Raphael House honored by State Assembly

The California State Assembly will honor Raphael House with a proclamation to commemorate 36 years in service during Annual Fundraiser One Home, Many Hearts Gala.

“This is such an honor, the timing is perfect!” responded Sophie Azouaou, Raphael House Board Member and Press Committee Chair.

“Raphael House is privately funded, and to have the California State Assembly acknowledge our work is quite the seal of approval.

“The public sector and private sector need to work together to fight homelessness.
We can end homelessness, but we cannot do it alone.”


Raphael House, San Francisco’s oldest family shelter, has added four new members to its Board of Directors.

In addition to Sophie Azouaou; Kevin Brennan, Chuck Doyle and Laurie Kopp joined the Board of Directors.

“We are fortunate to have such a talented group of new directors bringing such strong support from the San Francisco business community,” stated Executive Director, Fr. David Lowell.

“The Board of Directors plays an important role at Raphael House. They provide oversight and insight into the day-to-day operations of the shelter and play a critical role in our development efforts.”

Sophie Azouaou, owner of SophiSticate Interiors, a prominent design firm in the Bay Area, joins the board after spearheading several pro bono design projects benefiting Raphael House families.

In partnership with Benefit Magazine and CitiApartments, she redesigned two apartments for former Raphael House residents Most recently, Azouaou donated her time and resources to a complete makeover of Raphael House’s AfterCare building and Teen Room.

Kevin Brennan, executive vice-president and co-managing partner of Studley, Inc. joins the Board after several years of volunteering at Raphael House. Brennan brings a wealth of fundraising knowledge and experience to the board.

Chuck Doyle, president of Business Capital, also brings his years of fund development experience to Raphael House. “Chuck has a long history of fundraising for several east and west coast organizations. His tireless passion for the work of Raphael House is a huge asset for our organization,” said Fr. David.

Laurie Kopp, associate at Capital Group Companies, Inc., has a strong passion for hands-on service. Kopp was recently awarded Volunteer of the Year by Capital Group for her work in the community.


The Board announced creation of a Press Committee comprised of Sophie Azouaou, Layla Azimi, Terri DiMartini, Flavia Henrique and Mary Wolfe.

– Sophie Azouaou was selected to chair the Press Committee, is the owner of prominent Design Firm SophiSticate Interiors.

– Flavia Henrique, Director of Press Committee and special events coordinator for Raphael House, is organizing Raphael House’s 36th Annual Gala among other events.

In her years of event coordinating, Henrique has planned more than 100 big-scale events.

– Layla Azimi joins the Press Committee with a degree in Strategic Communications, emphasis in Public Relations from the University of Kansas. She has worked as a public relations coordinator for the San Francisco Symphony and Straus Communications.

– Terri DiMartini, Director of Children and Family Services, has been at Raphael House for over nine years. She holds a Masters of Science in Social Work from Columbia University and a Masters of Science in Early Childhood General and Special Education from Bank Street College.

– Mary Wolfe, former Chair of the Board of Directors, is a high-tech marketing consultant for a variety of Bay Area start-ups. She has been a part of Raphael Hose for 17 years and is currently the Development Committee Chair.

Raphael House’s annual gala will be held at the Four Seasons Hotel on May 8, 2008.
Cocktail reception will begin at 6:00 followed by 7:30 p.m. dinner and dancing to the tunes of Napata and the Kisses.

The gala includes a silent auction, followed by delectable cuisine and the live auction, including “celebrity chef” dinners.

A special drawing will send one lucky winner and a guest to Paris for two nights, courtesy of Lufthansa.

Proceeds from the black tie gala represent almost 20% of Raphael House operating budget.

What is Raphael House?

Established in 1971, it was the first shelter in San Francisco for families experiencing homelessness. Raphael House has a dedicated staff and Board of Directors from the local community along with a small core of live-in staff. In the last 36 years, Raphael House has sheltered more than 17,000 individuals with the help of 12,000 friends who have invested financial and volunteer support. Raphael House relies solely on private resources to meet its annual budget. Support is received from individuals, foundations, corporations, businesses, civic groups and churches that are committed to promoting stability for at-risk families.