Carpenter’s Cook-Off

Carpenter’s Cook-Off

Tuesday - January 13th, 2015

The 13th annual Carpenter’s Cook-Off is back on Sunday, April 26th! Cook-Off invites the area’s best restaurants to duke it out for awards and bragging rights. Don’t miss your chance to sample endless tables of delicious food and cast your vote for your favorites.


Tickets will be on sale from February 16th through April 24th. Click here to learn more or get tickets now!

Spring2ACTion 2015

Spring2ACTion 2015

Friday - March 6th, 2015

Help us raise money for Carpenter’s Shelter on April 22, 2015 as part of Alexandria’s Giving Day, Spring2ACTion! Here’s how you can get involved:


1. Donate!

You can schedule a donation in advance that will process on April 22nd or make a donation on the day-of by visiting our fundraising page.

donate button





2. Become a Free Agent Fundraiser (FAF)

FAFs create their own individual fundraising page for the shelter and invite their friends, family, coworkers, etc. to donate to their page. All fundraisers who raise $500 or more will win 2 tickets to Cook Off. Whether it’s $10 or $100, the gifts can add up and you could be looking at 2 free tickets to Cook-Off on April 26!

Follow these steps to become an FAF. The deadline to become a FAF is March 27th.


3. On April 22nd, post on social media and share with your network how you support Carpenter’s Shelter!

Be sure to attend a day-of event around the city as well:

- Visit Sugar Shack to get a free donut on April 22nd with proof of donation (print or email receipt)

- Boutiques Give Back Day – shop at participating Old Town boutiques on April 22nd and a percentage of your purchase will be donated to charity. Remember to mention Carpenter’s Shelter when you check out or hand stores this flyer.

- Visit Holy Cow, Pork Barrel, or Sweet Fire Donnas on April 22nd, mention Carpenter’s Shelter and 0.25 cents of your purchase will go to the Shelter.

- Attend an After-party at Virtue Feed & Grain the night of April 22nd.


To learn more, email Meghan Hendy or click here!

Shannon Steene Joins Carpenter’s Shelter As New Executive Director

Shannon Steene Joins Carpenter’s Shelter As New Executive Director

Tuesday - April 7th, 2015

April 2, 2015 – Carpenter’s Shelter Board of Directors announced today that Shannon Steene will join Carpenter’s Shelter as its new Executive Director, effective May 5, 2015. Steene brings almost 20 years of experienceIMG_3555 working with homeless populations.  Steene is no stranger to Alexandria, having served as Executive Director of Good Shepherd Housing and Family Services, during which time the organization received the 2013 Washington Post Award for Excellence in Nonprofit Management and the Fairfax County Chamber of Commerce’s 2012 Nonprofit of the Year.

Kerry Donley, Chair of the Carpenter’s Shelter search committee said, “We had many excellent candidates, but were particularly impressed by Shannon’s proven track record in using innovative ideas to grow and sustain nonprofit organizations.”  Just prior to joining Carpenter’s Shelter, Steene served as the Member Engagement Director for Lutheran Services in America, a national organization of over 300 member nonprofits that address some of the country’s most pressing issues.

Carpenter’s Shelter has served homeless and formerly homeless individuals and families for over 25 years.  Since its inception, it has grown to become one of the largest servicers for the homeless in Northern Virginia, serving more than 1,000 adults and children annually.  Carpenter’s Shelter has long been recognized for its achievements and innovative approaches to addressing the root causes of homelessness.  Today it is a national model for effective strategies and programming to prevent and end homelessness.

“Throughout the interview process I was impressed by the many innovative and forward thinking plans the organization has,” said Steene,  “I think we’ll be an excellent fit for one another and I look forward to doing even greater things together.”

“We’re delighted to have Shannon on board; his ideas and energy will only add momentum to an already great organization,” said Matt Sheldon, Carpenter’s Shelter Board Chairman.

2015 Marine Corps Marathon

2015 Marine Corps Marathon

Tuesday - March 31st, 2015


Carpenter’s Shelter has secured race bibs for the 2015 Marine Corps Marathon on October 25, 2015 in Washington, DC.

Join #TeamCarpenters and help us raise funds and awareness to end homelessness in Northern Virginia!


Why run with us?

  • You can conquer your marathon goal and help end homelessness at the same time!
  • We give you the guaranteed race bib and you have until October to fundraise for Carpenter’s Shelter through an easy-to-use online system.
  • You’ll receive bi-monthly team emails packed with injury prevention, training and nutrition tips.
  • You have the option of joining an RCAA-certified coach for your weekend long runs.
  • You can stash your stuff at the finish in a designated tent through our one of our partners and enjoy refreshments and post-race massages.


Interested in joining #TeamCarpenters?  Email Peyton Plummer for more information and the registration form.

Community Open House

Community Open House

Friday - January 30th, 2015

On Thursday, March 26th at 6:00 p.m. Carpenter’s Shelter will be hosting an Open House. This is a great opportunity for community members and new volunteers to tour the shelter and learn more about our services.

Carpenter’s staff will take visitors on a guided tour of our facility including the kitchen and residential space. Attendees will get to meet some of our clients and hear first-hand about their struggles with homelessness and how Carpenter’s Shelter is helping them on their road to independence.

Children are welcome at this event, and refreshments will be provided.


To RSVP or learn more, please email Peyton Plummer or call (703)-548-7500 x204.

