Stories



Michael


When asked how he became homeless, Michael* paraphrases Hemingway, “Two ways. Gradually, then suddenly.” Michael grew up in Washington, D.C., has a college degree including 1½ years at Georgetown, speaks fluent French as well as some Spanish an…

Brittany


Brittany is smart, friendly, and personable -- and a loving mom to four sons and a daughter. She is also focused and determined, and although this 33-year-old’s road to permanent housing has not been easy, she finally achieved it with the help of C…

Omar


Omar* was born in Saudi Arabia, lived in Dubai as a teenager, and moved to the U.S. after getting married in 2012.  He and his wife were excited about starting a new life in the U.S., free of the constant fear of war in the Middle East.  His parent…

Robert


Robert* is an uncle, brother, Army veteran, and life-long Alexandrian. He has also struggled with homelessness for over 15 years. His struggles began when his girlfriend passed away and he was forced to leave her apartment. Unable to work because of …

Viviane


At age 19, shelter graduate and single mother Viviane left her home country, the war-torn Democratic Republic of Congo, and became an asylum seeker in the United States in 2012. However, in 2017, immigration policies changed and delayed her work perm…

Violet


Ms. Violet* came to Carpenter's Shelter after living with a family member for several years. When she was no longer able to stay there, Ms. Violet found herself truly homeless and turned to Carpenter's Shelter for support. Upon entering residential …

Jada


Jada*, her husband, and their children were displaced from their home when their landlord evicted them without warning. Initially, Jada and her husband considered staying at a motel but realized that their available funds wouldn't cover the expense. …

Sandy


Sandy, a 34-year-old mother of three, entered our shelter in August for her third time in seven years.When she entered the last time, she was again underemployed and not able to maintain housing. Sandy had a tendency to move from job to job trying to…

Linda


Before arriving at Carpenter’s Shelter, single mom Linda* spent two years going from place to place trying to find stable housing. Due to an unstable family situation and a history of bad relationships and domestic violence, Linda had trouble settl…

Jeff


When Jeff* arrived at Carpenter's Shelter, he was working to establish new roots in the community after being incarcerated. Almost immediately after moving into Carpenter's Shelter, Jeff gained full time employment at an auto-body shop. Determined to…