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Raphael's Life House

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Covenant House is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization;
(EIN/Tax ID number: 13-3537710).

Raphael’s Life House opened its doors in December, 1993, but the idea of providing a transitional residence for young homeless pregnant women began several years earlier when co-founders Edith Coogan and Mary Orrico 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 – providing not only food and shelter for these young women but 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.


We continue to seek funding from government agencies, faith-based organizations, charitable organizations, private foundations and most of all individual donors who support our very important mission.

It started as a vision, a way to improve the lives of homeless pregnant women..!

Our Staff

Our staff, provided by Covenant House New Jersey, work to connect the women to educational and vocational opportunities, career development, medical care, legal services, and pastoral ministry.

Program Boards

Raphael's Life House is guided by a

deeply caring and concerned Program Board Members who provide direction, foresight, and wisdom to help us better serve homeless mothers and their babies.

Our History