Monica remembers being a child at Raphael House
“When I was four years old, Raphael House was my home for the holidays. After years of my father emotionally abusing my mom, my brother, and I, my mom feared for our safety. She took us to the shelter, and that’s where we spent the holidays.
What I remember most clearly is how everyone was so welcoming. Kind women greeted us at the door. On Christmas, they had presents for all three of us. They gave me and my brother teddy bears and we still have them! I know that being in a shelter for Christmas was not an ideal situation for my mother. The last thing she wanted was to take her kids out of their home for the holidays, but she was desperate to keep us safe. And the truth is, any place where you feel safe and where there are people who care about you can be home. We weren’t in our house, but Raphael House was our home in the truest sense of the word.
All that was 19 years ago—today I’m 23 years old, recently graduated from college, and I work at non-profit that helps children. Our family is thriving, and I know it’s because of Raphael House. If we hadn’t had that safe place to turn to back then, I don’t know what we would have done.”