Companions of the Way - an intentional community
There are currently nine Companions living in Community at the Mercy Center and at the House of Peace. 

Amelia's passion for social justice calls her to work with people traumatized by poverty and other forms of violence. Trained as a contemplative psychotherapist, she is a Vajrayana Buddhist in the lineage of Reggie Ray and Chögyam Trungpa. As a Catholic Volunteer Network - AmeriCorps member, she provides case management, crisis intervention and support to Dorothy's guests and also coaches, trains and supports Dorothy's staff.  Living in community is an opportunity for deepening her practice of maitri, compassion, joy and equanimity. 

Audrey has been with Dorothy's Place for several years and is in the process of transitioning out of Community.

Catherine, Ryan and baby Justice are a new family, just getting to know each other in their new roles. Catherine is our AmeriCorps VIP Volunteer Coordinator; Ryan contributes to our Mercy Center Community and baby Justice is an Ambassador of Love for the Community and the street.

Lisa works in Dorothy's Kitchen and lives at the House of Peace.

Michael is the coordinator of St. Clare's Corner program at our residence on Jefferson Street where he serves the poor (generally the farm workers in our area) with emergency food and household goods during the months of November through May.  He is also Sunday staff for Dorothy's Kitchen, caretaker of our residence and just a generally indispensable baseball fanatic!

Stephanie works at Women Alive! as the Guest Advocate and is a Catholic Volunteer Network - AmeriCorps member. She is a yoga teacher and practices other somatic healing modalities as well.

Taina is the Women Alive! Volunteer Coordinator through the Catholic Volunteer Network - AmeriCorps organization. She has a Bachelor's degree in Political Science and a Master's degree in Diplomacy and International Relations. Since her graduation, Taina has worked as a women's rights advocate, middle school teacher, and as a grassroots organizer for prison reform and community-based solutions to incarceration.

Talia has found herself in this community and is continually learning about homelessness, and practicing loving kindness. She practices aikido, a Japanese martial art, which helps her re-think conflict and approach intense energy in a thoughtful and loving way. Talia cares deeply about food justice, especially access to healthy food for those living in poverty, and works with the kitchen to provide healthy meals for all guests at Dorothy’s as a Catholic Volunteer Network - AmeriCorps member.

Our Founder, Robert Smith, began a Catholic Worker group in Salinas in the 1980's which evolved into Dorothy's Place and the Companions of the Way. He is known for his great love which spread throughout the Salinas Valley. He and his family are no longer living with the Companions, but their legacy lives on! You can read Robert's writing at

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