The mission of Raphael House is to help low-income families and families experiencing homelessness strengthen family bonds by achieving stable housing and financial independence.
Part of Raphael House's continuing support includes scholarships for extracurricular programs such as sports teams and art lessons, for academic purposes such as tutoring or private school tuition, and for summer camp opportunities. We provide scholarships for more than 90 children to attend day or overnight camps, or other programs depending on the child's needs.
One of the families that took advantage of the scholarships last summer were new immigrants from Africa. The parents felt that the older children needed to work on their language skills before attending school in the fall, so they attended an English immersion program instead of a day camp. The oldest girl, 16, thrived in that setting, but the boy, 13, struggled and became despondent and withdrawn. In consultation with the parents, staff moved him into a day camp, even though the fear was that he wouldn't be able to keep up without the language skills - yet he blossomed in that environment. In a week he knew more English than he had learned in a month in the immersion classes. For him it was better to learn in an activity-filled environment rather than the more academic setting that worked for his sister. His father said, "I've got my son back. This is how he was in our country, playing with his friends for hours. It's amazing to see him happy again."