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July 23, 2018


A New Chapter Begins for Joe's Place

Joe's Place house parents Chris and Lainey Ruth.With the new school year right around the corner, the board of directors of Joe’s Place and the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District are thrilled to introduce the new house parents for Joe’s Place. Chris and Lainey Ruth will fill the shoes previously worn by Jeremy and Rachel Mapp, who stepped down in May after four years of service.

Joe’s Place is a residence which offers homeless teenage boys in the Maplewood Richmond Heights School District a caring home environment that supports them for high school graduation, self-sufficiency, and positive transitions into their adult lives. Joe’s Place house parents facilitate a safe and stable environment for the residents by overseeing the day-to-day workings of the house and ensuring the care of its residents’ needs.

Chris Ruth, 26, holds a master of divinity degree from Eden Theological Seminary in St. Louis and a bachelor’s degree in Youth Ministries from Indiana’s Anderson University. He has pastored at Grace United Church of Christ/Mount Tabor in St. Louis and at East Side Church of God in Anderson, Indiana. Currently, Chris works with AMEN St. Louis, an organization which connects faith-based groups with urban justice activists.

“My faith has always compelled me to serve the most vulnerable in our community,” said Chris.

Lainey Ruth, 26, also attended Anderson University where she earned a bachelor’s degree in Elementary Education. Currently, she’s pursuing her master’s in American Culture Studies at
Washington University in St. Louis while also teaching English as a Second Language courses in the University City School District. Her extensive educational experience includes teaching at various elementary school grade levels and SAT preparation for high schoolers.

“I was very attracted to the notion of a communal living environment,” said Lainey.

The Ruths, who first met in their high school years, will assume their new duties immediately.

Joe’s Place was born from a serious need in our community. Each year, close to a dozen MRH high school students find themselves virtually without a home due to serious family difficulties. These students sleep and eat wherever friends will let them settle for a while. In an effort to find a safe haven for these youngsters, Joe’s Place offers teenage boys what every kid should beable to expect from life: a warm place to sleep, regular meals, and someone to provide guidance and affection. For more information or to help support Joe’s Place, go to

For more information, contact MRH School District at (314) 644-4400.