Founded in 1976, House of Ruth helps women, children, and families in greatest need and with very limited resources build safe, stable lives, and achieve their highest potential. Each year, House of Ruth serves more than 1,000 women and children, helping them learn skills to live independently and to eliminate homelessness and abuse from their lives.
The organization operates five residential programs in the District, providing housing and services to more than 100 women, all of whom were homeless and many of whom have suffered from domestic abuse. One such residence is the Madison / Empowerment Center located in Ward 6. The building recently underwent a partial renovation; the residence had old, inefficient window air conditioning units that were inadequate for providing relief from the summer heat, an old commercial stove, and some plumbing leaks. The result: high utility bills and uncomfortable temperatures in the dormitories for the women staying there.
Working with CBE R. O. McMillan and Associates, the DCSEU provided 22 new energy-efficient window heat pump units, upgraded electrical systems to ensure safety and that code was being met, upgraded faucets with low-flow aerators and repaired leaks, and replaced exhaust fans in the shower room to reduce humidity levels. While the project was under way, the facility’s boiler needed to be replaced. The DCSEU was able to replace the boiler and hot water heater with energy-efficient models that will provide comfort to residents and savings to House of Ruth for years to come.
Overall, House of Ruth will see $6,500 per year in savings from the upgrades and repairs. “The savings that we experience, we can take that money and use it for services for the clients that can greatly impact the work we are able to do for them, to help them move on to the next level,” said Shirley Malone, Program Coordinator at the Madison / Empowerment Center. “Many of the ladies who come through our program have never had a chance to experience fun and enjoyable things, so we are hoping we can do more of those things for them as well as continuing the hard work of helping them reach their goals.”