Giving Back to Saint Martin's Hospitality Center

Feb 18, 2015

Helping to Empower Saint Martin's Hospitality Center to End Homelessness

Saint Martin's Shelter Facility
Saint Martin's Shelter Facility

 

Guest blog post by Shannon Lee, New Mexico Small Business Banking Officer

I was lucky enough to deliver a grant check from the Washington Federal Foundation to St. Martin's Hospitality Center here in Albuquerque. (I say I was "lucky" because I simply volunteered myself along with Nancy Olson, our Osuna Branch Manager and did not know what was in store for us.) I'm embarrassed to say, I didn't know much about this non-profit foundation located in the heart of downtown Albuquerque. However, what I learned after meeting with Executive Director, Father Rusty Smith, was nothing short of life-changing.

Prior to meeting Father Rusty, I stopped at St. Martin's Day Shelter (by mistake- but sure glad I did)! The Day Shelter was in full swing and there must have been hundreds of people there (both homeless and the working poor) that stopped in to get a hot breakfast. Not only does the Day Shelter provide breakfast every day but it also helps meet basic needs, including showers, clothing and ID services for those living on the street.

The grant that was given by the Washington Federal Foundation was to benefit St. Martin's 90-day transitional living program called Dismas House. This program was established 21 years ago and assists those that have just been released from jail or prison. The primary goal for Dismas House is to provide a sense of structure for those struggling to re-enter society. In most cases, these individuals have been told for years when to go to bed, when to eat, when to shower, etc. It is quite an adjustment to be in an environment where they now have to make those decisions can be quite overwhelming at times for those eager to become productive citizens. Dismas House helps facilitate the transition.

St. Martin's Hospitality Center offers other amazing programs too like Job Development, Behavioral Health Services and the St. Martin's Coffee Shop, which is an employment training site. Seeing the sincerity in his eyes and hearing the passion in Father Rusty's voice as he spoke about the services St. Martin's offers to the less fortunate inspired me beyond belief. I am so grateful to work for a company that supports such a worthy and selfless non-profit organization in our community.

To find out more at Saint Martin's work in the Albuquerque area, please visit their website at  smhc-nm.org. Saint Martin aims to create self-sufficiency and break the cycle of homelessness.

Washington Federal's Nancy Olson (left) and Shannon Lee (right) proudly present Father Rusty Smith (center) with a donation grant.
Washington Federal's Nancy Olson (left) and Shannon Lee (right) proudly present Father Rusty Smith (center) with a donation grant.