Back in the winter of 2006-07, the member congregations of the Interfaith Leadership Alliance took turns sheltering homeless individuals in their sanctuaries until the Interfaith Community Shelter at Pete’s Place could be created, and we have been active supporters of the shelter ever since, raising money, preparing meals and volunteering.

For the past seven years, we have been honored to work alongside Executive Director Joe Jordan-Berenis, who is retiring this month. We wish him all the best on his retirement, knowing that his steadfast commitment to the vulnerable members of our community will be carried on in the community he helped to grow.

Joe’s many gifts include boundless energy and the amazing ability to stay calm and centered in the midst of the whirlwind of activity that is Pete’s Place. Joe’s deep respect for the dignity and worth of each of client he worked with meant that when he met their eyes, they knew they were the most important person in the room no matter what their struggles were. Joe’s dedication and compassion made supporting the shelter and volunteering there smooth and meaningful. He is a good ally. Joe spearheaded a number of improvements to the shelter over the years. One that is particularly dear to his heart is the Women’s Summer Safe Haven.

In 2017, to help launch the Women’s Summer Safe Haven, our congregations raised a sum that was then matched by a generous donor from the community, generating $23,000 for the project. In celebration of his seven years of dedicated service, the alliance is once again asking each member of our 25 member congregations and anyone who reads this to donate $5 to the Women’s Summer Safe Haven program. This year giving is easier than ever — send a check to The Interfaith Shelter, P.O. Box 22653, Santa Fe, NM 87502 or go to the webpage, click the donate button and follow the instructions. Let’s help Joe’s good work live on.

The Rev. Gail Lindsay Marriner is minister at the Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Santa Fe, where she has served for 10 years. She is past president of the Interfaith Leadership Alliance of Santa Fe.

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