Raphael House, San Francisco’s oldest and only privately funded shelter and services program dedicated to helping families move beyond homelessness, raised more than $600,000 at its 18th Annual One Home, Many Hearts Gala. The April 18th sold out event drew support from Bay Area luminaries, local media, business executives, philanthropists and Olympic Gold Medalist, Kristi Yamaguchi.
The evening was complete with silent and live auctions, fund-a-need, a plated three-course dinner, dancing and entertainment by famed magician and illusionist Patrick Martin. Gala co-chairs, Melissa Koerner and Laura Larsen; the evening’s auctioneer, Abra Sills; and the event emcee and host, Liam Mayclem, EMMY award-winning broadcast personality and KCBS Foodie Chap, made the night of magic one to remember.
During the event, guests were presented with an emotionally touching video titled, “A Place to Stand,” created by San Francisco-based production company, Corduroy Media. The video followed a single father as he discussed the challenges and dangers of being homeless with two young sons in San Francisco. His journey of trying to maintain a sense of stability while providing shelter, food and warmth for his children demonstrated the enormous struggles that families experiencing homelessness encounter on a day-to-day basis. Emotions were high as the father stood on stage to tell his story of how—with the support and resources of Raphael House—he was able to move his sons from a once chaotic and uncertain life on the streets to a more structured and secure life in a community.
“For more than three decades, Raphael House has been serving its community, and we continue to strive to do more,” said Raphael House Executive Director Ben Aune. “Earlier this year we completed construction on the third floor of the shelter, providing eight new residential rooms, and effectively increasing our capacity by 33 percent. Instead of serving 50 families annually, we will now serve 80. It’s an incredible accomplishment and we are humbled by the generosity of each and every donor who made that achievement possible. I truly believe that capacity to care is what gives life its greatest meaning.”
Raphael House employs a spirit of compassion and kindness to help hundreds of families each year move toward brighter and more hopeful futures. The work of Raphael House helps at-risk children and their parents achieve stable housing and financial independence while strengthening family bonds and personal dignity. According to the San Francisco Chronicle, in 2014, 537,000 children were homeless in California alone with 2,100 attending San Francisco public schools.
Proceeds from the Gala will support Raphael House’s mission by contributing directly to the organization’s operating budget. As Raphael House expands its facilities and programs through its current growth campaign—to increase the number of families it serves by 67 percent, by 2017—the Gala plays a crucial role in building awareness in the community, while also providing a celebratory atmosphere in which to give back to families in need.