On January 13, 2011, we welcomed our new leader, Amanda Heier, as the Executive Director. Mandy comes with great passion for our mission and has an extensive background in housing and homeless services in San Francisco.
This past year, Raphael House served a total of 1,072 unduplicated individuals who were at-risk or experienced homelessness through our Residential Shelter, AfterCare/ChildReach and Housing First programs, including 304 adults and 768 children. This number reflects families who were actively involved last year, participating in one or more AfterCare service. We also served 40,578 meals and totaled 13,526 bed nights.
We increased capacity from 17 to 20 bedrooms with a total of 60 beds. In 2011, the shelter housed 39 families, with an average stay of 144 days. Raphael House provided 31 families (34 adults; 56 children) with Housing First funds and 97% of them remain stably housed. The Housing First Program provides families who are experiencing a monetary barrier to housing, such as a security deposit, with those funds so they can move quickly into their own home without the burden of a stay in shelter. We are proud to report that, despite the current economic climate, the number of families moving into stable housing from our Residential program has remained consistent at 83%.
Our longtime Executive Director, Father David Lowell, and his wife Elaine Lowell retired from Raphael House and we hired an Interim Executive Director, Bruce Jack. Bruce served in the role of Interim Executive Director over the year, providing administrative stability as well as space and time for the Executive Transition Committee to fully consider candidates for the permanent Executive Director position.
Bruce provided leadership in a time of great transition and introspection. His hard work and dedication to Raphael House yielded a stronger and more focused organization that is ready to serve even more families in crisis.
Endowment campaign comes to close and raises nearly $1.3 million!
Elaine and Father David Lowell announce their plan to retire. The Long Range Planning Committee sets in motion plans to hire a new Executive Director.
An endowment campaign is driven by the generous donation made by long-time donors and generous friends of Raphael House. With an initial donation of $500,000 and the pledge of a matching $500,000, Board Chair Mary Wolfe and Father David Lowell embark on a journey to raise $500,000 from loyal friends and donors of Raphael House.
The first Benefit Breakfast takes place and raises nearly $80,000.
Nominated by our lovable front desk supervisor Darlene Williams, Father David Lowell wins the prestigious Jefferson Award. This award is administered by the American Institute of Public Service, a national foundation that honors community service.
Housing First becomes a permanent part of the operating budget.
The number of families that received aid from Raphael House nearly doubles due to a large grant given by the Charles and Helen Schwab Foundation. This grant creates the Housing First Program, which specifically targets the working poor. The purpose of the program is to support payment of move-in costs and as a result, families are able to immidiately move into their own housing, allowing us to help many more individuals.
Despite the economic climate, Raphael House completes the year with a balanced budget (slightly under $1.7 million) with the help of staff who take voluntary pay-cuts.
Sophia House completes its Capital Campaign and now owns its West Oakland location.
With charitable and foundation giving depressed, Raphael House eliminates 11 positions over two years and many remaining staff take voluntary pay cuts. Management staff fills in, cooking meals, working in the Thrift Store, etc. There are no decreases in services to families.
Capital campaign is successfully completed! Raphael House totally owns its properties at a combined cost of 3.1 million dollars, paid in full.
Economy is in recession but Raphael House experiences manageable deficit in operational budget. Surprisingly, families have a much easier time exiting homelessness for stable housing perhaps, in part, because the bust of the dot.com bubble has loosened the housing market considerably.
Children’s Program Director, Carol Cole, opens Sophia House in West Oakland.
Sophia House is a separately incorporated agency working closely with Raphael House to provide a seamless delivery of service to former residents. AfterCare activities, in addition to daycare and respite care, are offered at Sophia House.
Seismic retrofit and code compliance construction is completed on Raphael House Thrift Store and AfterCare Center by September 8, 2001.
Events of September 11th shock the world. Some children are afraid to go up to play on the roof garden for several weeks. Charitable giving is temporarily diverted on a national level.
Christ the Saviour Brotherhood proposes that Raphael House purchase our buildings at 1045 &1065 Sutter Street before the seismic retrofit deadline, which must be completed by the building owner. The purchase price ($2 millions) plus retrofit, ADA code compliance, and related costs will total $3.1 millions. A Capital Campaign Committee is created and it commences, under the leadership of Larry Stupski, Doug Engmann and the Board of Directors, the task of raising funds.
Brother Juniper’s Restaurant closes after 20 years as one of the most affordable and popular breakfast spots in town. Although Brother Juniper’s consistently net-profited $20,000 Raphael House, the need to modernize the kitchen makes continued profitability uncertain.
With the generosity of GENSLER, DPR Construction and their consortium of vendors, the business community in San Francisco entirely donates the transformation of the old restaurant into a new tutorial center for the children of Raphael House. The new AfterSchool Tutorial Center opens in November of 1999, providing a bright open area for afterschool tutoring, art projects, music, and computer training.
Three credentialed teachers and a host of regular volunteers join in to make the AfterSchool Tutoring Center a wonderful facility for 30 school-age children in the course of a school year.
Welfare Reform has a dramatic impact on Raphael House families. On a typical weekday morning, every unemployed parent is in school or a training program.
Children’s Program Director Carol Cole draws up plans to expand Children’s Services to include licensed daycare.
Because many families can no longer afford to live in San Francisco without subsidy of some form, Raphael House begins actively helping families relocate to other communities, within and beyond the Bay Area. Online research makes this exploration easier.
Due to the very high rent and move-in costs, families now need to stay four to six months at Raphael House in order to save up to the several thousand dollars needed before signing a lease.
AfterSchool Tutoring Program for children increases in size. All school-age children at Raphael House participate.
Raphael House receives three prestigious awards:
* The John R. May Award from the San Francisco foundation for innovation in the face of a pressing social need.
