McCrabb: Woman led from homelessness to homeownership credits God

She went from living in Middletown homeless shelter to buying a house, becoming landlord

Adriane Carruth can’t pinpoint the reason she lost her Section 8 subsidy she used to rent a Fairfield apartment.

Maybe it was her missed appointments.

Or her missed inspections.

Whatever the reason, she owed $3,000 in back rent, and with no way to pay, Carruth, 41, and her two children were evicted in 2017. With poor credit, Carruth’s applications were rejected by numerous apartment managers.

So the Carruth family bounced from hotel to hotel.

She was a homeless, working mother. Probably not the traditional picture of the homeless population we paint in our minds, but still no secure place to live.

Unlike others who become comfortable in that lifestyle or those who can’t shed the demons of their addictions, Adriane Carruth was different.

“I knew I didn’t want to be homeless,” said Carruth, originally from Cincinnati. “I never wanted to be in that situation again.”

Carruth, who has worked in the nutrition department at Bethesda North Hospital for six years, was told by her mother and sister that there was a homeless shelter in Middletown called Hope House that accepted women and children.

So the Carruths packed up their meager belongings, checked out of the hotel and moved to Middletown. Throughout her two months at Hope House, Carruth said she never missed a day of work.

“A lot of time for reflection” is how she described sharing one room with her two children.

When her car broke down, Carruth purchased a vehicle from Mid-Western Auto Sales on Verity Parkway. That’s where she met the owner, Duane Rossing, who also owns housing stock in the city. He told her he had a duplex on Girard Avenue for rent.

She moved her family there three years ago, built up her credit and continued working at Bethesda North. Then one day, Rossing dropped this bomb: He was selling the duplex and wanted to know if Carruth was interested.

From homeless to a homeowner.

It was her first time buying a home. She withdrew money from her 401K to make a down payment and closed last week.

“Owning a house was far from my mind,” she said.

She was introduced to Bill Hobbs, an agent at Coldwell Banker Heritage in Middletown. Hobbs has worked with several people who participated in a government program that provides a first months rent and deposit assistance.

Most move away after the first month of free rent, he said.

Hobbs was impressed by Carruth. She was different.

“She wanted a home and she worked to get it,” he said. “She took a hand up, not a hand out. She took it and ran with it. She’s a fighter. She’s got some spunk and I respect that.”

Carruth, her husband of three years, Lavell, and her children, Asia, 19, and Ziaire, 13, live in the three-bedroom, one bath duplex on Girard. The other half of the duplex is for rent.

She has leaned heavily on her faith. She likes to quote scripture.

“You have to have hope,” she said. “Learning is the best teacher. You have to go through things to get where you are. I went through a bad trial to get to where I am today. I give all the credit to God. This is His destiny for me.”

As Carruth sat on a couch in her living, she looked around and acted like she was living in some fantasy world. The lady who was once homeless now is a landlord.

“This is all crazy and a blessing in one swoop,” she said.

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