Carpenter's Shelter (Alexandria, VA)


  • Name:Peyton Plummer
  • Title:Development Associate

Organization Address

  • Organization Name:Carpenter's Shelter
  • Address:930 N Henry St
    Alexandria, VA 22314
    United States

Organization Phone

  • Main phone:703-548-7500

Organization Web

User Email


Click map for a full size active view.


  • Mission:
  • Carpenter’s Shelter supports the homeless in achieving sustainable independence through shelter, guidance, education and advocacy. Through a comprehensive continuum of care, Carpenter’s connects individuals and families with the services they need to break down their barriers to independence. We meet clients at any stage of homelessness and develop individualized plans aimed at addressing their immediate needs and subsequent road to stable housing.

  • Overview:
  • For 27 years, Carpenter’s Shelter has been a community leader in preventing and ending homelessness. Our 60-bed emergency shelter is open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, and we serve more than 1,000 homeless and formerly homeless men, women and children each year. We operate one of the largest emergency shelters in Northern Virginia with rigorous case management, education, employment and housing services; a day shelter that addresses the basic needs of chronically homeless individuals; a Winter Shelter run from November to April; and a Community Case Management (CCM) program that continues to support clients who have graduated from the shelter for a minimum of one year. Our measurable impact is demonstrated by the fact that 90% of CCM clients remain in permanent housing during their first year out of the shelter.

    Carpenter's main goals are to empower clients to address the issues which led them to homelessness and provide them with the tools necessary to achieve lasting independence. Carpenter’s Shelter is unique because we not only meet the immediate needs of homeless individuals but also educate them in life skills, prepare them for employment, and help them become self-sufficient. Recognizing that stable housing is achieved through the ability to gain and maintain employment, manage personal finances, lead a healthy lifestyle, and secure adequate childcare, we offer the following comprehensive services: individualized case management; adult education; workforce development; housing placement services; an on-site health clinic; food and nutrition; and children’s services.

    When individuals and families enter the shelter, our case management staff conduct an intake assessment and work with each individual client to develop an Individualized Housing Plan (IHP) that addresses each individual’s root cause of homelessness—which often includes poverty, limited formal education, mental or physical health issues, and domestic violence history. During their stay, residents are required to be clean, sober and working or seeking employment. They are also encouraged to save 70% of their income while staying at the shelter to go towards future housing. Clients work with case managers to set goals for their stay that are focused on the attainment of stable, affordable housing. Along with case management, residents are provided with a variety of educational programs and housing services that help them break down their barriers to independence. Carpenter’s emphasis on programs is a distinction from many other shelters, and the success of clients is greatly attributed to the strength and variety of the services provided.

    Carpenter’s target population includes homeless individuals and families with children; chronically homeless adults; and individuals who have recently transitioned back into the community following an occurrence of homelessness. Clients include disabled persons, newborn to elderly persons, veterans, parolees and refugees. Every individual that Carpenter’s serves is low-income; the majority of clients earn little above minimum wage. Although 63% of our residential clients are employed upon entering the shelter, most are significantly under-employed and lack many of the skills needed to establish and maintain better jobs.

    Carpenter's Shelter is operated by 18 full-time staff members, up to 14 part-time staff members (depending on the season), and over 1,000 volunteers. Volunteers are a key component of Carpenter’s success as they donate more than 17,000 hours of their time and services to the shelter each year. Volunteers bring and prepare over 800 meals every year, contribute to many essential operating tasks, and support various programs through child-tutoring, professional development, and assisting with child recreational activities. Engaging local community members, religious institutions, and businesses in this way has been a rewarding aspect of the shelter and serves as an additional means of promoting awareness, community engagement, organizational accountability and sustainability.

    A proactive and diverse 14-member Board of Directors governs Carpenter's Shelter and oversees an annual budget just over $2 million. The board meets bi-monthly to discuss finances, development campaigns and program outcomes. They also work with staff and volunteers in the following committees: Program Committee, Development Committee, Finance Committee, and Governance Committee.

  • History:
  • Carpenter’s Shelter began in 1982 on a cold winter night when the pastor of Blessed Sacrament Church in Alexandria found one man sleeping in his car and another asleep in the doorway of the church. He responded by opening the doors of the empty church basement with the help of two volunteers and ten cots. In 1988, we officially became Carpenter’s Shelter, open 365 days a year, 24 hours a day, and serving over 1,000 men, women and children annually. Over the past several years, Carpenter’s has systematically evolved from a "warehouser of people" into a "center of learning" complete with a wide range of educational services and opportunities. We believe that education is the key to lasting independence and therefore redesigned our services to focus on education that allows homeless families and individuals to achieve stability.

