My name is Jim Tate. I have been a client of Ritter Center for 3 years. I have found the Ritter Center essential to my survival. I contracted a rare blood virus which left me homeless and unable to do all but the basics of life for myself and have since been living on disability. I dont think I'm exagerating when I say I would be dead without them. When you think nobody cares , go to the Ritter Center they have a huge heart. God Bless you people. Thanks
I started out as a Donor, became a Volunteer and then a Client served!
The experience of all three is rewarding on all levels personal and spiritual.
Never did Ritter House waiver on any level with compassion and understanding.
It has been 23 yrs since I walked through their doors, and it was just like walking into their hearts with open arms.
The Ritter House does amazing things for our community!
I came to Ritter Center at a low point in my life. I had my hours cut back at my job because business wasn't good. Then my car broke down and I was stuck with a $350+ repair bill. I paid the garage, but then I didn't have enough for rent the next month. I was getting really worried, but my landlord was really great about it. She was actually the one who said I should see if Ritter Center could help since they had helped one of her other tenants last year. I spoke with a social worker and since I had never had a problem paying my rent before and it was because of an unexpected car repair they helped pay part of my rent. Then they told me that I could come every week to get free food from their pantry for as long as my work hours were cut back. It's been a godsend. I save about $25 each week on food I would have bought at Safeway and it's actually pretty good stuff. That's an extra $100 in my pocket every month and it helps me pay my PG&E bill and keep my cell phone on. I don't know what I would have done without Ritter Center, so thanks.
I used to clean out my closets and bring my clothes to Ritter Center because they would give them to people in need for free instead of selling them. Now they have a partnership with Goodwill so only take clothes through church and school drives etc. but I still drop off food and soaps/shampoo for their showers. Last time I donated food I asked for a tour and they were so nice to spend a little time with me even though I can't donate money. I am AMAZED at how much the agency has changed over the last 5 years or so. They have a beautiful new medical clinic and now offer housing services and free therapy! They even have alcohol and drug counselors and work with the county jail and help people manage their money. I was blown away.
While I have not specifically worked with the homeless for much of my career, I have worked with lower-income families for many years. Ritter Center's programs are extremely impressive; I wonder why more agencies don't implement their model. They have a medical clinic, integrated behavioral health care (this is huge), and case management. They help people holistically and help them stay in their housing or find them housing if they are homeless. I will become a donor once my child has graduated from college. Keep up the good work!
While I am a supporter of RH's core mission to help people in need, I am very disappointed in their attitude and lack of respect for the surrounding community, or advocating any form of personal responsibility. There is no attempt to control or limit the use of alcohol and drugs on the property or in the vicinity, thereby requiring the use of outside services such as the police and fire department to handle issues created and condoned by the staff at RH. The trickle down affect is that the FD, PD, ambulances and local hospitals are tied up dealing with their issues instead of being available for other areas of the city, patrol, or longer response times to your emergency for ambulances from other cities. I would never allow my family downtown anywhere near the RH, nor would I patronize any nearby businesses. Many other local charitable organizations deserve your support and $$$$ before the RH. Other charities implement rules to be abided by, or no service. YOU ARE NOT GOOD NEIGHBORS, CLEAN UP YOUR ACT! (health care provider)
Hi Johnston, while I can understand your frustration, your assertion that Ritter Center makes "no attempt to control or limit the use of alcohol or drugs on the property or in the vicinity" is not accurate. We have actually added resources to deal with people suffering from alcohol/substance abuse. First on the treatment end, in 2010 we added substance abuse counselors and mental health therapists to help people suffering from these ailments. Then in 2012, we added a full-time Outreach and Community Relations staff member who provides outreach to clients who are on our property and keeps an eye out for any breach of our policies, including alcohol/drug consumption/possession. He routinely visits with our neighbors to check-in and all of our neighbors know they can contact him if they have any issues with people they believe to be consumers of our services. We also have a uniformed security guard on site three days each week through the same firm that provides security at the nearby San Rafael Transit Center. Hope that helps provide some clarity!
My husband and I have lost our savings and our home because of the recession and needed help. We had never had to seek help before and had no idea what to expect. The people at Ritter Center were wonderful. When we're back on our feet we'll definitely be contributing to help them help others.
Started out as a volunteer to help my sister, who is the clinic coordinator, open the clinic an extra day. Fell in love with it. The people I work with care so much, and the clients are so appreciative. What this clinic does with so little is really amazing. I come home after working, humbled to have worked with such amazing people, and grateful for everything that I have.
I have been involved with Ritter Center's Family to Family program for a number of years. It's a wonderful way to share with those less fortunate during the holidays; though the beautiful thing about Ritter Center is that you can give back all year long. I bring in food, toiletry items, and paper grocery backs almost every month. They treat even these small contributions with the greatest appreciation! I wish I could give more time and treasure to Ritter!
I am a former employee of Ritter Center (formerly Ritter House) and long time supporter and donor. They do an amazing job with an extremely limited budget providing a broad range of services for the working poor and homeless in our Marin County. Also, Diane Linn is a great addition to the organization. Bravo to the Ritter Center board of directors for adding such a professional to the organization and Marin nonprofit community.