Circle of Hope: Bowling & Valentines

Circle of Hope: Bowling & Valentines

Thursday - January 22nd, 2015

On Friday, February 13th, Carpenter’s Circle of Hope is getting together for a bowling party to celebrate Valentine’s Day. Circle of Hope is a giving circle where members commit to an annual contribution of $250 and have the unique opportunity to engage in service days and volunteer activities with their families and children. Families will be bringing valentines and cookies to the party to be given to residents at the shelter on Valentine’s Day.


Circle of Hope is dedicated to putting an end to homelessness in Northern Virginia and giving homeless families the chance to celebrate holidays even during their times of crisis. If you’re interested in learning more about Circle of Hope or joining, please click here or email co-chair Carrie Keene.

Board Spotlight: Louise Roseman

Board Spotlight: Louise Roseman

Friday - January 23rd, 2015

We recently spoke with Louise Roseman

When did you get involved with Carpenter’s Shelter?

I joined the CS Education Committee about a decade ago. 

What attracted you to the mission?

I believe we have a responsibility to help people who didn’t start life with the advantages that many of us have and too often take for granted.  In remarks to Princeton graduates in 2013, Ben Bernanke articulated what drew me to Carpenter’s Shelter far better than I could have.  He said that those who are the luckiest –in their health and genetic endowment; in terms of family support, encouragement, and income; in their educational and career opportunities; and in so many other ways difficult to enumerate – also have the greatest responsibility to work hard, to contribute to the betterment of the world, and to share their luck with others.  I greatly admire what Carpenter’s Shelter does – it gives the tools to its clients, who typically didn’t start life with the advantages I had, to break the cycle of homelessness and become self-sufficient.

What do you like to do in your free time when you’re not serving on the board of Carpenter’s Shelter?

Relax; entertain; cook (I’m just now learning!)

What sets Carpenter’s Shelter apart from other organizations?
Staff who are truly dedicated to the organization’s mission (I’m sure CS isn’t unique in this regard, but it makes its very inspiring to those who are involved with the organization)

What one phrase would you use to describe Carpenter’s Shelter?

Helping others help themselves

Share one of your favorite Carpenter’s Shelter memories/moment?

Talking to several of our scholarship recipients, who used their scholarships to get degrees or certificates that enabled them to have a career, not just a job.

Ready to Rent

Ready to Rent

Friday - January 16th, 2015

We realize that there is a stigma attached to the word homeless. Many people often associate that word with being image_1unreliable, irresponsible, and not trustworthy. At Carpenter’s Shelter, we provide a structured environment with a variety of tools available to our residents in order for them to be successful after they move out of the shelter.

Clients are encouraged to participate in our Life Skill classes and the Ready to Rent program, both of which teach them about money management and basic renting practices. We are dedicated to spending time educating our clients about the importance of being a good roommate, paying their rent on the first of each month, and being an excellent tenant.

In our 6 week Ready to Rent program, we walk each client through the renting process, making sure to create a budget and help them find an apartment they can afford. For some of our clients, the rental process can be a challenge, with previous evictions or past debts standing in their way. At Carpenter’s Shelter, we work with each of our clients to pay down past debts.

Formerly homeless individuals have a greater chance of returning to the streets within the first year of living outside of the shelter. Upon moving out, residents enter our Community Case Management program, in which we will continue to provide support through a variety of outlets for a minimum of one year. At the shelter, we will always be there for our clients in their times of need, especially after they have moved out on their own.

Not only are we there to support our clients, we are also there for the landlords that rent to them. We want to continue to facilitate excellent renter and tenant relationships in order to help our clients achieve sustainable independence.

Staff Spotlight: Isaac Bell

Staff Spotlight: Isaac Bell

Friday - January 9th, 2015

We recently spoke with Isaac Bell, our Operations Manager about his time at Carpenter’s Shelter.

What are your job responsibilities?

I am tasked with a variety of responsibilities, with an even more varied range. I often tell people I am a Jack of all trades and skilled in none. I wear many hats, from IT to keeping our building to code. I see myself as the platform that allows and creates an environment for our employees to do their work.

When did you get involved with Carpenter’s Shelter? What attracted you to the mission?

I originally became attracted to the Carpenter’s Shelter when I realized the work that was being done behind these brick walls. Living in the area, I had passed the Carpenter’s Shelter countless times, and not known what was happening here. Now that I have been a part of it for some time, it’s hard to talk to somebody, or meet someone, who has not had some touch to the Carpenter’s Shelter.

What sets Carpenter’s Shelter apart from other organizations?

The fact that we have enough volunteers to fill eight full time positions. Also the amount of money that is fundraised that actually goes towards programs is pretty phenomenal.

What do you like to do in your free time when you’re not working at Carpenter’s Shelter?

I love to cook, fish, and work on my reef aquarium. I wrench on different things around my apartment as well. With a wedding coming up, I get all sorts of “work” outside of work, so I stay pretty busy.

What aspects of your job at Carpenter’s Shelter do you find most rewarding?

It’s nice to know that there is great work being done here. I do not have what I feel is a personal touch to the social services aspect, but I still feel that staff and management give me a voice on that side of things.

In your opinion, what is the most important work that this organization does?

To actually provide a foundation for the people that come through our doors is the most important aspect. There is a service that we, or a partner provides, to every need. That’s amazing to me. If you can’t get a job because you don’t have a résumé, not a problem, our Education Coordinator has a class for that. You’re not familiar with real estate, not a problem, we have a Housing Coordinator who can help you develop a plan for housing. Even after you leave our doors, we have a great support network. I don’t know of any other place that does what happens here.