Raphael’s’ Life House (RLH) can accommodate 12 mothers and their babies. A young woman is eligible to apply if they are currently under 21 years of age, are pregnant, or has one child less than 1 years of age who is in her custody.
While at RLH, our new moms participate in a structure that promotes healthy parenting and equips them to support themselves and their children.
Our Residential Advisors work with each woman to create case plan goals. These goals include parenting, education, career development, behavioral health, and links to resources in the community.
Learn more about the services we provide at our shelters.
Raphael’s Life House (RLH) started as a vision, a way to improve the lives of homeless pregnant women! RLH opened their doors in December of 1993. The idea of providing a transitional residence for young homeless pregnant women began several years earlier with co-founders Edith Coogan (pictured) and Mary Orrico. They found there was no such facility to meet a growing need in the community.
Against all odds, an abandoned, dilapidated convent in Elizabeth was converted into a home with funds from the State, HUD, private foundations, individual donors, and the donation of services from a number of contractors and even volunteers who wanted to see the dream become a reality.
The dormitory-style layout with large kitchen facility and several community rooms was a natural fit to the mission of RLH. It provided food and shelter for these young women. It also provided ideal space for in-house programs to enable the new families to successfully transition to independence.
Economic hardship caused RLH to shut its doors in 2002 but only for a short period. Covenant House New Jersey approached the Board of Trustees offering to provide the staffing and make up any shortfall in funding. In 2013, Raphael’s Life House joined forces with Covenant House New Jersey increasing services and reducing costs.
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