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. We offer emergency shelter in a confidential location, safety planning and advocacy on a 24-hour in-house crisis line, non-residential advocacy in cooperation with the Portland Police Bureau, and transitional housing and advocacy services to survivors of domestic violence enrolled in our Transitional Housing Program. Nearly 100 families are served in the emergency shelter each year, and more than 5,000 callers are offered safety planning and advocacy on our in-house crisis line. An additional 400 survivors receive non-residential advocacy services each year.
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 has eleven rooms: ten for families of up to five people and one that can house two adult women. This comprises 30% 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 self-sufficiency.
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, support and basic needs, clients are offered regular self-care and life-skills programming.
Raphael House’s newest program! The Advocacy Center is a new addition to our services, designed to allow us to maintain and build our relationships with program participants who are not living in 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 addition, families served by our Transitional Housing Program and Response Advocacy Programs can access a wide variety of services and resources inside the Advocacy Center.
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.
The Raphael House Youth Program works to meet the needs of youth living in our emergency shelter in a variety of ways. We provide individualized safety planning to every child over the age of 4. Staff and volunteers also offer homework support, creative activities, teen- and youth-specific support groups, gardening, fieldtrips and other programming. Raphael House Youth Advocates work closely with community partner organizations to make referrals for specific needs in the areas of mental health, education or basic child development.
Transitional Housing Program
The Transitional Housing Program provides transitional housing and rental assistance to women and families after they move out of our emergency shelter. Along with rental assistance, the transitional housing program provides on-going 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.
Response Advocacy Programs
The Multnomah County Domestic Violence Response Team (DVERT) utilizes a nationally recognized model of intervention that places an emphasis on providing coordinated, multi-disciplinary responses to high-priority/high-risk domestic violence cases. Raphael House of Portland currently employs two advocates, one of whom is fully bilingual, that are a part of the Multnomah County Domestic Violence Response Team.
The Domestic Violence Reduction Unit (DVRU), located at the Portland Police Bureau, works to decrease the level of domestic violence in Portland by investigating domestic violence cases with a high level of risk for recidivism. The DVRU is also responsible for local and regional training and coordination of all Portland Police Officers going through the advanced academy. Raphael House of Portland employs one advocate—stationed at the Portland Police Bureau—to work with victims in cases involving the DVRU.
Community Education and Outreach
The Community Outreach 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.