ILA Member Spotlight – Coco Hunt and Kathy Watkins

Kathy Watkins and Coco Hunt at Ruby's House

Kathy Watkins (L) and Coco Hunt (R) at Ruby’s House

It’s unique to enter a space and feel both invigorated and peaceful. And yet, those two sensations happen simultaneously when you enter Ruby’s House, an Independent Living Association Member Home in the neighborhood of Encanto, San Diego. Residents are busy making jewelry at the kitchen table, in the kitchen grabbing an afternoon snack, and laughing and talking with one another. The energy is invigorating, but underneath it all is a sense of peace and calm. Of stability.

Coco Hunt, who owns Ruby’s House, explains that stability is central to how the home operates. The house itself, a beautiful 5-bedroom home that can accommodate up to 9 residents, was actually built by Coco’s father, and she worked hard to keep it in the family. Coco explained that from a young age she dreamed of having a space that could be a “safe haven for women” and now that dream has become a reality with Ruby’s House.

Also instrumental to the heart of Ruby’s House is the House Manager, Kathy Watkins. Kathy is Coco’s sister-in-law, and they share the vision of empowering women by providing a space where women can concentrate on working on themselves. Coco explains that Ruby’s House strives to serve as a stepping stone for women to become stabilized. While at Ruby’s House, Coco and Kathy provide a variety of activities to foster relationship building, educate residents about community resources, and give unconditional hope and support to all living there.

Coco and Kathy became members of the Independent Living Association (ILA) in August 2013. Coco explained that as their Independent Living was starting , Coco and Kathy attended the ILA New Membership Course and immediately wanted to join the ILA. Kathy shared that since joining the ILA, the amount of referrals Ruby’s House received increased significantly. “If you belong [to the ILA] it means you have standards…Who doesn’t want to be recognized as stellar?” asked Coco.

When asked what people should do to be exceptional Independent Living owners, Coco smiled and stated “All you need is a heart and a space.” In the case of Ruby’s House, heart and space may serve as a strong foundation, but Coco and Kathy provide above and beyond that every day for their residents. The ILA is proud to have Coco and Kathy as valued members of the association.

For more information on Ruby’s House, please see their profile on the ILA Directory.