A Reflection on the Men's Shelter Internship by Stacey Xie


I always felt the disconnection between the word “virtuous” and the actualization of “being virtuous”. What is a better way to exercise the theoretical concepts that I learned at St. John’s College in Santa Fe than devoting my time and energy into helping the city's local homeless community? My summer internship at St. Elizabeth’s Men’s Shelter certainly completed this task. St. E’s provides both emergency shelter and housing programs to the homeless community in Santa Fe. St. E’s provides various housing programs that are targeted at different needs, e.g. Casa Familia is an emergency shelter for families. The Men’s Shelter that I spent my summer at is an emergency shelter that provides a living space for homeless men. During their stay, the case manager helps them with saving up enough money and finding housing that is suitable for them. To me St. E’s Men Shelter is more than an emergency living space, it creates a home for the homeless community.

I began the internship with very little idea of what to expect. Maria, the program manager at St. E’s, had put great effort into making my summer internship as well-rounded as possible, so that I could have a full picture of how a non-profit organization functions daily and what kind of work St. E’s is doing. Making the living space a home for the men who are staying at St. E’s fits the description of my major job duties at St. E’s. My daily responsibility consisted of preparing meals for the guests who stay at the shelter, doing laundry, decorating the place, organizing and cleaning. Basically, my job was very much like one’s experience of doing chores at home, and that is what the staff at St. E’s a