Raphael House

Posts Categorized in "SUCCESS STORIES"

Congrats to our College-Bound Teens

University of California at Berkeley at the entrance gate

We’re excited to share that two of our teens, who just graduated from high school, will be off to college this fall. Cole will be attending UC Berkeley to study mechanical engineering and plans to continue on to get his master’s in biomedical engineering.  And Balan will pursue his dream to become a commercial pilot at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University in Florida.

Both young men have worked extremely hard over the years in Raphael House’s Saturday Tutoring Club and have excelled in the summer academic programs they were able to attend with support from our Academic Enrichment Program.  We know their parents are extremely proud. And we…

Posted June 13, 2016 by Kim Lessard. Categorized as SUCCESS STORIES.

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Former Resident Works With Others Who Are Homeless


Spring reminds us of new beginnings, a time for a fresh start. It’s a season that in many ways is an apt symbol of the transformation and sense of renewal often experienced by our families. When Alejandra and her eight-year-old daughter arrived at Raphael House on Christmas day, 2014, after leaving an abusive home, they were scared and riddled with anxiety about their future. By the end of June, 2014 Alejandra had transformed into a secure, independent, and successful woman while her daughter blossomed into a smiling, social butterfly. “I can breathe, I can go to my…

Posted June 13, 2016 by Raphael House. Categorized as SUCCESS STORIES.

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Jesua’s Journey From Surviving to Thriving

AdobeStock_34982802 (Jesua & Riley2)_webres

Jesua, mom to five-year-old Riley, is such an amazing woman who has overcome seemingly insurmountable hardships, but the pain of those hardships continues to follow her every time her credit is checked by a prospective landlord. A year and a half ago, Riley’s father destroyed their apartment during an emotional crisis that was exacerbated by his drug use. That same weekend, he took his own life. Before coming to Raphael House, Jesua and Riley hadn’t been able to begin processing what had happened. They were too caught up in the simple act of surviving after that trauma.

Now that they are in a space where they are surrounded by…

Posted June 13, 2016 by Raphael House. Categorized as SUCCESS STORIES.

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Jaime’s Story

Homeless, but not hopeless. This is Jaime’s favorite phrase, and with good reason. As I meet Jaime I’m quickly struck by his determination, strength and eloquence; it’s a humble reminder that homelessness does not define who you are. Jaime speaks to me about his struggle to heal the wounds of domestic violence and to overcome homelessness. Where he once grappled with the stigma of being a male victim of domestic violence, he now states that with the help of Raphael House he feels empowered and is filled with hope for a better future for himself and his three-year-old son Mateo.

When Jaime came to Raphael House he lacked the support of friends and family, many of whom could…

Posted May 11, 2016 by Kim Lessard. Categorized as SUCCESS STORIES, Uncategorized.

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Whitney_with baby
Whitney and Finley

On May 14, Raphael House friends, donors, staff, and Board of Directors will welcome Whitney Petrey and her children, Finley and Bennett as the honoree family at our 19th annual One Home, Many Hearts Gala.

When Whitney arrived at Raphael House with her two children in March 2015, she was a single mother who was unemployed after separating from her husband due to his drug addiction, then having to leave the home where she had been living with her parents because of domestic violence. Raphael House immediately provided the stable, safe environment her family needed to start creating a better future.

With a Master of Arts Degree in Archaeology, Whitney worked diligently with…

Posted March 31, 2016 by Raphael House. Categorized as SUCCESS STORIES.

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Cheryl holding goody bags filled with donated beauty and grooming products 

One of the things Cheryl and I did that made a difference when we stayed in shelter, said William Pitts, was to make sure we didn’t wear the homelessness, by putting in the effort every day to look nice.

Cheryl and William Pitts stayed in our residential shelter with their baby girl Helen in 2013. These days Cheryl is the operations manager at Carmichael Salon. She’s also a part-time coordinator for Dress for Success.

Grateful for all that Raphael House did to help her and her family when they were homeless, Cheryl wanted to give something back….

Posted March 31, 2016 by Kim Lessard. Categorized as SUCCESS STORIES.

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Marla Achieves Dream of Home Ownership

A mixed race mother and daughter at their home

Almost a decade ago, Marla came to Raphael House with her one-year-old daughter Kayla after gaining the courage to leave an abusive relationship. We welcomed Marla and her daughter with a safe place to stay, but equally as important, Raphael House partnered with Marla as she worked to rebuild her life by giving her the tools and support to achieve financial independence and a safe and stable home for Kayla. With one-on-one support from her case manager, Marla created an action plan toward self-sufficiency that included her long-term goals of building a career in project management and one day owning her…

Posted February 16, 2016 by Kim Lessard. Categorized as SUCCESS STORIES, Uncategorized.

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Aaron discovers his passion for writing in Raphael House Children’s Program

Little asian boy use pencil writing on notebook for writing book with smiling face on wooden table in the park

This past year, nine-year-old Aaron discovered a passion for writing and telling stories. When Aaron first came to Raphael House, he was writing below his grade level. Although very articulate and excelling in all other topics at school, he struggled to write legibly and was unable to translate his thoughts into structured paragraphs. Raphael House Children’s Program staff supported Aaron with one-on-one tutoring and mentoring in our after-school Tutoring Club offered Monday through Friday at Raphael House. After five months of intensive work that included daily writing and spelling assignments,…

Posted February 16, 2016 by Raphael House. Categorized as SUCCESS STORIES.

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Mom, Dad, and Daughter Secure Housing After Homelessness From Eviction


Alex and Jasmine Heart had lived in San Francisco for more than 20 years, where they both worked steady, good jobs: Alex in the hospitality industry and Jasmine as a preschool teacher with a bachelor’s degree. Together the family was enjoying what they described as a wonderful life in San Francisco raising their one-year-old daughter Kaitlin, when the pressure of the city’s red hot housing market began to impact their stability. The family faced a series of prohibitive rent increases that eventually led to an eviction when they could no longer afford their apartment.

As the Hearts scrambled to find affordable housing, they were dealt another sudden blow when they both…

Posted December 02, 2015 by raphaelhouse. Categorized as SUCCESS STORIES.

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LaVonna’s Story

IMG_1156 (1)_Lavona

LaVonna, a single mother, came to Raphael House in late 2014 looking to make a better life for her and her young son. Raphael House’s Residential Shelter Program provided her family a stable home-like environment and the resources and support they needed to plan for the future.

During her stay at Raphael House, LaVonna participated in our Career Development Program. With a lot of hard work and perseverance, she eventually became gainfully employed in the construction industry. LaVonna also grew a passion for creating jewelry after participating in different artistic workshops and wellness activities at Raphael House. She found that this artistic expression helped to center her and filled her with…

Posted November 03, 2015 by Kim Lessard. Categorized as SUCCESS STORIES.

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