Letter from Raphael House Board Chair Kate Smith
When you think of Raphael House, “shelter” is probably the first word that comes to mind—as it should. With the generous support of our donors and volunteers, we’ve been helping families who are homeless through our Residential Shelter Program since 1971, 60 to 75 of them annually, with approximately 85% moving on to stable housing. Amazing!
But did you know that Raphael House also provides support for rapid re-housing to families experiencing homelessness in lieu of a stay in our residential shelter? Or that we offer support to prevent family homelessness that can begin before an eviction notice is served?
We provide these services to approximately 62 families each year through our Housing Opportunity Assistance program. The financial support we provide is flexible and includes rental subsidies and assistance, as well as barrier removal, such as payment on an outstanding utility bill. Housing Opportunity Assistance is always provided in tandem with the same personalized case management and ongoing resources that those in our Residential Shelter Program receive.
Alfonso and his wife Yolanda both suffer from medical disabilities, which have limited their options for housing and employment. After living in an emergency shelter for three months with their 5-year-old son Miguel, they were thankful to have been approved for permanent supportive housing in a community designed for families such as theirs. But their elation was short-lived upon realizing they didn’t have the funds for move-in costs. With funding from Raphael House, they qualified for the apartment. And with continued support of the Raphael House community, they’ve remained stably housed for more than two years.
Sheila was close to getting housing in Contra Costa County for her and her four children, but she had an outstanding utility bill that needed to be paid before the family could move in.
With funds from Raphael House and assistance from her case manager with creating a budget, Sheila was able to pay the bill and secure the apartment for her family. Not only have they been stably housed for a year and a half, but her case manager has also developed a relationship with the landlord that may prove to be a valuable resource in the future when assisting other families in need, a win-win for all involved!
Whether we’re providing families with short-term housing, helping them secure rapid-rehousing, or preventing families from becoming homeless, it’s your ongoing support that allows us, as a 100% privately funded organization, to help families achieve brighter and more stable futures. Thank you!
Chair, Board of Directors