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2019 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Carpenter's Shelter

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Homeless & Housing, Homeless Shelters, Housing & Shelter

Mission: Carpenter’s Shelter supports the homeless in achieving sustainable independence through shelter, guidance, education and advocacy.

Results: Carpenter’s Shelter serves over 750 homeless and formerly homeless children and adults each year. Carpenter’s comprehensive continuum of care offers continuous services, aiding the chronically homeless and shelter residents through their transition back into independent living. We empower our clients to address the issues which led them to homelessness and provide the tools necessary to achieve lasting independence. Our measurable impact is demonstrated by the fact that over 90% of clients who graduate from the shelter and continue on with our community case management program remain in permanent housing during their first year out of the shelter, which is a very vulnerable time. At Carpenter’s Shelter, we believe that every person has a right to shelter. No one shall be denied shelter or services on the grounds of race, color, national origin, creed, religion, gender, age, sexual orientation, or any characteristic protected by law.

Target demographics: Homeless Individuals

Geographic areas served: Alexandria

Programs: -Residential Shelter -Case Management -Education and Employment -Family Services -Clinic -Permanent Housing -Day Shelter (David's Place) -Winter Shelter

Community Stories

48 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I was drawn to Carpenter's Shelter by its mission to support the homeless in my community. From my first introductory tour, I have been impressed with the passion and dedication, professionalism, flexibility and creativity of Shelter leadership and staff. No two days are the same, and the ability of the Shelter to respond to changing demands and to continue to provide compassionate and constructive support under all circumstances is inspiring. And there are so many opportunities for volunteers - working the Front Desk, providing meal service, helping out with the Children's Hour, assisting in David's Place and the Winter Shelter, working special events and any number of service projects, etc. What keeps me engaged now as a volunteer is the positive atmosphere that is cultivated on a daily basis, the sense that all of us -- leadership, staff, residents and clients, volunteers, and the broader community -- are part of the success of the mission.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I previously served as a volunteer, and then later as a staff member of Carpenter's Shelter. Currently, I am volunteering.

Carpenter's is making a positive impact in the lives of the women, men and children it serves every day. Case management staff demonstrate care and compassion, and work diligently to understand each person's and families needs and provide critical services and resources. Their David's Place day shelter team works hard to meet the basic needs of chronically homeless men and women. The volunteer, development and communication teams are constantly coordinating critical support for the shelter. It all starts with the leadership team who casts their vision for a stable, better way of life for shelter residents.

As a former employee, I realize their work is tough. I strongly recommend this top notch, service-delivery organization as one of the Great Nonprofits.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering at Carpenter's Shelter since April 2019 as a way to give back to my community. I have truly enjoyed volunteering at the shelter. From the terrific shelter staff, especially the volunteer coordinator Jamila, to the residents, and other volunteers, my experience has been wonderful! It's humbling to be part of such a great community!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered with Carpenter's Shelter for several months now, especially at Children's Hour, which is a time that volunteers get to play with the kids in the shelter. It's a unique opportunity for volunteers- I've never done anything like it. And the kids love playing with new people...I hope we brighten their day as they are under a lot of stress.

Even though it's a shelter, the environment is so positive and the residents are always interacting with the staff, who is always around to assist. It's been a wonderful opportunity and I hope to continue volunteering for a long time!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Staff is efficient, hardworking, compassionate, and professional. They often acknowledge their appreciation for our volunteer time. It has and continues to be a rewarding experience!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a meal provider, have helped with organizing donations, and recently I have been doing some translating for clients. Since the moment I walked in, over one year ago, I have been impressed with the compassion, dedication, and outright kindness of the entire staff. Residents are assisted on many levels and the shelter keeps contact with former residents, helping them with housing, jobs, food, clothing, and household supplies. The shelter is temporary, but feels warm and inviting.

Alison T.2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I LOVE Volunteering with Carpenter's Shelter, they are the ones who really got me into volunteering in general. I participate with Children's Hour and Dinner Service. The staff is always so upbeat, they have really inspired me to keep coming! All the other volunteers are amazing as well and I am so proud to be a part of that group!

