Hear from one of our amazing advocates about how we help survivors at each of Portland’s domestic violence shelters (Raphael House, Bradley Angle, and West Women's and Children's Shelter) transition into their own safe homes!
From our team member Lea Anne:
Healing from the inside out
"Hi, I’m Lea Anne, and I coordinate our Shelter to Stability (S2S) program!

This program is so critical because we’re able to remove major barriers to housing for survivors at all three local shelters. In 2020 alone, we helped pay for $66,000 of expenses like property debt (often caused by an abuser) or covering a rental deposit, to ultimately get families into safe homes.

But it’s just as valuable that our support doesn’t end when someone walks out the door of shelter.
Lea Anne (right) and S2S Family Advocate Heather prepare activity kits for kids whose parents attend our virtual S.W.A.G. group.
So many parts of a survivor's life are impacted by domestic violence — parenting, employment, relationships, housing, and finances — and healing takes time. Someone’s transition might be 1 year, and it might be 10. We’re here for the journey, as long as our support is needed. 
For example, one of our participants moved from shelter into her own apartment two years ago. When she lost her job because of COVID, we were able to connect her with rental assistance, unemployment, and a whole community of support through our S.W.A.G. group. That’s how she’s kept her housing, despite everything!
S.W.A.G. (Survivors are Worthy, Awesome, and Gutsy) is a survivor-led mentorship group that we facilitate weekly.
I love this group, because the topics we cover can flow with survivor needs. Right now the main challenges survivors share are financial strain, isolation, and increased parenting time.

We know the key to stability is community and connection, and survivors offer that to each other during S.W.A.G. 

Our peer mentors in the group are able to say “you can do this… because I did.” We hear over and over from folks that they thought they were alone in how they were feeling until they heard another survivor open up about their experience. It’s beautiful to watch this community heal themselves from the inside out — guiding one another through the process.

I’m so honored to be part of the positivity and life changes of survivors in this program!"

Lea Anne, Shelter to Stability Program Coordinator
Watch our KATU News spotlight!
Did you see us on KATU News’ Everyday Heroes spotlight with AngeLeah, Destiny, and Lovey?

AngeLeah shared that finding Raphael House “meant everything – it meant life; it literally meant life.” We’ve been fortunate to remain a part of their journey since their shelter stay over 7 years ago, and benefit from their time and expertise as they’ve volunteered in our programs and shared their powerful story.

We couldn’t be here for survivors like AngeLeah and her family without amazing partnerships across the community – including with our friends at OnPoint Community Credit Union who recently provided us with a $25,000 gift to help families stay safe, stable, and housed.