From the Santa Fe New Mexican, October 26, 2012, Robert Dean, Editor


Yes, we know. It was wrong to expect this glorious fall to continue. In fact, we need cold weather to return and to replace unseasonably high temperatures for the ground to rest and prepare for spring. We know this, of course, but these days
of October have been as lovely as any we’ve seen in Santa Fe. Tomatoes were still ripening on the vine. Roses bloomed. The leaves turned and began falling, all while people could walk among the colors, barely needing a sweater to ward off the chill.

No more. A hard freeze was predicted overnight, with the weekend expected to be cold before temperatures warm up again next week. Tonight’s low is expected to hit 27, with a high of 57 on Saturday. By Sunday, it will be back to the mid-60s. This bucolic spell left homeowners, lulled by warm weather, scrambling to get heaters turned on and swamp coolers shut down. It’s time to caulk windows and insulate. Winter, if not here in full force, is definitely on the way.

For most of us winter means turning on the heat and adding an extra blanket or pulling out the coats. For the hundreds of homeless in Santa Fe the onset of winter is potentially dangerous. That’s why it’s important to support those organizations that help the homeless, whether to avoid harm or to begin rebuilding their lives.

The Interfaith Community Shelter, supported by some 43 faith groups, opens at 6 p.m. Sunday. There, people who have to spend all day in the elements have a warm, safe place to gather, eat a meal and sleep without worry. Hundreds of volunteer hours and donations keep the shelter operating during the coldest months of the year. To help, go to the group’s website,, or send a check to P.O. Box 22653, Santa Fe, N.M. 87502. There’s a a statistic on the site to
warm even a Scrooge’s heart: “Homeless deaths from hypothermia were reduced to zero in 2008-2011.”

Still going strong after more than 25 years is the St. Elizabeth Shelter, which takes in mean and women, as well as families with children through its various programs. Its website is There’s an online link to donate and information
about other ways to volunteer.

As a city, we might still have a few arm days remaining this glorious fall—but the cold snap reminds us that winter is upon us. Whether in caring for our homes, or making sure the homeless around us will be safe, we still have much to do to prepare for the coming cold months.

November 25, 2010… Recognition by the New Mexican

Interfaith shelter to move into former pet store – The Santa Fe New

Oct 30, 2009 Ken Semon, chairman of the Interfaith Community Shelter Group, Friday after the group signed a six-month lease on the site to use as an

May 26, 2011 Mike Guillory, a regular guest at the Interfaith Community Shelter, removes linoleum flooring Wednesday at the facility, the former site of Pete’s

Interfaith Community Shelter: Feeding the homeless – The Santa Fe

Nov 24, 2011 Every night, just before the Interfaith Community Shelter opens its doors, volunteers gather in a circle for prayer.

Nov 8, 2008 The Interfaith Community Shelter Group still needed a fire marshal’s approval. When the green light came, volunteers from Santa Fe churches,

Interfaith Community Shelter source of hope, and for some

Nov 4, 2010 Ken and Marie Carter were among the first visitors to the new Interfaith Community Shelter that opened this week for the winter season.


City buys Cerrillos Road building to develop one-stop homeless

Oct 4, 2010 Guy Gronquist, left, of the Interfaith Community Shelter Group, and architect Vahid Mojarrab install a new sign in front of the old Pete’s Pets

Dec 13, 2011 The Resource Center — now at the Interfaith Shelter on Cerrillos Road — offers meals, clothing and other services, including help for the
Jul 22, 2009 The spat between St. Elizabeth Shelter and the Interfaith Community Shelter Group surfaced publicly after the City Council allocated $50,000 to


Feb 24, 2010 The cold, snowy nights this winter have led more homeless men, women and children to seek refuge at the shelters. The Interfaith Shelter has…/Santa-Fe-shelters-helping-hands-in-Santa-Fe




Clarification of St. E’s role in winter overflow shelter – The Santa Fe

Jul 25, 2009 Two years ago, St. Elizabeth called on the religious community to help with the increasing needs for winter shelter. The interfaith group


Homeless OneStop Shelter plan moves forward – The Santa Fe New

Jul 29, 2010 Santa Fe city councilors will move forward with plans to spend $1 million to buy and renovate a former pet store as a homeless shelter and


St. E’s has run winter overnight shelter for 12 years – Santa Fe New

Jul 25, 2009 St. E’s has run winter overnight shelter for 12 years Overflow Shelter for homeless individuals to the Interfaith Community Shelter Group.


