INTERFAITH COMMUNITY SHELTER

SERVING THE HOMELESS WITH COMPASSION AND RESPECT

During the brutally cold winter of 2006-2007 in Santa Fe, twenty-one deaths of homeless men and women from exposure to the elements compelled the community to action. Concerned church leaders of the newly organized Interfaith Alliance of Santa Fe, other service providers, compassionate citizens and the City of Santa Fe met to discuss the dire situation. Former Mayor David Coss appointed a Blue Ribbon Task Force to develop a five-year plan to end homelessness in Santa Fe. But before more lives could be claimed the following winter, members of the Interfaith Alliance and others organized shelter options with funds from the city. From November through April 2008, homeless men were sheltered at the Salvation Army while women and children found shelter in various church and synagogue halls and religious centers. It was a temporary solution, but it saved lives.

Our mission: Working with volunteers and community groups, we provide short-term survival services, as well as active service experiences for volunteers, and additional long-term services in collaboration with the City of Santa Fe and local service provider partners.

In 2008 the Task Force and the community leadership approved the concepts in the five-year plan, which had as its goal a one-stop resource center for those experiencing homelessness, with the emphasis on services resulting in obtaining permanent housing. The community leadership also believed that the shelter needed to be as low-barrier as possible so that chronic and vulnerable homeless people could easily enter. From this active core group, the Interfaith Community Shelter (ICS) was established. Incorporated in 2009, ICS could receive donations under the fiscal sponsorship of the Faith at Work Ministry and was granted its own tax-exempt 501(c)3 status by the IRS in 2010.

For the winter of 2008-2009, the City provided funds to rent a building for an emergency shelter on St. Michael’s Drive. ICS and its collaborators – (St. Elizabeth Shelter, Healthcare for the Homeless, Life Link, Santa Fe Community Services, and Youth Shelters) provided services at their locations during the day and shelter at night at the St. Michael’s Drive location. During the winter of 2009-2010, the City funded the rental of the former Pete’s Pets, a pet store on Cerrillos Road, but ICS needed a permanent home. In 2010 these groups, who had united and were working under a memorandum of understanding, persuaded the City of Santa Fe to purchase the pet store and lease it to ICS for minimal rent.

ICS offered emergency overnight shelter and daytime services at the Cerrillos Road location during the winter of 2010 – 2011. Renovation of the former pet store was planned and would be paid for with donated funds as well as money from the City of Santa Fe and the State of New Mexico. During the summer of 2011, under the guidance and design of architect and board member, Vahid Mojarrab, contractors, volunteers, and former guests completely renovated the building. Today, the facility at Interfaith Community Shelter includes separate men’s and women’s dorms; a separate sleeping room for a family, if needed; a commercial kitchen; dining and reception areas; showers and restrooms; space for the Community Closet; a storage area for guests’ belongings; kennel spaces; offices for staff and collaborators; and an outdoor courtyard with a warming station.

Interfaith Community Shelter provides overnight shelter for anyone in need during the winter months and for women and children during the summer. Year round, nearly twenty different types of services are provided on site by ICS and collaborators including: Veterans Administration; Healthcare for the Homeless; Life Link; Santa Fe Community Services; St. Elizabeth Shelter and Supportive Housing Programs; Food Depot; Goodwill Industries; Southwest CARE Center; Youth Shelters and Family Services; Joe Rosetta, Traditional Support Worker of Santo Domingo Pueblo; Homeless Legal Clinic, State Bar of New Mexico; Homeless Court, Municipal Court of the City of Santa Fe; Office of Congressman Ben Lujan, Constituent Liaison; Street Homeless Animal Project; and Feed the Hungry.

Partner Providers and Collaborators

Partner Providers offer services at Interfaith Community Shelter for any person needing access to services necessary to stabilize his or her life. For the list of services offered and their scheduled days and times, see Programs and Services or the Services Calendar.

  • Food Depot
  • Goodwill Industries
  • Healthcare for the Homeless
  • Homeless Court, Municipal Court for the City of Santa Fe
  • Homeless Legal Clinic, State Bar of New Mexico
  • Life Link
  • New Mexico Street Homeless Animal Project
  • Office of Congressman Ben Lujan, Constituent Liaison
  • Joe Rosetta, traditional support worker; Santo Domingo Pueblo
  • Santa Fe Community Services
  • Southwest Care Center
  • St. Elizabeth’s Shelter and Supportive Housing Programs
  • Veterans Administration
  • Youth Shelters and Family Services Outreach Program

Other collaborators working with ICS to provide services or other assistance to those experiencing homelessness.

