“We didn’t have to worry about looking over our shoulders”

Mar 24 2023
Chloë Noonan

Imagine not knowing where you and your family will sleep tonight. Or what you will eat for dinner. Imagine not knowing if you will be able to keep your kids warm and safe tonight. Imagine running out of backup plans and having no one to turn to for help.

This is an all too real scenario for many Bay Area families experiencing housing insecurity. Families lucky enough to find shelter often do not receive the full spectrum of support – or time – they need to recover from the trauma of being homeless and work towards rebuilding their lives. Lost navigating disparate systems on their own, these families remain stuck in a generational cycle of homelessness.

That’s why Raphael House has been serving as a refuge for families like Tamika’s for over 50 years. Tamika and her two teenage daughters fled their home to escape escalating domestic violence, seeking safety and shelter with family in San Francisco. However, that family support was limited, and resulted in them spending several frightening nights on the street.

In September, they finally arrived at Raphael House, where they found the comfort, safety, and stability they had been craving for so long. “We didn’t have to worry about looking over our shoulders,” Tamika recounted. With their most basic needs met, this resilient family was able to set their sights on reclaiming their futures.


At Raphael House, families like Tamika’s receive a safe place to live, nutritious meals, and life-changing support through various services tailored to their unique needs. Our staff offers guidance, compassion, and care throughout each family’s journey, giving them the resources and tools to rebuild their lives. Tamika says her daughters felt particularly close to Bianca, Raphael House’s Bilingual Family Wellness Manager. She shared, “For my girls to actually open up to a stranger, that’s kinda weird. But my babies opened up to Bianca.”

Thanks to the unwavering support from our staff, Tamika’s daughters could work towards their high school diplomas, and Tamika channeled her formidable energy into finding stable housing for her family. After just four months, they gained the opportunity to secure affordable housing and at the end of January, they moved into their own apartment in San Francisco.

We are so proud of Tamika and her family!

Back to Blog