Archived Story

Domestic violence shelter set to open

Published 8:20pm Monday, January 28, 2013



HOUSE OF HOPE: Supporters and potential volunteers of Ruth’s House gathered for a reception at Harvest Church in Washington on Sunday. Ruth’s House, a domestic violence shelter, officially opens its doors on Monday.


Ruth’s House, a new domestic violence shelter in Beaufort County, is slated to open next Monday.

Sunday, stakeholders and supporters of the shelter came together at Harvest Church, in Washington, to celebrate the completion of a project that was over a year in the making. Refreshments, a virtual tour of the shelter and information about how to become a shelter volunteer were offered at the event.

“The community built this thing and the community is going to run it,” said Debbie Ryals, president of the Ruth’s House board of directors.

That community came together in early 2011, as a number of local pastors gathered to seek a way to make a positive impact in the county. The idea evolved into an educational opportunity and a place for options for victims of domestic violence, with services offered and shelter.

“Our goal is to have community ownership,” Father Kevin Johnson, Ruth’s House chaplain, said in an interview last April. “What we don’t want to do is rely so much on public monies that it interferes with our ability to stay faith-based and community-owned.”

Ryals said this project is a first for her:  a career spent moving within the North Carolina Department of Social Services system meant she only witnessed the birth or completion of community projects like Ruth’s House, but she’s been onboard with Ruth’s House since day one.

“This is the first time I’ve been a part of (something like this) from the time the first seed is planted to its fruition,” Ryals said.

A blessing of Ruth’s House will be held next Sunday before the shelter officially opens on Monday.

Ruth’s House is actively seeking volunteers for the shelter. For more information call 252-917-4082 or visit


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