  • Casa Cerrillos Permanent Supportive Housing
  • Casa Familia Shelter for Women and Families
  • Christus St. Vincent CARE Connection Assessment Center
  • City of Santa Fe
  • Esperanza Shelter for Battered Families Support Center
  • Feed the Hungry
  • Mobile Integrated Health Office of the Santa Fe Fire Department
  • Santa Fe Police Department
  • St. Elizabeth Men’s Shelter
  • Santa Fe Mobile Response Crisis Team and PMS Guidance Center
  • Santa Fe Veteran’s Center
  • Veterans Integration Center
  • Youth Shelters and Family Services
Host Teams for 2016 – 2017 Winter Shelter

We are grateful to the generous faith communities, businesses and community groups who prepare a nutritious and filling dinner each night for the Winter Shelter Season. Learn more how you can organize a Host Team on our Volunteer Page.

•    The Cathedral Basilica St. Francis of Assisi
•    Christ Lutheran Church Santa Fe
•    Christus St. Vincent ER and Healthfront
•    Christus St. Vincent Regional Medical Center
•    The Church of the Holy Faith
•    The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints
•    El Coro De Jesucristo
•    Eldorado Community Church
•    First Baptist Church
•    First Presbyterian Church
•    Holy Trinity Orthodox Church
•    Brian and Randine Hughes
•    Immanuel Lutheran Church, Santa Fe
•    Knights of Columbus Council #10517, Santa Maria de la Paz Catholic Community
•    La Familia Medical Center
•    La Posada de Santa Fe Resort
•    Lighthouse Church of Santa Fe
•    Marcy Park Seventh Day Adventist Church
•    Olive Garden Italian Kitchen
•    Rancho Viejo Women’s Group
•    Rotary Club of Santa Fe
•    Rotary Club, Santa Fe Centro
•    San Isidro Catholic Church
•    Members of Santa Fe Atheist Community
•    Santa Fe Center for Spiritual Living
•    Santa Fe Chamber of Commerce
•    Santa Fe Civitan
•    Santa Fe Indian School
•    Santa Fe Vipassana Sangha
•    Santa Maria De La Paz Catholic Community
•    Sikh group
•    Religious Society of Friends Santa Fe
•    St. Anne’s Parish
•    St. Anne’s Parish Life Team
•    St. Anthony’s Catholic Church, Pecos
•    St. Bede’s Episcopal Church
•    St. Johns United Methodist Church
•    St. Michael’s High School
•    Temple Beth Shalom
•    Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Fe
•    United Church of Santa Fe
•    Upaya Zen Center
•    Westminster Presbyterian Church
•    Woodmen of The World Org.
•    Zia United Methodist Church

Staff for Interfaith Community Shelter

Joe Jordan-Berenis
Executive Director

Joe was born in Brooklyn, New York and worked for 28 years at Family of Woodstock, Inc., a human services agency to meet the needs of people experiencing homelessness in Ulster County in New York. Family of Woodstock was started by a group of townspeople and clergy who were concerned for the welfare of the young people gravitating to Woodstock at the end of the original festival. Joe helped Family grow from a small nonprofit into a multi-million dollar human services agency and the largest provider of homeless services in Ulster County, New York. For ten years, he served as chair for the Runaway and Homeless Youth Advisory Committee to the New York State Office of Children and Family Services, through both Democratic and Republican administrations, and received numerous awards for his work with runaway, homeless and street-involved youth. In 2016, he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award from the New Mexico Behavioral Health Planning Council for his service to people experiencing homelessness in the states of New York and New Mexico.

Joe loves living in Santa Fe and working at the Interfaith Community Shelter. Whenever he is asked how he arrived at the shelter, he always replies, “Draw a circle where you’re standing. That’s where God wants you to be.” He believes that both Santa Fe and Woodstock possess a mythical quality about them that is appealing to many people; though, he’ll admit, living in Santa Fe is starkly different from living in the woods on the top of a mountain in Woodstock.

