Our Programs and Services
We believe that everyone deserves to live a life free from violence. The mission of Raphael House is to engage our entire community in non-violent living through advocacy, education, and community outreach, and by providing a safe haven from domestic violence.
We are a multi-faceted domestic violence prevention/intervention agency dedicated to fighting the causes and effects of intimate partner violence in a variety of ways. Founded in 1977, Raphael House operates the largest emergency domestic violence shelter in Multnomah County. We provide safety in a confidential location for a diverse community of women, men and children escaping domestic violence, and offer support on a 24-hour access line. Raphael House also provides rental assistance, financial empowerment, and case management through our Home in Hand/Hogar en Mano Housing Program and Advocacy Center.
Each year 130 adults and children are served in our emergency shelter, more than 1,200 callers utilize our access line, and an additional 480 survivors receive on-going support via our Advocacy Center.
In addition to serving a diverse community of women and children escaping domestic violence, Raphael House also works to eliminate the causes of family and intimate partner violence through community education and outreach.
Raphael House’s emergency shelter serves families fleeing domestic violence. Our shelter is in a confidential location for safety and has eleven rooms: nine for families of up to five people and two for individual adults. This comprises more than half of the total bed space for victims of domestic violence in Multnomah County.
Every survivor entering Raphael House is offered individualized safety planning and advocacy. Many families enter our shelter with substantial barriers to building violence-free lives for themselves, and navigating the complex social service system is often challenging and limiting. We work tirelessly to help survivors surmount their barriers and achieve housing, employment, self-sufficiency, and safety.
All our advocacy services and many of our group activities are offered in both English and Spanish. Spanish-language advocacy is available seven days a week from 8am – 8pm. In the case of other language needs, Raphael House of Portland accesses interpretation services through a language bank. Every family living at Raphael House is provided with basic necessities such as food, clothing, household supplies and toiletries. In addition to advocacy, round-the-clock support, and basic needs, our participants are offered regular self-care and life-skills programming.
Raphael House’s newest program! The Advocacy Center is designed to allow us to maintain and build our relationships with program participants who have moved out of our shelter. During their stay at Raphael House, women work with our advocates to create a set of individualized goals designed to help them on their journey to permanent housing, employment, and self sufficiency. In the Advocacy Center, these women can continue working with advocates as they work towards meeting goals necessary to stabilize and grow in their new homes.
In the Advocacy Center, we provide space for our program participants to participate in support groups and other activities such as youth programming, self care classes, and meetings with community partners. Participants can access computer and phone workstations, staff support and advocacy, and an emergency food pantry and clothing closet. In addition, the Advocacy Center is designed to empower women to initiate and lead their own programs, and to receive mentoring if they’re interested in learning to lead their own support groups.
More than 60% of the residents at Raphael House are children. Our Youth Program is designed to meet the unique needs of children, ages 0-17, who have experienced domestic violence.
Our Youth Program staff provide individualized safety planning and support to every child over the age of 4, helping them process their experiences and develop skills that will help them navigate the world in healthy ways. Both staff and volunteers also offer age-appropriate support groups, homework help, creative activities, monthly cultural focuses, and other programming specific to children’s’ needs and interests.
Home in Hand/Hogar en Mano Housing Program
Our Home in Hand/Hogar en Mano Housing Program provides on-going assistance to women and families after they move out of our emergency shelter. Along with rental assistance, our housing program provides case management and advocacy, helping participants navigate the complex social service system on their journey toward self-sufficiency. In 2008, 100% of the families exiting the Transitional Housing Program were successful in finding and maintaining permanent housing for at least 6 months. Our transitional program currently serves fourteen families.
Education and Outreach
The Education Program at Raphael House works to enact social change and prevent domestic violence by engaging our entire community in conversation and by encouraging people of all genders, ages and backgrounds to speak out against violence.
The primary activity of the Education Program is offering free prevention workshops throughout our community. We present in local middle and high schools, to healthcare providers, business leaders and community organizations, to DHS employees, to parent groups, and to anyone else who is interested in joining the conversation and ending domestic and sexual violence. Topics covered include teen dating violence, media influence, types of abuse, healthy relationships, sexual assault, consent, warning signs of abuse, vicarious trauma, oppression, barriers to leaving, and being a support person.
Since 2006, Raphael House’s Education Program has facilitated more than 600 presentations with more than 15,000 community members, and we work on both local and statewide policy to promote health and safety on every level of our community.