Raphael House believes everyone deserves to live with dignity and respect, and we are committed to championing policies and practices of racial, cultural, and economic equity that empower a just, inclusive, and equitable world.
This commitment informs our mission to help low-income families and families experiencing homelessness strengthen family bonds by achieving stable housing and financial independence. Existing and historic systems of power in our society grant privilege and access unequally, based on factors such as race/ethnicity, age, religion, gender, gender identity, sexual orientation, religion, marital status, socioeconomic status, involvement in the carceral system, geography, and ability.
We recognize that our community is directly impacted by these factors of exclusion and we are committed to combating this inequality and working towards justice for all. Raphael House aims to ensure that our organization embodies the values, policies, and practices that ensure that all people are represented in the development of our policies and programs, and in the fair distribution of programmatic, financial, and informational resources.
Like many organizations in the United States, we have been on a path of discovery over the past several years and we are examining where we fall short in living up to the ideals of diversity, equity and inclusion, and how we can do better going forward. Raphael House recognizes that doing better is an iterative and ongoing process.
As an employer this means that we are examining policies and practices regarding hiring, professional development, internal advancement, wage equity, employee support, board recruitment, and internal communications. We engage in intentional dialogues that nurture respect and communication that encourage our staff, volunteers, and board members to reflect, listen to each other, and learn from one another’s experience.
As a service provider this means we acknowledge that structural racism is intimately tied to the causes of homelessness, and that BIPOC communities should be centered in our services. We are examining our outcomes to identify areas where we can improve our policies to combat bias and be more equitable and inclusive in our services. We aim for our staff, volunteers, and board members to be allies for each other and understand that vulnerability is needed in order to address the nuances and complexities of this work.
Regardless of what part of the Raphael House community an individual is part of, the work we are doing in DEI belongs to us all, and we invite our community to help keep us accountable on this journey. To that end, this statement is aspirational and reflects our current stage of development. As we learn and grow, it will be refined.