Richelle Smith

Copyright© 2018Ruth's Way. All rights reserved.

501(c)(3) Non-profit Organization


Tara Killeen.

Deborah works at the Disability Resource Center.  She is active in her church and enjoys giving back to the community.

After many years of struggling with addictive behaviors, the pain became great enough that it caused me to realize that my life had become unmanageable. My recovery process began in 2007 when I established a relationship with God. In 2014 I founded Ruth’s Way for Women.  We offer person person centered support to assist others in building their recovery capital.  I have a certificate in Alcohol and Drug Counseling, facilitate recovery-based trainings, am a Certified Addiction Recovery Coach, Recovery Coach Supervisor, and Certified Community Health Worker.  As a trainer, I enjoy engaging with participants as they become self-aware, learn to facilitate problem solving solutions, and develop skills to remove stigma while they promote wellness.  I serve as the Training Chair and Ethics Committee for the Massachusetts Alliance for Sober Housing. I am a Recovery Court team member, participate with several community-based organizations and coalitions. Today I am married to a wonderful man, have two amazing adult children, and am a dog mom.  

Taci Darnell

​Treasurer

​ I have been a Corporate Tax Attorney for almost 30 years which has given me extensive business experience. I am a member of New How Assembly of Saugus and a board member of Carol McLeod Ministries, a women focused ministry.  My heart is moved to those that are hurting, and addiction is evidence of a hurting person.  I strongly believe that there is nothing impossible through Jesus Christ, and am eager to assist in fulfilling the mission of Ruth Way.

By God's grace, Tara entered sobriety on March 27, 2018.  Because she works her recovery daily, she is the Events Coordinator for the Bridge Recovery Center and is able to motivate and encourage others.  She loves to share the benefits of recovery and assist those who are new in recovery by being a power of example.  She has two amazing adult daughters and a large family that she enjoys spending time with.  She is a woman of God and walks by faith daily.  She often says, "I'm dying to live not living to die.  God is in charge." 

I am a single mom of a 17 year old son, who is in his last year of high school and eagerly preparing himself to go to college. I graduated from Bay State College with a Degree as a Paralegal and after a few years decided to go back to school and get my nursing degree to provide a better life for my son.  Throughout my 14 year nursing career, I’ve worked in a variety of settings such as Alzheimer’s, HIV/HEP C, and Pediatrics units, but I found a home in a non-profit community health center in Salem, MA.  I have grown with the organization for the past 7 years from being a float nurse to now the site manager. We offer services to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. We serve a very diverse community and it is very fulfilling to help my patients feel at ease knowing they are getting great care without worrying about whether or not they can afford to pay for the services.


About us

Melanie North

Deborah Barber

President

Kelly has over 20 year’s experience working with those who are homeless, living in poverty and suffering from mental health disorders. Kelly worked for 15 years for Lazarus House Ministries in various roles including; volunteer, shelter, food, and event coordinator. She created a development program for The Psychological Center that includes 2 yearly events and a grant program. Kelly acted as interim director for Daybreak Shelter. She is happiest working directly with guest -believing in them enough until they believe in themselves! Kelly serves on the BOD of Blanket Me and is a development consultant for smaller non-profits.  Kelly lives in Haverhill with her daughter, their 4 rescue dogs and 4 cats. She loves to travel and likes hunting for additions to her vintage Pyrex collection. 

Amanda Houk

​Secretary

Nicole Lawrence-OBrien

Founder & Executive Director

Yalinnette Velazquez

Kelly Townsend

Richelle K. Smith is currently a staffing coordinator for a human service staffing agency.  Her experience includes Unit Manager of an emergency homeless shelter for women, Program Manager & Staffing Assistant for a health agency.  Richelle brings over 13 years of management and entrepreneurial experience, has a Master of Science in Management, Bachelor of Arts in Business Management and hands on experience in running a business as she co-ran a hair salon for 12 years in the greater Boston area. Richelle also wrote and released an album to iTunes in 2009.  Richelle has a genuine passion for people and prides herself with being a servant leader. She was recently nominated a public health hero, and has received many awards, and acknowledgments for community involvement/engagement. “Change is inevitable, growth is optional.”

Melanie is a graduate of Suffolk University class of 2004 with a degree in Psychology.  She has worked in the legal system for 16 years before making a decision to change my career to work in the prison system.  She has worked within the detox programs at Essex County House of Corrections and most recently at Billerica House of Corrections on a recovery program unit.  To continue to learn how to help others Melanie is working towards becoming a Certified Addictions Recovery Coach.  She is eager and ready to help others reach their full potential in recovery.


I have served as a ministry team leader at Maplewood Baptist Church for 5 years. This role includes co-leading adult small groups, teaching Sunday school classes and organizing outreach ministries.  I assist my husband with youth ministry and our CORE Youth Cares initiative. CORE Youth Cares provides teenagers with faith-based community service opportunities including Operation Christmas Child, volunteering with Bread of Life, Loads of Love, writing letters to members of our congregation serving in the military and 630 Salem Street (low-income elderly housing) special events.  I am passionate about discipleship, creative outreach and sharing the love of Jesus with others.