* The Management Center’s Award for Excellence in Non-Profit Management.
* The Sara Lee Leadership Award for the impact Raphael House has in creating a supportive model that has shaped the program designs of other shelter and transitional housing programs in the community at large.
Raphael House expands our AfterCare Program into the building next door, incorporating adult education, expanded computer lab and training, domestic violence support group, and an increase of events and outings for former resident families.
The Financial Transition Plan, conceived in 1989 by CFO Michael Ennis, is completed. Raphael House achieves first balanced budget (1.2 million) since the addition of paid staff.
Computer lab for families opens.
Raphael House begins the first comprehensive AfterCare Program for former residents.
The Corporate Chefs Program is created. Its function is to generate opportunities for groups of individuals to volunteer at Raphael House by preparing and serving dinner for families. The first corporation to participate is Charles Schwab.
A new community-based Board of Directors is formed with Dr. Francis Rigney, Jr. (retired Chief of Staff at Presbyterian Hospital and son of Ella Rigney) as the Chairman of the Board.
Twenty years after Raphael House opens its doors, staff members receive their first paychecks on July 1, 1991.
Mrs. Ella Rigney dies peacefully at Raphael House, a few months before her 100th birthday. “A Century of Service” banquet is held at the Grand Hyatt in celebration of her life.
Raphael House incorporates separately from Christ the Saviour Brotherhood.
Fr. David Lowell becomes Executive Director
The order informs the Raphael House staff that it will no longer be able to provide religious volunteers. Raphael House is asked to incorporate separately.
CFO Michael Ennis prepares five-year financial transition plan with 250K cash-flow loan from Christ the Saviour Brotherhood.
Raphael House begins a Christmas Adopt-a-Family Program where100 former resident families receive gifts and necessary items provided by the local community.
The Raphael House Thrift Store moves to its current location on Sutter Street.
Staff of Raphael House enters the Orthodox Christian Church. All staff, including degreed professionals, continues to work as unpaid religious volunteers, living at Raphael House as members of Christ the Saviour Brotherhood (previously known as The Holy Order of MANS). The live-in volunteer program for Orthodox staff is instituted.
Due to better city programs and foundations grants, the average length of stay at Raphael House returns to its low of 15 days.
Raphael House reaches out to the community, instituting a Volunteer Program with a full time volunteer coordinator. By the end of the year, more than 200 volunteers have given their talent and time throughout Raphael House. The Children's Program grows with the help of the Calvary Presbyterian Deacons who, in addition to the regular excursions led by the Children's Program staff, begin monthly outings with the children.
Mrs. Ella Rigney, age 94, initiates an Annual Children’s Art Show at Raphael House, which is now held every year in October.
Sr. Elizabeth Fries moves to the Portland, Oregon Raphael House and Br. Mark Story becomes Executive Director.
Because of a generous donation from the United Parcel Services Foundation, Raphael House is able to install a new heating system to warm the entire shelter. Our former system was installed in 1926, and after heating the building for 55 years, a well-deserved retirement was in order!
The Raphael House Senior Association reaches 100 members made up of retired neighbors who regularly attend events at Raphael House.
Raphael House undergoes a major renovation which renders it closed from August 15 through November 1. A large portion of the shelter is completely transformed, including all of the residents’ rooms and common areas.
Sr. Elizabeth Fries becomes Executive Director. Mrs. Ella Rigney continues to live and work at Raphael House as Director Emeritus.
Raphael House Thrift Store on Fillmore Street opens.
Mrs. Ella Rigney, Executive Director of Raphael House, celebrates her 90th birthday at a public party hosted at Grace Cathedral Episcopal Church.
Craft Workshops, Sewing Groups and the Parent’s Resource Library are established.
Due in part to the rising costs of rent in San Francisco, the average length of stay at Raphael House is 26 days, up from 15 the previous year.
Raphael House expands its services to include the Follow-Up Program. Sister Elizabeth Willis, Director of Family Services, conducts weekly parenting classes, home visits, counseling, and family activities in order to maintain contact with past residents and remain a support system.
The Neighborhood Senior Activities Program is established. The main thrust of the program is neighborhood development and neighbor-to-neighbor relationships.
The Rooftop Garden play area is completed. Families now have a beautiful and safe environment to enjoy the outdoors.
Mayor Dianne Feinstein declares the week of Thanksgiving to be Raphael House Week in San Francisco.
The Women’s Alternative Program begins. This pilot program of taking women on probation focuses on reuniting mothers with their children.
Residential capacity increases from 35 to 50. Construction of solarium begins.
First meeting of the newly formed Finance Committee takes place.
In April, Brother Juniper’s Bread Box opens on the first floor of Raphael House, featuring generous sandwiches on home-baked bread, homemade hearty soups and pastries.
The city of San Francisco donated $50,000 to help to bring the building up to code. This is the only time Raphael House accepts government funding in its entire history.
Mrs. Ella Rigney and a work crew from the Holy Order of MANS renovate the Golden Gate Hospital transforming it to the new Raphael House. The newly renovated Raphael House opened during the week of Thanksgiving 1977, becoming the only family shelter in San Francisco. The new shelter will serve entire families, with private bedrooms and a capacity of 35 beds.
As the city of San Francisco prepares to redevelop the Gough and McAllister block, Mrs. Ella Rigney is appointed by the Holy Order of MANS to find a larger facility in order to continue to serve homeless families. The Golden Gate Hospital building is purchased and renovation plans are made.
In 1971, Raphael House opens its doors for temporarily homeless women and mothers with children at our original site at Gough and McAllister. Our capacity is limited to 17 people per night, and the building is rented from the City Redevelopment Agency for $1.00 per year, for a period of five years.
In addition to offering emergency shelter, during this time Raphael House also provides breakfast and lunch to disadvantaged men and women.