After many years of struggling with addictive behaviors the pain became great enough that it caused me to realize that my life was unmanageable. My recovery process began in 2007 when I established a relationship with God. In 2014 I founded Ruth’s Way for Women to provide safe, quality housing and to assist women through their recovery process.  I have a Certificate in Alcohol and Drug Counseling, am a Trainer/Facilitator for several organizations, am a Certified Addiction Recovery Coach, Recovery Coach Supervisor, and Certified Community Health Worker.  As a trainer, I enjoy helping others learn and develop skills to assist others through their process.  I serve as the Training Chair and Ethics Committee for the Massachusetts Alliance for Sober Housing. I am a Drug 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 puppy mom to the cutest puppy.  

Yalinnette Velazquez

I am currently a college student in the Boston area.  Everyone I know has been affected by addiction in one way or another.  I have always enjoyed talking with and helping people.  I hope to learn more about how to assist and work with women in need. 

Born and raised in NY .Have lived in Massachusetts for 23 years and worked for Beth Israel doctors form 23 years. Married 49 years have 2 daughters and 4 grandchildren

Amanda Lawrence

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.”


I am a mom of a 14 year old son.  Throughout my 11 year nursing career I’ve worked in several places but have found a home in a non-profit community health center in Salem, MA.  We offer services to everyone regardless of their ability to pay. It is fulfilling to help my patients feel at ease knowing they are getting great care without being billed.

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.

​I love to serve my community in any way possible.  I am an active member of Austin Square Baptist Church and other women's ministries. 

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

501(c)(3) Non-profit Organization

Amanda Houk

Diane Bailey


Goldean Graham

About us

Richelle Smith

Nicole Lawrence-OBrien

Founder & Executive Director