Lance Cheslock '82

Louis T. Benezet Award

Lance Cheslock '82 is the recipient of the Louis T. Benezet Award. Thirty-one years ago, Cheslock began his work guiding La Puente - a small, rural homeless shelter serving Colorado's San Luis Valley. Today it is considered the most comprehensive rural homeless program in the 50 states. Annually, over 12,000 individuals and family members receive at least one of La Puente's services.

Through the years, La Puente has blazed a path of innovation to overcome the barriers and challenges of becoming a viable nonprofit organization that can thrive within an isolated, high-poverty region. La Puente's model integrates robust partnerships, a diverse family of social enterprises, a broad base of community volunteers, and decades of harnessing heartfelt energy from young adults who dedicate a year of service through AmeriCorps.

Cheslock has been a strong advocate in sharing the story and dynamics of the silent epidemic of rural homelessness, both in Colorado and nationally. He stayed as an anonymous guest in a diverse array of homeless shelters throughout the United States, gaining a deeper empathy and understanding of people's experience of homelessness. As a legacy, Cheslock would like to silently and anonymously leave behind a multitude of changed hearts, individuals who believe in the worthiness of the homeless and the migrant worker, and individuals who make their own efforts to serve and uphold the dignity of the neediest in our communities.

Report an issue - Last updated: 09/20/2021