Staff & Volunteer Appreciation Dinner
On Sunday, October 1, 2023, Puerto Seguro Safe Harbor, Inc. celebrated the volunteers, board members, and staff that make our work in the community possible. It was also an occasion to celebrate the retirement of "Miss Jane," our long-time front desk volunteer, kitchen worker, and woman of many hats. (Miss Jane literally wears a variety of hats, some whimsical, some festive. She remembers every person's name and has a great sense of humor.) Jane has served the clients of Puerto Seguro for 11.5 years. This translates to more than 7,000 volunteer hours. With all our hearts, the people of Puerto Seguro thank Miss Jane for her unfailing love and service. Please visit us often, Miss Jane. We love you!
Puerto Seguro Safe Harbor, Inc., is run by unpaid volunteers, unpaid board members, and a handful of modestly-paid staff members. The Board Chair of Puerto Seguro Safe Harbor, Inc., Shay Kelly, expressed gratitude for the men and women who serve men, women, and children experiencing homelessness and housing insecurity in Socorro:
"These folks actually love people. They very much care about them. Like Chris knows whether people are allergic to eggs or are missing teeth; Maria knows if people are lactose intolerant or vegetarian; and Miss Jane always works with love and compassion. Even after years (of service), they keep serving with love. It speaks to their character. And they do this largely unappreciated by the community. On the day-to-day grind, it’s a pretty thankless job. The community doesn’t say, “Oh, hero! You saved peoples lives!” but this is the reality: They save the lives of our neighbors."
Below, read about some of our core volunteers who are the backbone of Puerto Seguro Safe Harbor, Inc., and make a difference every day. According to Shay, these special people "are giving a tremendous amount of their time" and performing "some of the hardest jobs in the community." Shay adds, "They work with people in immediate crisis at all times. We have a population in crisis and these folks are voluntarily, without a salary, coming in and doing this work and they keep at it. Not only do they come in once a week, they keep coming in, on the front lines of this crisis that is happening in our community every day."
Chris Archuleta, Volunteer Manager of the Cooling and Overnight Center, and Daily Manager of the Food Pantry. As an unpaid volunteer, Chris has donated over 400 hours of his time to the Cooling and Overnight Center. The Center is open when the outside temperature is above 100 degrees or below freezing. According to Shay, Chris does this with a generous heart. "He does that 8 hours a day when it's cold or the temperature is over 100 degrees. That’s a lot of time."
Charla Alsvig, Volunteer. Charla helps run the front desk and often assists Chris with the Cooling and Overnight Center. Shay states, "Charla works so hard. She is really sweet and volunteers despite having some physical problems. She is a great person and she is almost always here."
Danny Hill, Board-Member-at-Large and All-Around Volunteer. Danny is a can-do volunteer. Like Chris and Charla, he is at Puerto Seguro every day we are open providing whatever help is needed. According to Shay, "Danny talks to people, fixes things, and makes sure people are getting what they need."
Other volunteers not photographed include Katie, Rita, and Maria. According to Shay, "Katie is another volunteer who does great work, Rita is amazing—she is always there, really comes in when we need her. And Maria is our awesome kitchen cook." In addition to these volunteers, Puerto Seguro Safe Harbor, Inc., has nine unpaid board members who perform a variety of jobs, including grant writing, maintaining financial records, reaching out to donors, and creating collaborations with community organizations. (See Board.)
The Appreciation Dinner also celebrated our staff members, including Zach, our Shelter Director; Ruben, our Staff Manager; and Cassie and Michael, our Safe Harbor Second-Hand Store staff. These four individuals are essential to keeping Puerto Seguro open, functioning, and running smoothly. From left to right, pictured are (L) Zach, his wife Brooke, and son William; Ruben Armijo; and (R) Cassie and Michael.