ICS Alumni Profile – Benjamin Medina
By Clare Ratliff, Scribe Editor
Benjamin, who works in the shelter as kitchen manager, comes to the shelter via the street. He has been in Santa Fe since 1989 and has been homeless, until recently, for twenty-five years. He says he spent 9 years in a 1977 Dodge truck and 10 years in a 1984 Ford truck. He initially went to the shelter on St. Michael’s and thus was at the present shelter when it opened at Pete’s Pets.
Benjamin’s main goal, wherever he is, is helping people and helping them find what they need. Thus, he was the perfect person to take on the job. The meals provided there are heart and soul of the community program, and kitchen manager is a job that requires great energy and ability to work with people. Seeing Benjamin’s great vitality, I asked if he didn’t end up doing a lot of other work as well, and he said he did.
Benjamin enjoys his work at the shelter also because it puts him right in the center of things. He has many friends who come there as guests, and he likes keeping up with them while he’s working. Almost everyone passes that way.
With the help of the shelter, Benjamin recently got an apartment at the Stagecoach Inn, ending his years of homelessness but not his engagement with the homeless community in Santa Fe. The shelter is lucky to have him.