In her own words: Stories from The Ruth House

 By BENJAMIN ZACK • Standard-Examiner Staff

Standard-Examiner photographer Benjamin Zack documented the lives of four women who stayed in The Ruth House over the course of several months this year. The following are collection of photos and audios from interviews with the women. 


RAMONA MATA

It’s hard, but I’m doing it for my kids and myself. I want my kids in my life. I don’t wanna mess up again because my kids do mean a lot, everything, to me. (..) I don’t want them to be like me. I don’t.”


STEPHANIE BRYANT

I really felt that maybe this could change my life. I knew that if I made it past the first three weeks of being out of jail, that there was a chance for me.”


HOLLI VAN TASSELL

I felt like I’d made bad choices ‘cause I was like, ‘This is too hard, I can’t do this.’ So I would just say screw it and give up, and just walk away from it."


TIFFANY BILLS

I was tired of going to jail. I didn’t want to go to jail anymore. My dad has health problems and stuff and I didn’t want to be in jail when, if, he passed away or something.”


Ruth House offers hope to women transitioning from prison, drugs

Every woman living at The Ruth House has a story.

Most of those stories are difficult to hear — drugs, jail and burned bridges, squandered opportunities and crushed dreams, failed relationships and lost children, unemployment and suffocating poverty. 

But for all their shared history, the women of The Ruth House also have a common theme: Hope.

Evening settles over the Ruth House along Adams Ave. in Ogden on Sept. 14, 2017. The small house is run as a transitional home for women leaving incarceration and fighting addiction.