Residential Shelter Program
The Residential Shelter Program provides nourishing and respectful structure to families who have experienced homelessness. Families that join the Residential Shelter Program thrive as a result of the orderly and warm home we provide. The soothing rhythm of predictability and patterns helps young children feel secure so they can begin to develop as children. Our schedule is designed to engage families in a continual cycle of renewal. Children with behavior problems often learn simple rules that help them to deal with their emotions in a productive and healthy manner. Families work directly with case workers to address individual barriers to homelessness in order to develop a long term plan for success.
Families who enter Raphael House agree to:
- Abstain from using drugs or alcohol.
- Attend and participate in goal oriented activities such as financial education classes, meetings with case managers, and child development workshops.
- Comply fully with income reporting and savings requirements (80% of income to savings).
- Enroll children in school or daycare and establish an after school plan.
- Complete education orientation and schedule times for mandatory classes in child development, housing search, career planning, budgeting, and consumer credit repair.
Within the first week of arrival, families meet with their caseworker and begin to develop a long term plan to gain housing and employment as well as address the specific issues that are preventing a family from achieving stable housing. Parents agree to participate in financial counseling so any outstanding financial issues can be addressed. Families also work to develop an employment or education plan so they can receive the necessary tools to regain control of their future.
The children at Raphael House have experienced a multitude of traumas, often including the absence of a parent and always the loss of a home. As a result of the difficult experiences they have endured, they often exhibit developmental delays as well as emotional and behavioral problems.
Raphael House understands these issues and aims to provide stability through caring support that will sustain them through the confusing and unstable experience of homelessness. We provide a strong daily structure, focusing on developing creativity and imagination. Raphael House offers a broad mix of activities, special events, resources and targeted services that address the individual needs of each child. In addition to food and clothing, these include referrals to medical and mental health providers, academic tutoring and school advocacy, cultural and sports outings and activities.
Based on thorough assessment of the child's physical, emotional and mental health our services are designed to:
- Encourage respect and cooperation in family relationships
- Develop social skills and good behavior
- Teach positive ways of expression
- Teach listening and communication skills
- Create opportunities for individual accomplishment
- Provide the environment and relationships necessary in order to achieve academic success
- Provide social, intellectual and emotional enrichment and development by offering cultural opportunities
While families who experience homelessness often require multiple services, the most important part of our program is the peace and dignity that families have once they enter our home. One of the most common statements we hear as families enter their own home is: "You helped me feel normal again."