1986: St. Elizabeth Shelter first opened in December of 1986 in response to a community-wide interfaith commitment to address the growing needs of homeless people in Santa Fe. Inspired by the work of St. Elizabeth Seton, the Sisters of Charity were fundamental in both planning and operations in the early days of the shelter. The first shelter was located in a rented building on Don Gaspar Avenue.
1988: St. Elizabeth purchased the old United Way Building at 804 Alarid St. and converted it into a facility to feed and shelter homeless men, women, and families with children. This is the current site of the Men's Emergency Shelter where to this day 28 individuals stay on any given evening. When Casa Familia opened in 2009, all women and families moved to a new facility on Berry Ave.
1991: To address an increase in requests for shelter for homeless families, four satellite apartments were rented. This was the start of our transitional Family Program.
1993: St. Elizabeth purchased a nine-unit apartment building at 1905 Siringo Road as transitional housing for families. We shared the building with Youth Shelters, an agency which provides transitional living for homeless youth.
1994: We acquired six houses on Jemez Road from the City of Santa Fe on lease for a nominal fee of $1.00 per year. The houses were on a right-of-way awaiting demolition for a new highway project. These houses provided six months of housing to homeless families through the Fall of 2001.
With a grant from the Marshall L and Perrine D. McCune Charitable Foundation, the Main Shelter was remodeled creating a sleeping room for families with children for short term (up to one month) lodging. Prior to the remodeling, families were divided between the men’s and women’s dormitories.
1996: With the help of Life Link and the City of Santa Fe, the Emergency Winter Shelter was opened for the first season. This program offered a warm, safe place to sleep for men from mid-December to the end of February.
1997: Thanks to the funding from the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, the City of Santa Fe, The Federal Loan Bank of Dallas, and the McCune Foundation, eight new transitional housing apartments for homeless families began were constructed. These apartments are the current home to the Sonrisa Family Transitional Living Program.
1998: St. Elizabeth Shelter purchased an existing building on Cerrillos Road with 28 efficiency apartments to be used as transitional housing for homeless individuals. The first guests moved into the usable apartments in February 1998 with a complete rehabilitation of the building completed that summer. This site is home to the Casa Cerrillos Supportive Living Program for individuals with disabilities.
1999: John R. McCarty charitably pays off the original loan for the Emergency Shelter. Mr. McCarty dedicated the building in honor of his family.
2002: Economic developments following the September 11th tragedy posed unique challenges on our programs and staff members as there had been a significant drop in private giving. As our funding fell, so did the economic outlook for those individuals already or on the edge of poverty. However, all of our programs operated at almost or more than 100% capacity due in large part to the efforts of our enormously dedicated staff members, interns and volunteers.
2005: St. Elizabeth Shelter began our Resource Center program. Every Tuesday and Friday, individuals in need are welcome to come eat lunch and receive case management and legal services. Siringo Senior Housing Program also opened this year.
2006: St. Elizabeth Shelter implemented our Homeless Court, wherein individuals with outstanding warrants have the opportunity to contest them in court with assistance from attorneys and case managers.
2009: Casa Familia - a shelter for women and families with childen - opens its doors. The opening of this facility doubled the number of emergency shelter beds available in Santa Fe.
2011: Resource Center moves from the Emergency Shelter on Alarid St. to the Santa Fe Resource & Opportunity Center on Cerrillos Road. The SF-ROC is a collaborative project composed of various local service agencies working together to better serve the community.
2013: St. Elizabeth held the first Hungry Mouth Festival, a friendly chef competition event where attendees vote on their favorite dishes. The event is the biggest fundraiser of the year.
2015: St. Elizabeth created the Break the Cycle of Homlessness fundraiser where bike riders participating in the Santa Fe Century have their friends and family sponsor their ride. This first year riders raised over $30,000.