River Haven Family Shelter

River Haven Homeless Shelter is located in Portage, WI and provides shelter to homeless individuals and families. It is comprised of two shelters, one to serve single men and the other for single women and families.

The mission of River Haven is to provide safe, temporary shelter to qualifying homeless individuals and families while providing them with guidance and connecting them to community resources to promote their independence. River Haven is staffed by one full-time Case Manager Director and one part-time Case Manager. The office for case management, admissions, PACAP and all other information is open M-F from 8am-4pm; the office is closed on weekends and holidays. Each shelter is staffed from 5pm-8am by a House Assistant. The House Assistant is a live-in volunteer and manages the residents and goings on at the shelter. This person then reports to the Case Managers if there are any issues or problems that need to be resolved.

We also provide information about resources, social service agencies and managed guidance/support to make occupants take accountability for their future. Our goal is to guide clients to independence within a 30-89 day stay. While staying in the shelter, families and individuals have access to a laundry facility, full kitchen and bathrooms. Additional services include access to workshops about budgeting, rent smart, resume writing, computer skills, employment searches and housing searches.

Those seeking shelter must call the River Haven office ahead of time to go through a pre-screen form to determine eligibility. Once eligibility has been determined you will be walked through the admission procedure.

Residents are required to sign up or apply for services within the community including but not limited to:

  • Foodshare
  • Badgercare
  • FSET
  • W2

Raquel Schwanbeck Case Manager Director

“I have been the Case Manager Director at River Haven for the last two years. I have a Bachelor’s Degree from the University of Wisconsin Stevens Point. I was previously the administrator and director of a Lutheran Preschool and daycare in Baraboo for ten years. My passion has always been helping people, which is what brought me to River Haven when it was time for a career change. Being able to help people get back on their feet and start fresh is the most rewarding part of working at River Haven. “


Additionally, our mission is to be the case manager and steward for all requests made to the Portage Area Community Assistance Program (PACAP). PACAP is a cooperative structure of various denomination of churches, United Way, resources from the local area St. Vincent De Paul and other contributors to combine and manage emergency funds for those in need. PACAP is able to help on occasion with food, cleaning supplies, and hygiene items. The primary source of funding for the assistance is the Clergy Relief Fund, supported by several local churches in the Portage area and the United Way. The purpose of the Clergy Relief Fund is to provide emergency financial needs for rent, gasoline, or other household emergencies that may arise.

Peter Bartaczewicz PACAP Coordinator/Case Manager

“I have been in a helping profession for nearly 30 years.  The past several years I have had mental health training in NAMI (National Alliance on Mental Illness), Crisis Intervention Training, and QPR (Question Persuade and Refer) etc.  I like helping people forward; I refer to this as lifestyle navigation (examples: work, housing, monetary support networks like PACAP, Community Action, Renewal Unlimited to name a few).  I work closely with local landlords trying to find a good fit for everyone. There are many obstacles with helping the homeless and I try to help bridge those gaps, or at least suggest the tools needed to move forward.”

RHHS Board of Directors

Tracy Fuqua, Chair & Treasurer

Pr. David Hankins, Vice Chair

Tania Anderson, Secretary

Corey Endreas

Richard Hoege

Tricia Kuhn

Carol Sjoblom

Bob Stenner