    In September 2012, Carpenter’s Shelter became a founding member of The Partnership to Prevent and End Homelessness (PPEH) in the City of Alexandria. This partnership represents collaboration between the City of Alexandria and the human service organizations within the City of Alexandria. In order to reduce barriers to entry into the emergency shelter system, The Partnership created the Homeless Services Assessment Center for individuals (HSAC). Although centralized intake existed for families, individuals were coordinated inefficiently in the city and a gap in services existed. HSAC was initially overseen by Carpenter’s Shelter before being moved to the city in 2014. The establishment of HSAC in the City of Alexandria marked the beginning of a new direction—responding to a gap in services and creating a standardized system within the jurisdiction. HSAC staff refers qualified individuals to the residential shelter at Carpenter’s Shelter or to the Alexandria Community Shelter if our shelter is full. Carpenter’s Shelter collaborates with the Department of Community and Human Services for family referrals into the shelter.

    In 2014, Carpenter's reduced our emergency shelter bed space from 80 beds to 60 beds. This transition was made in response to decreasing utilization rates, averaging 75%, and the growing needs of our more complex clients. Although homelessness has decreased overall in Alexandria over the last couple years, Carpenter’s increasingly sees more complex cases of homelessness where individuals and families suffer from multiple disabilities and barriers to independent living, such as mental illness, developmental delays, and substance abuse. In an effort to better serve these complex clients, Carpenter's is embarking on a new, exciting initiative to develop Permanent Supportive Housing (PSH) units on site using the newly inactive rooms. PSH provides a successful, cost-effective combination of affordable housing with services that help people live more stable, productive lives. It is an innovative solution to chronic homelessness that has been successfully implemented in communities across the nation and helps decrease the use of homeless shelters, hospitals, and prisons; enhances the safety of neighborhoods; and improves the stability and well-being of the individuals who utilize it (according to

    In the spring of 2015, Carpenter’s Shelter will be working with HomeAid, a leading national non-profit that builds and renovates multi-unit shelters, to remodel the rooms we took offline into PSH units. We will be creating 8 micro-units—4 on the men’s floor and 4 on the women’s floor. These will include individual space with a bed, lounging chair, desk, kitchenette and shared hallway bathrooms. Tenants will receive therapeutic services and case management through the City of Alexandria’s Community Service Board (CSB), which provides oversight for all City mental health, intellectual disability and substance abuse services. Although staff at Carpenter’s Shelter will not be directly case managing the tenants, we will provide “eyes on the ground” and communicate any concerns to CSB. Carpenter’s Shelter is uniquely positioned to create this innovative solution of PSH micro-units within our building and respond to our clients’ needs through semi-independent living with CSB case management and program support.

  • Year established:1988
  • Endowment:Unknown


  • Executive / Trustee board size:14
  • Advisory board size:
  • Staff size:18


  • Organization type:Grantseeker
  • Country of registration:United States
  • Tax Determination Letter:Received Determination Letter
  • IRS Section:501(c)(3)
  • IRS Subsection:509(a)(1)
  • Tax ID:54-1571849

Other Organization Web

IRS Business Master File Information

  • EIN:541571849
  • Organization Name:CARPENTERS SHELTER INC
  • Sort (Secondary) Name:
  • Care Of Name:
  • Organization Address:930 N HENRY ST
  • Organization City:ALEXANDRIA
  • Organization State:VA
  • Organization Zip:22314-1621
  • Group Exemption Number:0000
  • Subsection Code:03
  • Classification Code(s):1, 2
  • Subsection/Classification Desc.:Charitable Organization, Educational Organization
  • Affiliation Code:3
  • Ruling Date:March, 1991
  • Deductibility Code:1
  • Foundation Code:15
  • Foundation Code Desc.:Organization which receives a substantial part of its support from a governmental unit or the general public 170(b)(1)(A)(vi)
  • Activity Code(s):399
  • Activity Code Desc.(s):Other housing activities
  • Organization Code:1 (Corporation)
  • Exempt Org. Status Code:01 (Unconditional Exemption)
  • Tax Period:June, 2016
  • Filing Requirement Category:01 (990 (all other) or 990EZ return)
  • Accounting Period:June
  • NTEE Code:L41Z
  • Asset Amount:$5,512,005
  • Asset Code:7 ($5,000,000 - $9,999,999)
  • Income Amount:$3,256,783
  • Income Code:6 ($1,000,000 - $4,999,999)
  • 990 Revenue Amount:$3,110,454
  • Last Updated:2/21/2018 4:41:08 pm

This information is directly from the IRS Exempt Organization Business Master File at Exempt Organizations Business Master File Extract. This information is not under the control of the Common Grant Application and is collected and compiled and can only be changed by the IRS.