The founder of Ruth’s Miracle Group Home in Lusby will be honored nationally Aug. 12.

Lusby, MD – Years after rising up from the lowest point of her life, a Southern Maryland resident is about to be nationally recognized for her positive impact on the community.

The Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA) will present its 2015 Voice Awards Wednesday, Aug. 12 in Los Angeles, CA. Five individuals will be presented with a Consumer/Peer Leadership Award. One of the recipients is Veronica Alston of Lusby.

In August 2009, Alston established a group home in Lusby, Ruth’s Miracle Group Home (RMGH). The home provides counseling and intervention for young women in recovery.

Alston told The BayNet she began her mission to help other women after she got herself on the road to recovery. “I was an addict, homeless, the victim of domestic violence, in jail,” she stated. Alston explained that she began to turn herself around when “I started reading about my higher power.”

She subsequently started RMGH because “I wanted to give back.”

Alston’s way of giving back—opening her home to strangers—took a few people by surprise. “A lot of people told me I was crazy to open up my home,” she recalled. “It was hard but I wanted to give these women a chance. I have a mission. I believe in what I do.”

In the half-dozen years RMGH has been in existence over 100 women have lived there, Alston stated. Eight women are currently residing in the house.

Women wishing to reside at RMGH have to go through 20 to 30 days of detox. Alston, who serves as the executive director of the RMGH Foundation, personally interviews the women seeking residency. She explains the program, the house rules and if an accepted resident has no high school diploma, the foundation has her enroll in General Educational Development classes. According to the RMGH web site, each applicant must present a “30-day goal.”

“It [RMGH] is not a shelter, it’s not a boarding house, it’s not a halfway house,” said Alston. “It’s a way to get back.”

While some of the residents might initially have conflicts with one another, Alston declared, “in the long-run they come together. They help each other out.”

In its brief history, RMGH has had “many success stories,” according to Alston, who added she stays in contact with the former residents to make sure they are “still progressing.”

Alston said the group home has “an open door policy” and has been visited frequently by community leaders and local elected officials. Word about her successful program has drawn interest from other communities including Waldorf, Leesburg, VA and Prince George’s County. Leaders in those communities would like to establish houses, using RMGH as the prototype.

The group home relies on donations—money and services—to stay up and running. The RMGH Foundation is a 501(c) 3 nonprofit. They are a partner agency of United Way of Calvert County.

To obtain more information about RMGH—including the admissions procedure and ways to contribute, visit their web site at www.ruthmiraclehome.com

The 2015 Voice Awards Ceremony and Webcast broadcast live from UCLA’s Royce Hall in Los Angeles, CA on Wednesday, August 12, 2015 at: http://www.samhsa.gov/voice-awards/upcoming-event

Contact Marty Madden at marty.madden@thebaynet.com