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
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!
Ritter House has been in the business of providing social, housing, medical, job training and finding, food, showers, and other support services to the homeless and near homeless people of Marin County. As a public health nurse, I know close-hand of the problems and needs for the less fortunate of our community. One outstanding service, among all the others if the free community health clinic. Health care is provided by physicians, nurse practitioners, and nurses. Acute, chronic, and mental health, and drug/alcohol dependency problems are handled with understanding and expertise. The Ritter House Community Health Clinic is the only community health clinic in Marin County that does not charge for visits, prescriptions, or medical testing.
I am involved in local politics and have a broad knowledge of public and privately supported services for the poor, homeless and at risk. I've always admired the breadth of support Ritter Center can provide on minimal funds. We also donate materials, clothing, school supplies and funds to this organization because I trust their integrity.
My perspective is unique, as I have had the privilege to serve the Ritter Center as a Organizational Development Consultant. Recently, the center contracted my services for the development of its strategic plan in which staff and board collaborated hand by hand. I was delightfully impressed at the commitment and sophistication level of everyone involved in the process (that is, its very forward thinking Executive Director, but also its Board of Directors and Management Staff.) A great example of how not-for-profits can serve well their constituency and the community at large, and not merely themselves! (This is of utmost outstanding difference, particularly when considering the "extremely hard to reach" population the Ritter Center serves: nothing more, and nothing less than the homeless, or almost homeless.)