Superior’s Ruth House, a ministry serving the homeless community, will double its capacity next month. The nonprofit is moving to a new home at 632 Grand Ave., a vacant church building that last housed The City Church. Their grand opening is slated for Oct. 1.
“We’re confident that the transition’s going to go smoothly and we’re going to be able to help more people,” said Chrissy Foster, program coordinator for Walking Victorious Ministries. “It’s a good area for us to be in and it’s just a blessing.”
Ruth House, which operates under the umbrella of Walking Victorious Ministries, began serving the homeless population in December 2018 out of a two-bedroom home at 1901 N. 12th St. Run by volunteers, the ministry offers help with job and housing searches, resume writing, crisis navigation, finding treatment, obtaining a GED and more. Their mission is to provide a safe, sober environment that promotes empowerment and healing.
Visitors can drop by for a shower and wash a load of laundry. The coffeepot’s always on and food is available. The home opens its doors as an overnight warming shelter when temperatures drop below 20 degrees Fahrenheit.
Foster said about 200 different individuals have come to Ruth House for help in the past year. Of those, seven have moved into their own apartments and 30 have found jobs.
The new building is at least twice the size of the old one. Foster estimated they will be able to shelter up to 40 people on cold nights at 632 Grand Ave. In addition to more space, the new Ruth House is directly on a bus route and less than a block away from Solid Rock Mission, right in the heart of Superior’s north end neighborhood.
“This is where our heart is and this is where we know a lot of people need our services,” Foster said.
While the current Ruth House is a rental, the new building will be owned by the ministry.
“The funds to purchase the building were gifted to us,” Foster said.
The former church is in good shape, although a two-week bathroom renovation is planned to install showers. Foster said the building dates back to 1957; the first tenant was a Lutheran church.
The ministry may be moving into a church building, but Foster said Ruth House will continue to operate as a home. Most of the volunteers have experienced homelessness and hardship and come out the other side. They just want to see other people succeed.
“We’re going to take that with us wherever we go,” Foster said.
With the increase in space comes a need for more volunteers, particularly for the overnight warming shelter.
The community has stepped up to provide support for Ruth House. When the ministry sends out a request for items, funds or help, Foster said, it gets answered. Food and hygiene items are needed on a regular basis. With cold weather coming, Ruth House is looking for sleeping bags, tents and other items for people living outdoors.