Job Coaching

Job Coaching

Monday - September 8th, 2014

Finding and maintaining employment can, at times, be a struggle for our clients. They often face an uphill battle due to an inconsistent employment history or lack of experience. At the shelter, we offer a variety of classes geared towards encouraging our clients to become self-sufficient.

Every Saturday, Carpenter’s offers job coaching classes to our clients. Clients are paired with a job coach that helps them work on their resume, fill out job applications, practice mock interviews, and much more. These classes are run entirely by volunteers, currently we have 7 job coaches who work one-on-one with our clients ever Saturday morning.

We pair our clients with a volunteer who not only will meet their needs, but are also a good match for their personalities. During the job coaching session, clients will work on their resumes and go over interview tips. Coaches will also help our clients look for positions that are a right fit for their background and experience.

Sessions like these are extremely helpful to many of our clients. Unfortunately, due to inconsistent housing, many of our clients have never held a steady job and need as much support as they can get when it comes to finding employment. Our volunteers dedicate their time and expertise to helping our clients. Their generosity is invaluable and a tremendous help.

If you would like to volunteer as a job coach, please contact Liz Salter.

Board of Directors Dinner

Board of Directors Dinner

Monday - September 1st, 2014

Carpenter’s kitchen is run entirely by groups of volunteers. Each group comes up with the menu, purchases the food, prepares each meal, and cleans up afterwards. Last year, our volunteers prepared 834 meals, saving Carpenter’s Shelter over $200,000 annually. Our kitchen volunteers are made up of a variety of groups including local businesses, religious groups, individual volunteers, and our Board of Directors.

This past Thursday, several of our board members prepared and served dinner to our residential clients. This dinner was a great way for the Board of Directors to serve our clients and show off their skills in the kitchen. A dinner of roast chicken, roast beef, scalloped potatoes, green beans, green salad, rolls, pie and cookies was served.

The purpose of our Board of Directors is to provide guidance and expertise for the shelter, and the best way for them to do so is to meet the people they are serving.  Our Board of Directors is made up of a variety of individuals that are dedicated to giving back to their community, and we appreciate them coming together to serve our clients a great meal. We are very thankful to have such an engaged Board of Directors.

Shop Our Wish List

Shop Our Wish List

Monday - August 25th, 2014

Amazon is an invaluable resource for us at the shelter. It allows us to keep our donors up to date on our needs while giving them the ability to shop quickly and affordably. While many people are aware of Amazon Prime and its free shipping feature, you might not know about Amazon Smile. When using this free new program, 0.5% of your item’s purchase price will be donated to the charity of your choice.

Here’s how:

  • Click here to sign up for Amazon Smile
  • Search for “Carpenter’s Shelter”
  • Click select, and then you’re done!

It’s that simple and this feature can be used on any purchase, regardless of whether it is personal or donation items.

Take advantage of Amazon’s great programs and shop our wish list today! We are always in need of toiletry items such as deodorant, toothpaste, and tooth brushes; we also have needs for special items such as flash drives, which our clients use to store their resumes when job hunting.

Our wish list is updated consistently based on our needs. For any questions, please contact Liz Salter.

Changes at the Shelter

Changes at the Shelter

Monday - August 18th, 2014

At Carpenter’s Shelter we are constantly striving to make our programs as efficient as possible in order to better serve our clients and community. We are regularly searching for innovative ways to better serve Alexandria’s homeless population. Recently, the shelter has evolved and undergone some changes that we want to communicate to our valued volunteers, donors, and community members.


The Homeless Service Assessment Center (HSAC) was created to screen homeless and at-risk individuals in order to better assess their needs and detect potential barriers before entering shelter. Over the past year, the program has been housed at Carpenter’s, however, on August 1st the program transitioned to the City of Alexandria’s Department of Community and Human Services. The purpose of this move is to help streamline the HSAC program in order to reduce redundancies within the homeless service field. This change will allow us and the City to better serve the needs of the homeless community and better connect them with other homeless service agencies throughout Alexandria. Now, any family or individuals seeking shelter in the City of Alexandria will call one number for immediate assistance.


Equally, the need for Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) has begun to rise in Alexandria. Supportive housing gives individuals and families more stability while providing them with a cost-effective combination of affordable housing and services that allow them to lead more productive lives. Carpenter’s has taken the initiative to reduce our shelter space from 80 beds to 60 beds in FY2015 in order to meet the needs of supportive housing.


Carpenter’s Shelter has begun the process of working with HomeAid, a national non-profit that builds and renovates multi-unit shelters. The goal is to remodel our rooms that are no longer in use and transform them into Permanent Supportive Housing units. We will be creating 8 micro-units; 4 on the male floor, and 4 on the female floor. The new tenants will pay no more than 30%-50% of household income towards rent. Tenants will receive therapeutic services and case management through the City of Alexandria’s Community Service Board (CSB), which provides all City mental health, intellectual disability and substance abuse services.


We are constantly working to improve our programs and shelter in order to better serve the needs of our clients and greatly appreciate the continued support of our volunteers, donors, and community.