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House of Ruth residents prepare for life after

The House of Ruth received a grant from the Fayette County Foundation to fund teaching the Power Up! curriculum by the Natco Community Empowerment Center. With women of the House of Ruth behind them,pictured in front, fromleft, are Empowerment Center Community outreach coordinator Dana Sinclair, Fayette County Foundation program officer Katherine Good, House of Ruth Director Sharon Cranfill and House of Ruth board member Carolyn Bunzendahl.

By DARRELL SMITH - dsmith@newsexaminer.com

Women at the House of Ruth are learning to prepare for life after living in the home.

A $2,500 Fayette County Foundation grant will provide funding for some costs of a program facilitated by the Natco Community Empowerment Center.

The House of Ruth is a Christian-based residential recovery program for women to help break the cycle of addiction, get a job and be re-united with their families.

Dana Sinclair, Empowerment Center community outreach coordinator, teaches the Power Up! program. It is a series of 16 weekly classes meant to help the women there create positive, sustainable lives. It incorporates curriculum called Getting Ahead in a Just Getting By World.

The Natco Empowerment Center opened in 2013, specializing in working with clients who have financial challenges and helping them overcome financial barriers leading to a better future story.

Sinclair said the classes teach a four-step process to empowerment.

“One is resources to have a stable life,” Sinclair said. “We connect people to resources. ... We connect people to food pantries, trustees and those kinds of things.”

Two is helping with job seeking. The Empowerment Center center has clothing that clients can wear to job interviews. It also helps with resume writing and online job seeking, she said.

The third is money management, helping with budgeting and credit repair, she said.

And the fourth step is providing classes like Power Up! training for jobs, she said.

Natco Credit Union started the Empowerment Center and now has received a federal grant to obtain a building and remodel a building at 1627 E. Main St. in Richmond. 

“Natco really believes in the idea of people helping people,” Sinclair said. “That is the credit union philosophy. As a low-income designated credit union, we have that designation which opens up a lot to us and this is our way of giving back to the community.”

“The girls just love it,” House of Ruth Director Sharon Cranfill said.

Katherine Good, Fayette County Foundation program officer, said the grant was awarded during the fall 2017 grant cycle. It will provide books for classes and mileage for Sinclair. 

This is the first grant the House has obtained since receiving certification from the Indiana Affiliation of Recovery Residences through Mental Health America of Indiana. 

House of Ruth board member Carolyn Bunzendahl said that in talking with Cranfill, she learned the women had some down time. 

“I had known of the work the center was doing and just thought it would be a good fit,” she said.

The class is one one of many activities required of the women. They attend church services three times a week, prayer meetings, Bible studies and chapel services. Some attend Intensive Outpatient Therapy, Alcoholics Anonymous or Narcotics Anonymous, and have personal counseling sessions.

The House of Ruth hopes to offer another class that will be open to the public, working with Adult Basic Education of Fayette County, the Literacy Capital Group of Fayette County Community Voices and the Hope Center to determine interests of their students and clients. For information, call the Cranfill at the House of Ruth, 765-825-3333.