Ruth's Place 10th annual Walk for Hope raises money and awareness for homelessness
WILKES-BARRE (WOLF) -- Homelessness can happen to anyone, any time, and anywhere.
Aproll Gilter knows. It happened to her last year.
“I came here for change. I came here for change and I originally came here with a few dollars, but no one knows exactly how long change takes, and I wind up, you know, being in a predicament where I was homeless,” Gilter said.
That’s when Ruth’s Place stepped in.
It’s an emergency shelter for homeless women.
The only one in Luzerne County.
Aproll says she turned them down several times before finally accepting their help.
“They give you every step. Literally. They give you paperwork and they tell you this is A, B, C, and D. If you don’t put forth the footwork yourself, nothing is going to happen for you.”
Ruth’s Place helped her get back on her feet and into her own place.
She joined dozens of others today in supporting the shelter for its 10th annual Walk for Hope.
It’s the shelter’s largest fundraising event of the year.
“This fundraiser is really important to meet the daily needs of our residents, so food, medicine co-pays, anything you need in your house, we need in ours,” Program Coordinator Crystal Williams said.
The walk is free to attend, but many gave donations before hitting the pavement around Wilkes-Barre.
Reverend Marcelle Dotson has been working with the women at Ruth’s Place since 2009, providing bible study classes and worship.
She says more than raising money, the walk raises awareness and breaks down the stigma surrounding homelessness.
“To hear the stories of professional women who lost everything and end up coming to Ruth’s Place. They hear the stories of the women who were involved in the 2011 flood who lost things and had to come here. And so people get to see the full spectrum of people who live in the shelter,” Dotson said.
Aproll says she’s grateful to see the community come together for the place that helped her and so many other women.
“If it was only one person that would’ve came out to support is just needed and its lovely. I thank everyone that came out to support.”
Last month, Ruth’s Place held an open house showing off $50,000 in renovations including new flooring, beds, closets, and couches.
The funds from today’s walk will go towards every day expenses for the shelter’s residents, but also a new ceiling, bedding, and other items.