Star P.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering for a year and I appricate that there is a wide range of days and times available, and a range of types of volunteer work to do. I have always felt appreciated by the staff, and never felt pressured to do more shifts then I want to do. I can directly see how I'm helping out and get a volunteer newsletter to reinforce how our work is helping out.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering at Carpenter's Shelter. I've been occasionally working the front desk and preparing meals for a few years. Carpenter's Shelter takes a holistic approach to getting individuals and families back on track and it's rewarding to be a part of that. The staff is great and very appreciative of the volunteers. It is simple and convenient to sign up for volunteer opportunities through the web portal. I always come away feeling great about my time there.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Carpenter Shelter for almost a year. It’s an amazing experience to see the hard work that the staff put in every single day, and it’s nice to know that I have done my part to make the Shelter a big success. I do not know how other homeless shelter operate, but at CS, they not only try to help residents with room and board, but they also work tirelessly to help current residents to get on their own feet with employments and opportunities.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at the Carpenter Shelter since 2011. There is so much need and the shelter does an excellent job trying to meet the needs of those who are homeless. The people who work there are dedicated in helping the homeless get back on their feet.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently retired and was looking for a volunteer opportunity nearby. As my sister has been volunteering at Carpenter's Shelter weekly for the past two years for their children's play hour, I signed up to volunteer at their Front Desk. Working with the clients, the Shelter staff and so many caring community volunteers has been interesting, rewarding and never dull! There are many volunteer opportunities available, and the Shelter staff truly values each and every volunteer.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began volunteering at Carpenter’s Shelter a couple months ago. Everyone there has been very kind and welcoming. I can tell the staff truly cares about helping the residents. Carpenter’s Shelter has been making a positive impact in many individuals’ lives in the community. I am happy that I am able to volunteer with such a great organization that helps the community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had my sons drop off needed donations to Carpenter's Shelter for many years, since they were young. And more recently, I've been more involved in volunteering at the shelter. We're always greeted with positivity, purpose and appreciation. Not only does Carpenter's help the homeless, they do a commendable service in supporting its residents with the goal of getting them back on their feet.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for the Carpenter’s Shelter for the last four years. The staff is incredibly caring and compassionate. This is a non-profit that is truly making a difference in the community.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering with Carpenter Shelter's Children's Hour program for about 1 1/2 years, and it's something I always look forward to each week. The children are so appreciative of the extra attention and fun time we share, and I feel good when I leave that I've helped to make a difficult time for them just a little bit better.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at the front desk for 18 years, usually on a Saturday morning, and have always enjoyed being part of the volunteer core so essential to keeping the Shelter operating. The staff is most helpful , and the clients very welcoming. I look forward to continuing to being a part of this wonderful organization.

Jeff

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am a college student at GMU and I found out about Carpenter's Shelter through one of my classes. I chose to volunteer here and am very happy with my experience. Carpenter's Shelter is a wonderful facility doing great work. Everyone here is very nice and helpful, and they truly care about their jobs and helping the community. I highly recommend stopping by and learning more about it!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found Carpenter's Shelter while I was driving by on Duke St, it truly stands out if you are driving on that main road & the location has taken the place of a popular old shopping mall. I decided to volunteer here to give back to the community, and overall it is definitely a great place that is well organized, clean, and makes residents feel comfortable and at home! Everybody here is very helpful, it is very peaceful and quiet and it has a great location overall making it of convenience to the high population of the area!

Annie J.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Carpenter's for more nearly 13 years, mostly at the front desk, usually on Sunday mornings. It's usually pretty quiet when I arrive, so I sometimes have had the chance to have personal conversations with residents, and learn more about the shelter's programs. The quality of staff, and the regiment they've set up is wonderful. It is perfect for people who really want to change their life and get back in their own home. It's a safe and welcoming environment..

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I gave been helping out at David's Place at Carpenter's Shelter for about nine years. David's Place, open six mornings a week, provides a safe place for its clients to shower, wash clothes, use the phone and computer, and receive mail. Clients can also receive referrals to other resources. This is an invaluable resource for homeless individuals who are unable to fit into the structure of the residential shelter. It is a great and interesting place to volunteer.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Carpenters Shelter for 5 months. I work at the front desk each week and spend time with the youngest residents at Children's Hour. The staff is extraordinary, so talented and dedicated to helping those facing major life challenges get back on their feet. They look at each individual and family holistically and coordinate their talents yo improve the lives of others. They are compassionate and resourceful. I'm in awe of the extraordinary work they do. I get far more from volunteering than I give. Looking at life through the eyes of the staff and residents gives me a whole new perspective.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A true reflection of the power of community and the beauty of diversity. Carpenters Shelter is an indispensable community partner that truly makes a difference in innumerable lives.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I began my volunteer journey with Carpebter’s Shelter during the Spring of 2018. I have received more from the experience than I’ve given! The rewards have been so tremendous that I can’t enumerate them all in this review. I primarily serve the guests at David’s Place! The people there are nothing short of amazing! I’m so grateful for the opportunity to serve such a life-affirming organization in Alexandria!

1 Angela Dyson

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered with the Carpenter's Shelter Children's Hour for two years and have loved every minute. Taking an hour out of my week for their youngest residents has added a lot of joy to my life--whether I'm just running around and playing with them, talking to them, or just being silly with them in general : ) I also enjoy participating in their annual fall hike in the Shenandoah Valley with the children.

