Programs and Volunteering During Covid-19
The Interfaith Community Shelter remains committed to providing a safe place for our guests, even amidst the COVID-19 health crisis. The procedures and rules we have put in place allow us to help protect the health and safety of our guests, staff, and volunteers and are based on frequent communication with New Mexico public health authorities and our partners in the field.
While the Shelter has always focused on providing a clean and safe environment for our vulnerable population, we have implemented these general strategies to ensure the facility remains as safe and healthy as possible during the pandemic.
- Frequently cleaning and sanitizing common touch areas and surfaces around the Shelter.
- Moving and arranging furniture to allow for social distancing of six feet.
- Encouraging any employee who is feeling unwell to stay home.
- Screening all guests, staff, and volunteers for symptoms, including taking temperatures before entering the building. We arrange transportation to the Midtown Campus for testing and quarantine of any guest who has a fever of 100 degrees Fahrenheit or higher.
- Requiring face masks for anyone entering the building and providing masks to guests who do not have one.
- Promoting the consistent practice of common preventive actions, such as social distancing, hand hygiene, mask wearing, and cough etiquette with both instruction and signage posted inside and outside the Shelter.
- Limiting the number of people allowed into the Shelter; see specifics below.
- Suspending the weekly art class and moving the Hearts in Harmony program sponsored by the Santa Fe Desert Chorale outside to our parking lot, weather permitting.
Programs & Services
Seasonal Overnight Shelter
Because of the high risk of Covid transmission from people who have been travelling outside of Santa Fe, the Seasonal Overnight Shelter is only accommodating individuals who have stayed at the Shelter since January 1, 2020. If someone arrives seeking shelter who has not been a prior guest, we refer him/her to other shelter options in Santa Fe, including the midtown campus to be quarantined.
- We are sheltering up to 40 of our older or more medically fragile guests at a local motel, and a staff member checks on them daily.
- Guest capacity at Pete’s Place on Cerrillos Road is 36; (Capacity is at 30 when the Governor declares a Stage Red for Santa Fe County.)
- Guests may sign in and reserve a spot before 4:00 pm for that night.
- Temperatures are taken and masks are required for anyone entering the building.
- Every staff member and overnight guest will be tested once a week using BinaxNOW, a reliable, rapid COVID-19 test.
Resource Days: Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 am to 12 pm
- Resource Days are open to any low or no-income individual whether he or she is experiencing homelessness or not.
- Staff or volunteers take the temperature for anyone who enters the building.
- Masks are required for everyone in the building.
- The Community Closet is open, and we allow two guests at a time in the building to look for clothing or shoes at the Community Closet.
- We allow four guests at a time in the building to use one of the available four showers.
- We prepare, package and distribute lunches outside at 11:15 a.m.
- Healthcare for the Homeless through the La Familia Medical Center is available as well as limited services from The Life Link.
Host teams for Seasonal Overnight Shelter
Faith communities, civic groups, neighborhoods, or workplaces comprise our host teams, and this year we will need host teams to deliver and/or serve enough food for 50 meals. We ask all of our host team members to follow the Food Handling and Preparation Rules, which they can download from the Shelter website and to deliver the food to the Shelter by 5:30 pm. While we welcome volunteers who wish to stay and help serve dinner, we understand that some are not quite ready for that level of personal contact. New safety protocols for the kitchen include restricting the kitchen to only 3 or 4 volunteers at a time and having food served behind a plexiglass partition. In the dining area, guests wait in line six feet apart, and only 4 guests may eat at a table. Volunteers who stay to serve will be finished by 7:30 pm.
Core Teams for Seasonal Overnight Shelter
The Shelter also needs three Core Team volunteers working under the direction of a team leader each evening to check guests in to the Shelter. There are plexiglass dividers in place at registration and check-in, and we have removed the plastic enclosure in the outside waiting area to allow fresh air and social distancing. Core Team volunteers arrive at 5 pm and finish by 7:30 pm.
Resource Days (Every Tuesday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9 am to 12 pm)
Two volunteers manage the intake of guests and limit the number of people allowed inside the building at any one time. Two to three volunteers prepare and package lunches to be distributed to guests outside at 11:15 am. Two to three volunteers help sort, organize, and assist guests when choosing clothing items at the Community Closet. Only two guests at a time may enter the Community Closet on Resource Days. Two volunteers for the showers clean and prepare the shower rooms for guests and assure they follow procedures. Only four guests at a time may be in the shower area, using one of the four available showers.
Interested in supporting our services?
You can make donations on the website or by mailing a check payable to the Interfaith Community Shelter to PO Box 22653, Santa Fe, NM 87502.