Ruby recently moved in to APAH’s newest community, Columbia Hills. She has lived in and around Arlington since 1984, but this is the first time she has had – and can afford – her own place.
Ruby has spent most of her adult life “taking care of the babies” as she happily puts it, working in child care services and as a nanny. She continues to work with children today as a driver and bus attendant for Arlington County Public Schools where she has been employed for 12 years. She drives and assists students with special needs, and she loves it. Parents love Ruby too, often requesting her because of the way she treats children with respect and kindness and her understanding of their needs.
Ruby recounted the number of times over the years that she moved into new living situations, chasing housing options that were affordable, safe, and comfortable. These moves frequently involved searches for new roommates who could help split the cost of the rent. And they often took her further away from her workplace in Arlington.
Now, Ruby is back in Arlington and happy to be so. “Arlington has carried me since I have been here. Living here, there is access to things everyone needs like groceries, and public transportation is accessible.” She now lives close to her faith community – of which she is an active member, her commute to work is minimal – saving her money spent on gas, and she has also discovered that several of her co-workers are her neighbors. On the long list of things Ruby likes about her new home she includes having the key to her own mailbox, the security, and the artwork that hangs in the public spaces of the community. “I have always loved going to art openings and artist receptions,” she said. “And there is some beautiful art in this building!”
While getting close to retirement age, Ruby is not slowing down at all. She will continue to be a positive presence in the lives of the children she transports. She recently earned a certificate in massage therapy, which she considers an art and a meaningful way to help people. And she has some great suggestions for programming for seniors at Columbia Hills. Welcome home, Ruby!