Interview with House of Ruth

What concerns you most about people in the community who are impacted by homelessness?

Ruth’s House provides safe shelter to women and children who have experienced domestic violence and individuals who are deemed homeless are referred to homeless shelters within the surrounding counties including New Bern, Kinston, Jacksonville, Durham and Tarboro. There is one homeless shelter located in Washington, NC which is managed by Metropolitan AME Zion Church, (Zion Shelter and Kitchen) located on 114 W Martin Luther King Jr Dr, Washington, NC (252) 975-1978. This shelter aid men only. I was informed by a recent resident that the shelter offers a safe place to sleep and a snack but they must be in the shelter by 11pm and out by 7am. The shelter in Pitt County provides shelter to men, women and children and they are located 207 Manhattan Avenue, Greenville, NC 27834 (252) 752-0829

Why do you think this issue has developed?

According to the North Carolina Department of Commerce Beaufort County has been designated as a tier one county for 2015-2016. This designation signifies a distressed county. I think issues such as domestic violence, unemployment/under-employment, addiction and lack of affordable healthcare and housing may have a great deal to do with individuals becoming homeless in this area.

What are the main challenges we face in dealing with this problem?

Funding, affordable healthcare, housing and educating the public about the cause and effect of homelessness and the impact it has on the individual and the community.

What programs do you have in place?

Ruth’s House provides residents with counseling, court advocacy, and life skills training. We also refer residents to resources within the community.

What do you all do with food contributions, i.e. do you all accept all food contributions or is there a process?

We accept food donations as it is used by all residents living within the home as well we refer our residents to Eagle Wings (Food Bank) located on 932 West Third Street Washington, NC 27889. We also donate food items to the Homeless shelter in Washington.

United Way may be able to assist in answering some of your questions as they may be able to provide you with more information pertaining to homelessness in this area.

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