Beverly Kellam
Finance Director

Beverly hails from Louisiana, the Bayou State, and has degrees in business and economics from Baylor University and the University of Oklahoma. Before starting her family, Beverly was an economist and writer for the Federal Reserve Bank of Dallas, and she taught economics as an adjunct professor at several colleges and universities in Oklahoma and Dallas. She has spoken to business and educational groups about topics ranging from monetary policy to the economics of school choice and health care reform. That said, Beverly would argue that her greatest achievements to date are now 18, 15 and 10 years old – her three children: Alex, Reed and Katie. Beverly has been very active at their schools. She developed a volunteer program at Carlos Gilbert Elementary School and is the PTK Treasurer helping to raise over $100,000 to improve educational programs and facilities. Beverly also was the PA Treasurer for Desert Academy and the raffle coordinator which raised over $50,000 for tuition assistance and international programs.

Sue Carr
Assistant to the Executive Director

Sue Carr is originally from the Chicago area, but moved to Colorado in 1980 with her family and lived there for 25 years. She has her BA in music from Colorado Christian University and over the years has worked as a music director for churches; music, piano, and English as a Second Language teacher; and an office administrator. Throughout her career, Sue felt called to volunteer at various agencies. She is a believer in on-the-job learning and worked in a church office to learn how the business of a church operates. The administrative skills that she learned there have transferred into other work places.

In 2013, after working in Florida for three years, Sue decided to move back west where she felt more at home and begin a career in social services. The original plan was to return to school, get a new degree and work in the social services field. But the opportunity for on-the-job learning happened again. While researching the community’s social service agencies, Sue literally walked into Interfaith Community Shelter on a Resource Day and heard they needed a temporary office worker. Three years later, she is still here working in the office and receiving an incredible education – right here at the shelter! Getting to know the people who work, volunteer, and – most importantly – stay here, make ICS truly unique. She considers it a privilege to be a part of this special service to the people of this community.

In her spare time, Sue enjoys music, Netflix drama series, and exploring the wild places of New Mexico. She especially loves finding petroglyphs!

Al Morales
Case Manager/Paralegal

Let Al tell you himself why he’s working at ICS, “I have always been an individual who has given back and advocated for the less fortunate and the voiceless. I am passionate about justice, fairness and equality.” Because of Al’s experience in law enforcement, child services, owning a small business offering loss prevention services, he’s an effective advocate for the guests at ICS. The “Human Spirit” inspires Al as he sees every day individuals who are facing challenges in their lives overcome adversities to accomplish their goals. In his spare time, Al keeps fit with marital arts, weight training and running marathons. He loves spending time with his four dogs, two of which are rescue dogs. And make sure you get Al on your team for a trivia game; he has the uncanny ability to remember trivia – especially history and 1960s and ‘70s sitcoms!

Board Members

The Reverend Betsy Bueschel      
United Church of Christ

Betsy Bueschel is a retired United Church of Christ minister. Her professional history includes serving as an Associate Pastor as well as leading or participating in many wider denominational leadership and staff positions. They included supervising the mentoring program for seminarians preparing for ordination and teaching a course at Chicago Theological Seminary.

Betsy has been involved as a director and officer on numerous non-profit organization boards with social justice, human services and higher education missions. Among them, she was Board President of the Community Renewal Society in Chicago, a trustee and board officer of Keuka College in New York and a board member and officer of the Institute of Women Today which operates Maria Shelter for women and children in Chicago. Currently, she is Council Moderator-Emerita of the United Church of Santa Fe.

Betsy holds a Bachelor of Arts degree and a Master of Divinity degree. She was born and raised in Upstate New York, lived in the Chicago area for many years and has resided with her spouse in Santa Fe since 2012. They have three daughters and four grandchildren.

Erika Compos        
CHRISTUS St. Vincent Regional Medical Center

Erika Campos is currently responsible for Strategic Planning at CHRISTUS St. Vincent where she has worked for over 10 years.  She has spent most of her career in healthcare here, in Albuquerque, and in other parts of the country.  Though she left New Mexico for school in Richmond, Virginia, and for her early career as a marketing communications professional, she is a native New Mexican. She loves our mountains and sunsets and does not plan to leave again.

Erika is married to Glenn and they have two kids, a son, age 11, who loves basketball, and 12-year old artist/daughter.  Erika feels that volunteerism, philanthropy and community service are an expression of faith and central to a health community.  Her father is a pastor at New Covenant Church in north Albuquerque, so she and her family split their Sundays between that church and Blaze Fellowship here in Santa Fe.

In addition to her work in health care, Erika also recently joined the Board of Homewise so participating in getting roofs over heads, whether for a night or for years, seems to be a new theme in her life.

