Raphael House, the first shelter for children and families experiencing homelessness in Northern California, provides an environment of loving support where families are able to move toward brighter and more hopeful futures.
The mission of Raphael House is to help at-risk children and their parents achieve stable housing and financial independence, while strengthening family bonds and personal dignity.
We provide a spectrum of full family support through various programs, including Residential
Services, AfterSchool Tutoring, ChildReach and AfterCare Services where we partner with
parents to engage the hearts and minds of the whole child as they experience the world
Watch "Home", a video about Raphael House.
You’re a dedicated parent. The days when Lucas and Jesse were born were the best two days of your life. You’ve worked hard to provide for your boys. In fact, every decision you’ve made in your adult life has been informed by what would be best for them. You give Lucas and Jesse love and guidance. When they’re not in school they are your constant companions. But for the last five months you’ve struggled to provide basic necessities. Food is scarce and your bellies are rarely full. Most days the boys go to school in clothes that were worn the day before. Lucas and Jesse do their homework on picnic tables in the park, and when you see the other parents there, you feel like you are less than them.
At night at the emergency shelter, long after the boys have fallen asleep, you toss and turn on a thin mat, barely protected from the cold floor, and wonder how you got here. You did everything right. You worked—sometimes two jobs. You were a reliable employee. And yet, despite your hard work and perseverance, the bottom slowly began to fall out, and you couldn’t fix it fast enough. The gradual slide into homelessness felt like being swallowed by quicksand.
Now imagine you can do something to help Marco and his sons that will change their lives forever.
Well, you can. When you make a donation to Raphael House you have a role in providing families like Marco’s an opportunity to move beyond the cycle of poverty and end their homelessness forever. Your support can mean the difference between a bed and a mat, nourishment versus hunger, and optimism instead of hopelessness. We are grateful for your last gift of $100 and hope you will renew your support with another gift this holiday season.
When a family like Marco’s arrives at Raphael House they are welcomed with kindness and warmth—a dynamic many people experiencing homelessness haven’t encountered in a very long time. For Marco, it was the simple yet profound sense that his dignity had been restored: “The people at Raphael House really seemed to want me there. Like I mattered to them. I wasn’t afraid to look people in the eye anymore.”
For children, there is awe and excitement about the everyday things they haven’t had in so long. Recently Marco shared with me that when he opened the door to his family’s room at Raphael House, Lucas and Jesse couldn’t believe they had beds. They were asking, “Dad, are these really OUR beds? Are you sure? We get to sleep on these?” And when they sat in the dining room for their first family-style meal, Lucas and Jesse’s eyes were “big as saucers,” Marco said. “They hadn’t seen that much food for months and months.”
Marco’s face changes as he tells me about his boys. He takes a deep breath and looks down. “I can’t believe the boys put up with me for so long. Barely any breakfast, no showers, no beds…” he says as his voice trails off. Marco has struggled to forgive himself for not being able to keep the boys in their home. But with the help of his case manager and Raphael House staff, Marco is beginning to heal from the trauma of his family’s ordeal.
At Raphael House we see homelessness as a temporary situation that doesn’t define a person. We understand that homelessness can result from unexpected circumstances, whether economic, health-related, or because of a breakdown in family structure. We provide families an opportunity to take ownership of their futures and improve the quality of their lives, through a nurturing and supportive process that emphasizes the importance of strong families and personal dignity.
Imagine you are Marco. Now imagine what you can do to support his transformation out of homelessness.
As you might already know, Raphael House is funded soley by private donations, and we rely on the generosity donors like you to meet our annual operating costs. We would be grateful for your support and hope you remember that no gift is too small and every gift makes a difference. During this season of joy and gratitude I hope you have much to be thankful for.
Warm wishes to you and your family for a joyous holiday season.
Thank you for attending Gobble & Give on November 9th. Thanks to your generosity and support we raised $51,000, $11,000 more than our goal—all of which will directly support our crucial programs for low-income and homeless families.
Save the date for our One Home, Many Hearts Gala on May 2nd.