Brrr! Winter’s on the way – The Santa Fe New Mexican

October 25, 2012 The Interfaith Community Shelter, supported by some 43 faith groups, opens at 6 p.m. Sunday. There, people who have to spend all day in the


Albuquerque crew gives homeless shelter a free paint job as part of

Oct 2, 2011 Ray Romero, left, and Cosme Jimenez of Albuquerque-based Bob’s Painting work at the Santa Fe Interfaith Community Shelter this week.





City looks to expand shelter for homeless – The Santa Fe New Mexican

Jul 19, 2010 Last winter, members of what is now called the Interfaith Community Shelter organization used the former pet store as overnight shelter that


City’s shelter deal in full swing – The Santa Fe New Mexican

Aug 2, 2010 Pete Sanders, right, former owner of Pete’s Pets, and the Rev. Ken Semon, chairman of the Interfaith Shelter Group, check in on renovations at





Groups, nonprofits provide services to aid homeless at Resource

Dec 27, 2011 The center is one-stop site that houses the Interfaith Community Shelter as well as other organizations whose goal is to provide free services to


Homeless shelter group left out in cold – The Santa Fe New Mexican

Oct 29, 2009 Susan Odiseos, vice chairman of the Interfaith Community Shelter Group, leads a training seminar Monday for

volunteers at Zia Methodist


Emergency Shelter strengthened by past – Santa Fe New Mexican

Jul 18, 2009 This primary goal of the Interfaith Community Shelter Group was achieved last winter. Our goal for the coming winter remains the same and,


Shelter’s season ends with cold snap – The Santa Fe New Mexican

May 2, 2011 About 75 people were left standing outside of the Interfaith Community Shelter in the former space of Pete’s Pets, 2801 Cerrillos Road, after


Casa Familia — St. E’s New Transition Center

Nov 26, 2009 The Interfaith Shelter in the old Pete’s Pets on Cerrillos Road also has emergency accommodations for women and children. In 2008, St.





My View: Volunteers see other side of homelessness – The Santa Fe

Oct 22, 2011 It will be discontinued Sunday, soon after which it is anticipated that the new Interfaith Community Shelter will begin operation. Such a program


Stand Down 2012: Veterans reach out to city’s homeless – The Santa

5 days ago He said those who attend can get a ride to the Interfaith Community Shelter, 2801 Cerrillos Road. He and other volunteers also have handed


Local news in brief, Dec. 20, 2011 – The Santa Fe New Mexican

Dec 20, 2011 Five local organizations, including the Interfaith Community Shelter, joined Alternative Gifts International in mounting the two-day market.


School program exposes Santa Fe Prep students to ‘real face of

Apr 9, 2011 As people began lining up outside the Interfaith Community Shelter on Cerrillos Road last Monday, the kitchen was buzzing with Santa Fe





Coalition: Report on homeless decline misleads – Santa Fe New

Jan 13, 2009 Susan Odiseos, chairwoman of the Interfaith Community Shelter Group, said Tuesday that volunteers are serving dinner to between 50 and 74


Homeless man found dead in cemetery

The New Mexican, Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Garcia was the 24th homeless person to die in Santa Fe this year, said Hank Hughes, director of the New Mexico Coalition to End Homelessness. He said that included people who were housed when they died but whose death resulted from “the rigors of being homeless.”

“The unfortunate thing is the young-age people who die,” Hughes said. “They usually don’t reach 60. It’s a rough life.”

Twenty-five people died as a result of being homeless in Santa Fe in 2006, although only six to eight such deaths were reported in 2005, he said. Coalition advocates don’t know why the number jumped so sharply, since the same criteria were used in 2005, 2006 and 2007, Hughes said.


No Place Like Home

SF Reporter, November 22, 2006