A few months ago Florencia Gentinetta Baldin was visiting San Francisco for the weekend with her husband and teenage son (pictured above. When her phone stopped working properly she was turned around, ending up in the Tenderloin. The next day while researching the Tenderloin, she came across information about Raphael House and emailed us her story.
Florencia and her family migrated to the United States in 1980 when she was a year old. Her family – consisting of her parents, sister, aunt, uncle, and two cousins – were residents at Raphael House for several months while our team helped them find and secure permanent housing and employment.
“My family always spoke of our time there so warmly,” Florencia said. “It was our welcome to the United States and helped set us on a stable path.”
Florencia, now 43-years-old, was the first person in her immediate family to graduate from college. She has a masters degree in Behavior Analysis and has worked with at-risk children and children with disabilities in her community for the past 15 years.
Her cousin, whose birthday was celebrated at Raphael House, holds a doctorate degree and most recently worked for Harvard University, and Florencia’s sister works in the top of her field.
Reflecting on the impact that Raphael House had on her life, Florencia said: “I want[ed] to thank you for investing in my family. The help you gave us was instrumental in the future we developed and allowed us to give back to our own communities.”
While it is somewhat unusual to hear from someone who stayed at Raphael House so many years ago, stories like Florencia’s remind us of the lasting impact of the services we offer.
Please consider making a gift today to support more families like Florencia’s.
Florencia with Raphael House’s Brother John, taken at her cousin’s birthday party, c. 1980.Back to Blog