Annie-Laurie Coogan
Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis

Annie-Laurie Coogan graduated from the Georgetown University School of Foreign Service in 1975 and worked for a Georgetown Professor and a Congressman from Maine.  She graduated from De Paul College of Law in Chicago in 1981.  She has worked at four law firms and is now practicing solo in the area of workers compensation and personal injury.

In 1990, Annie-Laurie moved with her family to Santa Fe.  Her four children, Caitlin, Michael, Devin and Mairead, attended school at St. Francis, St. Anne, St. Michael’s and Desert Academy and have gone to college out of state.

Annie-Laurie has been a member of the Cathedral Basilica of St. Francis of Assisi for many years and on the Peace and Justice Committee at the parish. She also served on the St. Francis School Board for five years.

Aggie Damron-Garner      
Lensic Performing Arts

The second bullet point on Aggie Damron-Garner’s Professional Experience section on her resume is: “Ongoing consulting for non-profits in Santa Fe in grant development, program budgeting, organization development and management.” This expertise will be valuable for the board at Interfaith Community Shelter. Aggie has been the Managing Director of The Lensic Performing Arts Center since 2011 and before that she was the Director of Finance and Administration. Other professional experience includes Director of Finance and Operations at National Dance Institute – New Mexico, independent contract production for special projects and events, and the Executive Vice-President of Newman-Englund Productions.

Aggie moved to Santa Fe in 2001 from Los Angeles and in addition to an active and rewarding professional life, her community service here includes past treasurer of the board of directors for KSFR Radio and development of grant budgeting workshops for the Santa Fe Community Foundation and the United Way in Houston, Texas. Aggie is also an artist currently working in splash ink, watercolor and acrylics.

Guy Gronquist
The Church of the Holy Faith

Guy is a Colorado native who holds a BA and MA from the University of Denver and a PhD from Cambridge University. He lived in England for 30 years, working in international investment banking in the City of London, Europe’s Wall Street, before retiring to Santa Fe in September 2008. While in England, Guy was an active member of his local Anglican church, St Andrew’s Barnsbury, serving as parish treasurer for more than 15 years.

Guy was also treasurer of his residents’ association, and an adviser and trustee of Prospex, a Christian charity targeting young people at risk in London. He served on the parents’ committees his daughters’ primary and secondary schools, and was active in children’s literacy programs in Hackney, a deprived borough neighboring London, where a majority of primary school students come from ethnic minority backgrounds and do not have English as a first language.

Guy, his wife and two daughters joined the Episcopal Church of the Holy Faith after moving to Santa Fe and have all served as volunteers at the Winter Shelter. In addition, they have helped the Holy Faith team at the Sunday homeless lunches. Guy is working hard to improve his rudimentary Spanish.

Larry Haslam         
First Presbyterian Church

Larry has lived in the Santa Fe area for forty-three years. He was ordained a Southern Baptist minister and served on its national staff for thirty-two years including twenty-seven years as Executive Director of the Glorieta Conference Center. Larry has served several Baptist churches in the area as interim pastor, and since retiring he has assisted at some Presbyterian churches. Larry served on a not-for-profit foundation board for nine years, three years as its chair. He and his wife have sponsored a former prisoner and a family who were homeless. He has volunteered at the Interfaith Community Shelter since 2009.

Richard Lindahl     
First Presbyterian Church

Richard Lindahl has worked most of his professional career for the State of New Mexico, in many capacities for the Children, Youth and Families Department, Corrections Department, Governor’s Office of Criminal Justice Planning, and the Legislature.

Richard currently works part-time during the Legislative Session as a Committee Analyst and Bill Analyst for the Senate. He has extensive experience as a part-time Hearing Officer for the State, and is a certified mediator. He has much grant-writing experience, and extensive management experience in state government. Following full-time employment with the state, he has been a management consultant helping agencies design and structure their organizational plan. He has also helped local governments and community organizations to work together collaboratively to improve justice operations.

Richard is very involved in juvenile justice reform efforts and serves on the City’s Juvenile Justice Board. He is a member of the Centro Rotary Club of Santa Fe and is a long-time member of First Presbyterian Church. Richard has volunteered at the Interfaith Community Shelter for years, beginning when it first opened on St. Michael’s Drive.

