplish anything. I’ve lived through it. I’m almost better for it.”

“For me, it’s about turning your pain into wisdom.”

“The humiliation stays with you the longest. Everything else heals.”

What services/resources/people helped you?

Several of the panelists said that House of Ruth helped them with classes about DV 101, support groups, therapy – everything they learned helped them realize the cycle of abuse. But most importantly House of Ruth helped them re-establish hope for their future, belief in themselves, and the empowerment to place the safety of themselves and their children first.

When the facilitator opened up the discussion for comments from the audience, a mother raised her hand and said “I brought my teen daughter here tonight, so she could hear about how dangerous unhealthy relationships can be. I was in an abusive relationship, and I don’t want her to repeat that. I’m grateful that House of Ruth offers events like this to the public.”

House of Ruth fosters intergenerational connections within several of our programs. Part of providing culturally responsive services to our community is understanding the impact of multi-generational programs, pulling from the wisdom and practices of all cultures. We ask ourselves, “How can we challenge ageism in our society by valuing the knowledge and perspectives of our elders?” When our mission is to end the cycle of violence passed down in communities and families, intergenerational programs are a clear answer.

Message From

House of Ruth Board President

Brian Kraatz

For 45 years, House of Ruth has been providing critical services to survivors of domestic violence. As we enter this holiday season, we are thankful to the community of supporters like you who stand with us. With every survivor who heals their wounds and strengthens their life, we see the good work your support makes possible.

Domestic violence remains an issue of grave concern, and House of Ruth is here to help. According to the National Network to End Domestic Violence, over 90% of homeless women have experienced severe physical or sexual violence at some point in their lives, and 63% have been victims of intimate partner violence as adults. House of Ruth’s emergency shelter gives many survivors and families an option beyond abuse or homelessness. Over 80% of survivors entering shelters report that, after safety, their greatest need is affordable housing. House of Ruth’s transitional housing offers a way forward.

Every donation to House of Ruth illuminates a survivor’s path to freedom. Here’s what one survivor has to say:

I’m thankful to be alive and have a message to individuals suffering from abuse. You can walk away from the situation and move on; you don’t have to go through this by yourself. It gives me strength and hope to know that there is a community out there that cares about people and wants to see them succeed. --Crystal

Won’t you join us as we support Crystal and so many others on their journeys to a better life?

In the past year, our generous donors enabled House of Ruth to serve 884 individuals through outreach programs including counseling, support groups, classes, legal advocacy, case management and basic need support. In addition, we reached over 4,000 adults and teens through community-based violence prevention education, provided 165 adults and children emergency and transitional shelter, and answered over 1,600 hotline calls.

House of Ruth needs your support to prevent domestic violence and provide survivors and their children a safe place to heal and thrive. One of our donors put it simply: “Everyone is worthy of help. We all have the capacity to give.” In the spirit of the season, please consider a generous gift to House of Ruth today.

With deep gratitude and warm wishes,

 Brian Kraatz

Brian Kraatz,

House of Ruth Board President


P.S. Did you know that House of Ruth provides not only emergency shelter, but also transitional housing for survivors moving toward their new lives free from violence? Your gift helps us support survivors as they invent a brighter future for themselves.  

Donate Now

Voices From The Heart Crowdfunding Campaign Update

Thank you to everyone who created and/or shared the Voices From The Heart Crowdfunding Campaign with family and friends, we appreciate your support.

A big shout out to Giselle Smith and Eleanor Brown the top fundraisers, who helped raise an excess of $10,000.00, we couldn't of done it with out you.

We appreciate everyone who wrote heartfelt inspiring messages to survivors and staff, we are lucky to have so many thoughtful friends supporting our mission.

House of Ruth Mental Health Drive


The Counseling Department at House of Ruth welcomes you and your family to come out and join us at the first bi-annual Mental Health Drive.

The House of Ruth Mental Health Drive is a safe space designed to collectively learn the best mental health practices for families and for our  community.

There will be food, games, prizes, raffles, mental health screenings, self-care stations, and so much more. We look forward to seeing you and your family there!”

Date/Time: Saturday, November 12th 2022 from 11am-1pm. 

Location: Pomona Outreach Office 599 N. Main St Pomona CA. 91768.

Cost: Free to the public. 

For more information: 909-623-4364.


Save The Date for the

House of Ruth 45th Anniversary Gala


Please join us on March 9, 2023 to celebrate House of Ruth's 45th Anniversary Gala and support our vital mission of preventing domestic violence and ensuring the safety and well-being of those impacted by it.

Date/Time: March 9, 2023 at 6:00-9:00 P.M.

Location: Padua Hills Theater, 4467 Padua Ave. Claremont CA. 91711

For more information on sponsoring the event, please contact Rhonda Beltran, Chief Development Officer at 909-868-8007, via email or visit

Become a Sponsor
Purchase Gala Tickets

House of Ruth Immediate Needs!

We need your help with the following brand new items:

  • Floor Fans

  • Journals 

  • Pull up's (sizes 4 and up)

  • Disposable Shavers

  • Children's toothpaste

  • General School Supplies

  • Cleaning Supplies

  • Phone Chargers/wall adapter/or portable phone chargers

  • Anti tracking signal blocking cellphone bags

  • Cell phone/laptop camera cover

Please click on the link below to access our Amazon Smile wish list.

For more information or to schedule a donation drop off, please email Sabrina Almaraz or Rhonda Beltran at Thank you for your support.

** Please Note: We are currently not accepting gently used items at this time. All gently used items can be donated directly to:

Acts Thrift Store, 232 E Foothill Blvd Pomona CA., 909-491-3199.

House of Ruth will receive store credit that can be used by House of Ruth clients. Just let them know House of Ruth referred you.

Amazon Smile Wish List
House of Ruth
P.O. Box 459, Claremont CA.
Visit our website
Connect with us
Facebook  Twitter  Linkedin