Ruby's Place Residential Treatment Home for Girls, a safe home in Stratford for at-risk girls, is hosting a fundraiser at Revival House Feb. 28 to raise the money it needs to be able to open its doors.
Thanks to the tireless efforts of a Stratford woman, young girls at risk of falling through society’s cracks may soon have a roof over their heads and the love and support they need.
For Kimberley Corriveau, director of Ruby’s Place Residential Treatment Home for Girls, providing a home for at-risk youth means more than simply food and shelter.
“I’ve always wanted to do this. I’ve worked in group care for years as a front-line worker and I’ve seen the holes that kids fall through, and I just want to fill them,” Corriveau said. “By talking to the kids and establishing what they want and what they’re missing and what they wish they had, that’s where the vision came from.”
Named in honour of Corriveau’s mom, who died shortly after she and her twin sister were born, Ruby’s Place will give girls between the ages of 11 and 18 who have been removed from family care for whatever reason guidance and attention from a team of trained and dedicated staff, individualized care plans using local service providers and, most importantly, a chance to return to some sense of normalcy after their lives have been uprooted.
“You can’t put a pause button on a child’s life and say, ‘Just a minute until mom and dad get their act together, then I’ll raise you,’” Corriveau said. “A kid doesn’t have that time. They need to grow. They need to have support, stability, and love.”
Unlike many of the group homes Corriveau has worked in, she says she wants to encourage and maintain healthy connections with the girls’ families whenever possible to give them a chance at re-establishing a family support system once they leave.
Though Corriveau has spent the past year and half developing the programming and service model she will use at Ruby’s Place, she still has one hurdle to jump before the Ministry of Children, Community and Social Services will grant her a licence, allowing her to open her doors.
She has to raise a contingency fund of between $20,000 and $30,000 to ensure Ruby’s Place can say viable even if the treatment home isn’t at full capacity for the first few months.
To raise that money, Ruby’s Place has partnered with Revival House in Stratford to host a fundraiser at the restaurant on Feb. 28 beginning at 7 p.m. The event will feature live music by RoadWolves, food and drink à la carte, a silent auction and the chance to win some great door prizes.