Pat Murray       
First National Santa Fe

Pat Murray is a lifelong resident of Santa Fe and believes that members of a community should “give back.” She believes in the mission of Interfaith Community Shelter and it is one of the reasons she serves on its board and is the Fundraising Chair. Pat began her banking career in 1965 and is currently Senior Vice-President at First National Santa Fe.

Some of the nonprofits and organizations that Pat has supported with her service include the Lensic Performing Arts Center and the Rotary Club of Santa Fe where she has served as past president and is currently the fundraising chair for the July 4th Pancakes on the Plaza. She has served on the Board of Trustees and Board of Advisors for the College of Santa Fe. Pat has been the past state president of the New Mexico Federation of Business & Professional Women and was named Santa Fe Business Woman of the Year in 1991. She was also appointed by Senators Pete Domenici and Jeff Bingaman to the task force to form New Mexico First and was a founding board member of that organization.

Monica Ontiveros               
Santa Maria de la Paz

(Biographical information to be submitted later.)

Domingo Ortiz
Caballeros De Vargas

(Biographical information to be submitted later.)

Julie Murray

Before moving to Santa Fe with her family, Julie worked as a marketing manager at Procter & Gamble, launching the successful Swiffer brand in 1999. She settled here to raise three children, becoming immersed in community advocacy and volunteer work. In the past few years she has resumed her professional life by taking on project work in communications, marketing and event planning for, among others, the Santa Fe Community Foundation and Santa Fe Public Schools.

Her volunteer work in Santa Fe has included terms as treasurer of the Friends of the Santa Fe Public Library and as treasurer, then president, of the Carlos Gilbert Elementary Parent Teacher Kids Association. Her work in homeless services goes back to her undergraduate years at Harvard University, where she was co-director of the University Lutheran Emergency Winter Shelter, and later was an overnight supervisor at Our Lady of Good Counsel Women’s Shelter in Manhattan.

Linda Rundell
Santa Maria de la Paz

Upon graduation from New Mexico State University, Linda Rundell went to work for the Bureau of Land Management. Linda accepted assignments with the BLM in such diverse fields as range conservationist, wildlife biologist, program analyst and Associate State Director in Anchorage, AK. Before retiring she was in the Federal Senior Executive Service for eight and a half years as the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) State Director for the states of NM, TX, OK, and KS. She was a Congressional Fellow in the Washington office of Senator Pete V. Domenici where she learned to develop productive relationships with members on both sides of the political aisle. Linda was a member of the board of the BLM’s National Training Center and personally provided training and mentoring to thousands of participants.

Since her retirement, Linda had been engaged in various volunteer activities, including serving as a missionary in Honduras, and assisting at the ICS and St. Elizabeth’s Shelter on an as-needed basis. She has been a member of two choirs at Santa Maria de La Paz Catholic Community. She continues to take classes in Spanish to improve her communication skills with the underserved people in rural Honduras as well as non-English speakers our community.

Van Swift     
The Church of the Holy Faith

(Biographical information to be submitted later.

Daniel Yohalem
Temple Beth Shalom

Daniel Yohalem has been engaged in the practice of public interest law for the past 43 years, first in Washington, D.C. and since 1987 in New Mexico. He is currently in private practice, representing plaintiffs in first amendment, civil rights, open government, employment discrimination, and class action law reform cases aimed at improving public education funding, the state medicaid and food stamps programs, police department practices and the state juvenile justice system. Mr. Yohalem, who received his B.A. from Yale (1970) and J.D. from Columbia University Law School (1973), has litigated and supervised complex cases at every level of the Federal and State court systems. Mr. Yohalem served as Chief Legal Counsel for the NM Taxation and Revenue Department, Chief of the Civil Division of the NM AG’s Office, member of the New Mexico Foundation for Open Government Board since 1998 (President from 2002-2003), member of the Board of New Mexico Ethics Watch, and co-founder and President of the Santa Fe Neighborhood Law Center Board of Directors.

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important facts

  • No deaths from exposure have occurred for the homeless since ICS began providing shelter during the winter months
  • With 14 partner providers in the Day Services Program, ICS offers Resource Days for any person needing access to services necessary to stabilize his/her life.
  • ICS is the only “come as you are” or “minimal barrier” shelter in Northern New Mexico
  • In its first year Women’s Summer Safe Haven provided over 3200 bed nights for women and children in summer 2016.
  • The most obvious indicator of the strength and benefits of the partnership between ICS and its collaborators is over 145 individuals housed last year.