Overall, the staff are extremely knowledgeable, caring, and organized. The resources and opportunities that they provide to their residents are invaluable. I highly recommend the Carpenter's Shelter.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering for this non-profit since I first became aware of them in 2007. Over the years I have witnessed so many people who was given a new beginning by the help they received from the shelter. People who were given a helping hand soared into a new way of living. With the after care program the shelter offers their former residents there is over a 90 percent success rate that the person/family were able to break the cycle of homelessness. That is why I have continued to volunteer for them. It's a super great non-profit and I am grateful to be a part of the help they give to those in need.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been volunteering at Carpenters Shelter since 2004, and I absolutely find this particular shelter the "real deal" I've volunteered at many shelters in various cities, and out of all the shelters I've volunteered at no other shelter like Carpenters Shelter has as many programs or case management accessible to the residents as Carpenters. I've seen various people and families come into the shelter and take full advantage of all the programs and services the shelter had to offer them to which assisted them with achieving their goals of becoming independent and self sufficient, and I credit that to the amazing, hard working staff and all the other volunteers at Carpenters Shelter. Carpenters Shelter is the best!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at Carpenters' Shelter for more than ten years. For the past eight years I've helped out at the part of Carpenters called David's Place which is a drop-in shelter for homeless people who for one reason or another cannot live at the residential shelter. Six mornings a week David's Place provides a space where homeless individuals can get out of the weather, wash their clothes, take a shower, receive mail and get referrals to other local agencies. Many of David's Place clients are local, but there are clients who pass through from other areas and then move on.
I feel that David's Place adds an important dimension to the residential shelter. Not all individuals can meet the criteria of the residential shelter, but yet they need a "base" to add a little stability to their lives. Some clients are able to re-group and get on with their lives while others are not able to exist soley using their own resources.
I have always experienced the shelter staff to be helpful and non-judgemental in dealing with this difficult population. The staff is extremely supportive of volunteers.
All these reasons contribute to why I have remained a volunteer for so many years and will continue to do so.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Carpenter's Shelter is a wonderful place! They're incredibly well-organized. They do a number of events for its residents as well as events to raise money for the shelter. The people who work there as well as the volunteers truly care about the work they're doing.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The employees at Carpenter's Shelter are extremely committed to helping the residents obtain training, employment and permanent residences. Residents are supported throughout their stay at the shelter with programs provided to gain independent living.

Nadine Roberts G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at The Carpenter’s Shelter for six years now, preparing and serving lunch, along with my colleagues, on a monthly basis. We enjoy crafting our menus each month with meals that we hope are enjoyed by all and we do appreciate receiving the compliments from the residents!

It is also a truly wonderful experience to see the level of thoughtfulness and caring in the interactions of Carpenter’s staff with Carpenter’s residents. The professional and trusting atmosphere of the Shelter lends itself well to the families here and their comfort level during this difficult phase of their lives.

I have learned about the health programs, and the guidance and training offered to residents during their stay, greatly helping them to prepare for the transition to their own homes again. The Carpenter’s Team goes even further by maintaining contact with individuals, even after they have transitioned out, offering programs that help them to keep moving forward and not experience homelessness again.
The Carpenter’s Staff are an inspiring Team, making a difference in people’s lives each and every day. Thank you!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at Carpenter’s Shelter for about 2 years. I have worked at the front desk and David’s Place. I have seen first hand the compassion and dedication of the staff. Every time I volunteer there, I see an amazing group of people doing an amazing job!! One of the things that impressed me most is how positive and encouraging they are to everyone!! I was looking for a volunteer opportunity somewhere that made a positive impact on the individuals they serve and the community they work in. I found both at the Carpenter’s Shelter!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've had the pleasure of living in some major cities and volunteering at different shelters throughout my life time: New York City, Boston, DC, Tampa, etc., and by far Carpenter's Shelter is one of the best shelters to volunteer your time. The staff and volunteers at Carpenter's Shelter are absolutely amazing! Carpenter's Shelter lives up to their mission statement and then some! I constantly witness dedication from the staff and volunteers with assisting people with life improvements, finding and assisting with transitioning into long term affordable housing and so much more. I actually love seeing where all the funding goes to with my own eyes, and I'm loving what I'm seeing. For those who are interested in volunteering or donating your talents or resources, don't look no more because you can bring your many talents or your resources right to Carpenter's so the shelter can continue their amazing work in the City of Alexandria community. --I'm a dedicated volunteer, and I love Carpenter's Shelter!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Colleen D.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Such a great mission with so many amazing programs to serve those in need!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm particularly impressed by how holistic Carpenter's Shelter is - addressing issues of affordable housing, employment, addiction, mental health, short- and long-term homelessness, etc. And I'm amazed by how much they do with such a small staff. The staff clearly care for the residents and clients - sometimes tenderly and sometimes with firmness, depending on the needs of the situation. I'm proud to volunteer at such an amazing organization that seeks to serve some of society's most vulnerable adults and children.