Sojourners Advocacy Cafe
We Provide Kindness as well as:
• a warm, cafe environment for homeless women to come in from the streets and weather.
• a point of entry/contact for homeless women, some with children, living on our streets, the arroyos, and in their cars.
• drop off baby sitting for mom’s without daycare, allowing women to search for jobs, keep appointments, or simply take a much needed break.
• food, furnishings, clothing, financial help with rent, eviction prevention, utilities, etc. to people trying to stabilize in our community.
1424 4TH Street
Santa Fe, NM 87505
We Help With:
• advocacy, information and resources to women seeking housing, Protection Orders, State I.D.’s, driver’s licenses, birth certificates, transportation, gift cards, procuring donated cars, furniture, gift cards to buy essentials, baby formula, etc.
• referrals and intake for Adelante, a program that ensures homeless children have equal access to schools, uniforms, clothing, backpacks, food, etc.
• We utilize many other fellow agency resources in the community as needed.
Sojourners Requires Funding:
Donations: Food, baby supplies, furnishings, dishes, clothing. Often things we take for granted that the homeless consider a gift.
Services: Helping with an oil change (cars are houses), hair cuts, a meal, and gift cards that are available in many stores.
Volunteers: We need support from the community. Our goal is to support women who are struggling by bringing our community to them. Santa Fe has HEART!
Sojourners (under a journey):
“A place for peace and guidance for all women and children…”
(A Sojourner Participant)
The Sojourners is a safe haven & resource center for women & children.
We help with access to housing and education, sustenance, advocacy
and community networking & integration.
Once housing is achieved, so is a sense of home and community connectedness. Sojourners works in collaboration with The Life Link in Santa Fe.
Our community would be a much colder place without the resources
The Life Link diligently and tirelessly channels into our community:
providing homeless men, women and children access to supportive housing, education, medical and therapeutic services.
Sojourners: Shelter From The Storm
In December, 2007 Lynn Sanchez was living in Santa Fe pursuing her interest in archeology when she stopped by to visit a midwife friend. There she met her friend’s client Janey (not her real name), a young, expecting mother who was sleeping on the Taos mesa in a hole she had dug herself. Janey, who stands 4’11” and weighs 90 lbs, had fashioned a make-shift lean-to over the hole to protect herself from the harsh Taos winter. Regularly, her baby’s father would send his friends to kick down the lean-to in retaliation for leaving him.
Janey’s story led Lynn to learn about the plight of others who are homeless in our community, and became increasingly appalled that human beings are forced to live under such circumstances. Driving around town one day, Lynn spotted an empty storefront on 4th Street and without thinking twice, rented it herself to provide a safe space for Janey and the many others like her. Lynn named the space Sojourners in dedication to all those who seek a warm, caring place as they journey through life’s unfamiliar territory.
A few months later, Sojourners became a program of The Life Link, whose philosophy has always been that human beings need stable housing before they can begin to address life’s other issues. Becoming a Life Link program meant that Sojourners would have the administrative and financial support necessary to continue and expand its mission.
Sojourners right from the beginning has functioned as a day shelter with a coffee house ambiance as Lynn, who is also a licensed mental health counselor, endeavored to find permanent housing for her clients.
Lynn explains: “Sojourners serves people who have been marginalized by society. They live in – but are not part of – our community. Most have been or are homeless or living in cars and have suffered deep trauma. They don’t often have family support they can count on. What they so vitally need is a place to be during the day – to network and socialize with others, discover available services, search for jobs, even leave their children with a babysitter so they can do important errands.”
Lynn acknowledges her clients are often fearful of social service agencies and do not seek traditional services, so Sojourners does not have a traditional agency atmosphere. The casual café ambiance is designed to create a feeling of safety and welcome for all who enter, regardless of their current situations. Sojourners meets its clients where they are and allows them to determine their own goals at their own pace.
Through The Life Link’s housing services, today most of Sojourners’ clients have permanent housing and are working on next steps. Janey lives with her children in an apartment and pays her entire rent by herself. She holds down two jobs and attends Northern New Mexico Community College where she is studying to become a physician’s assistant.
Sojourners has recently expanded into a bigger, more comfortable space on the same block. In addition to finding housing for their clients, they also distribute food, cook meals, offer GED and other life skills classes, provide internet services, advocacy services and babysitting. They also run a donations program where concerned citizens can donate items to help mothers set up their new apartments.
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If you would like to know more about Sojourners and how you can help by donating or volunteering, please call the Sojourners office at (505) 983-4182 or contact Lynn Sanchez at (505) 470-0163.