Following six years of dedicated work, Ruth's House has risen at the southwest corner of Walnut and Governor Streets in Evansville. The transitional home operated by a ministry called Reflecting Waters, Inc., a faith-based organization dedicated to women residents, who desire to meet the difficult challenges of recovery from addictions.
This unique Reflecting Waters ministry was begun by the Rev. Ruth E. Milgate, a retired United Methodist pastor of the South Indiana Conference. Ruth's House is now finished and debt free. The home was dedicated Feb. 16 during a special service at the Nazarene Baptist Church in Evansville and will serve women of the greater Evansville area who desire to be in recovery from alcohol and drug addictions.
According to Milgate posing her own question, "Would we do it again, based on the challenges we have had to meet of the last six years as we tried to live out the claim of God in our lives? There is no easy answer, because God's call often takes those who follow it out of their comfort zones! We have also found, though, that God also gives love, grace and mercy for the journeys in which he calls us."
The new home will house each year up to 24 women living out a recovery lifestyle. The six-month program includes: counseling, finding and maintaining employment, learning the discipline of money management, and developing a strong support system through local 12-step programs.
Wayne S. Trockman, Chief Judge of the Vanderburgh Superior Court, lauded this effort saying, "There exists a serious shortage of housing for homeless women in our community. These women do not need a hand out; they need a helping hand. So to the organizers, volunteers and donors, your work establishing Ruth's House will make Evansville a better place for us all to live."
Reflecting Waters has hired a staff, and will open to serve residents in March, according to the organization's newsletter.
Jennifer Dick comes to Reflecting Waters as the director of programming and operation. Dick has a bachelor's degree in communications from University of Southern Indiana, and has done a two-year internship program with Student Christian Fellowship focusing on women's ministries at USI. Her specialty was working with women with eating disorders, struggling with self-injury and depression. According to Milgate, she comes with a passion and an enthusiasm that is Christ-centered.
Solvita Reneger comes to Reflecting Waters as the director of substance-abuse counseling. She has a bachelor's degree in Social Work (BSSW) from Austin Peay State University in Clarksville, Tenn., and is close to receiving her MS in Social Work. She has completed 6,000 hours for her Certified Drug/Alcohol Counselor certification, and currently holds a Kentucky CADC license. Remeger has 16 years of work experience in social work, nine of those in field of substance abuse. Her passion is working with women in the addiction field, said Milgate. She presently resides in Owensboro.
Ruth's House now faces the challenge of raising money for its yearly operating expenses.
The Evansville District of The United Methodist Church designated this ministry as a mission outreach project. Milgate told Together that donations, prayers, questions, calls, tours and contributions are welcomed.