How can I make a difference?

You can make a difference by donating time or money to the shelter.

  • Donate: Please consider making a financial contribution to Carpenter’s Shelter. Individuals gifts are our largest source of funding, so we rely on the support of generous community members to provide our less-fortunate neighbors with life-changing services dedicated to ending and preventing homelessness.
  • Volunteer: Carpenter’s Shelter could not operate without our volunteers. With over 1,200 volunteers donating more than 17,000 hours every year, volunteers make up 8 full-time staff members. Please consider joining this dynamic community of volunteers who support the shelter 365 days of the year from 7 a.m.-11 p.m.
  • Advocate: Communities change when people are concerned, informed and involved. Please consider spreading the word about Carpenter’s Shelter by sharing with your family, friends and community how Carpenter’s is proactively working to end homelessness. Like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, and sign up for our e-newsletter to stay up-to-date on shelter happenings!
How long do people stay at Carpenter’s Shelter?

Carpenter’s Shelter does not have a prescribed length of stay for residents. Residents are encouraged to stay until they acquire the skills and savings necessary to become independent community members. On average, single adults stay for 2 months and families stay for 3 months.

What are your operating expenses?

Carpenter’s Shelter’s FY2021 budget is approximately $2.7 million. Please visit our Financials page to view our most recent audited financial statement and IRS form 990.

What happens to families when they leave Carpenter’s Shelter?

Typically, when individuals or families leave the shelter they move into:

  • public housing

  • section 8 housing

  • market rate housing

  • rooming situations for singles

  • transitional housing programs

  • permanent supportive housing units

Affordable housing is increasingly difficult to secure because of growing demand. A lack of affordable housing continues to be the number one cause of homelessness in the City of Alexandria.

What kind of donations do you accept?
Monetary: Please visit our donation page to learn more about financial giving.
In-Kind: Due to limited storage space, we restrict our acceptance of in-kind donations. Click here and select the In Kind tab to see a complete list of accepted items, or check out our Amazon Wishlist to send items directly to the shelter.
*Due to space constraints, we cannot accept toys or clothing. Please consider contributing to our partners, Christ House and Goodwill, both of which provide clothing to our clients.
Where do all the people go during the day?
Carpenter’s Shelter focuses on empowering individuals to be self-reliant, independent community members. To that end, we require that adults leave the shelter during the day to work or seek employment. To assist residents in their job search, Carpenter’s Shelter provides one-on-one job coaching and specialized group workshops that focus on topics such as resume and cover-letter writing, computer training, financial literacy, and life skills. Once a shelter resident obtains employment, they are encouraged to save a portion of their income to go towards future housing.
Who can stay at Carpenter’s Shelter?
Carpenter’s Shelter provides emergency shelter to families and single adults who are experiencing homelessness in the City of Alexandria.

Bed space is given on a first come first serve basis for individuals. Individuals seeking shelter must complete the eligibility assessment given by the staff members of Homeless Services Assessment Center. Families must be referred to Carpenter’s Shelter by the City of Alexandria.
Why are people homeless?
People do not become homeless overnight. Generally, a series of events or conditions escalates to the point where an individual or family can no longer maintain their home. Factors can include, but are not limited to, the following:
  • Poverty
  • Job loss
  • Underemployment
  • Limited formal education
  • Chronic health issues
  • Substance abuse
  • Mental illness
  • Domestic violence
  • Unstable family arrangements
  • Lack of essential life skills such as parenting or money-management
  • Lack of affordable housing in the City of Alexandria
It is important to remember that many of these factors could affect anyone in the community—homelessness can happen to anyone.