On a cold winter night in Alexandria, a local pastor opened his church doors to three homeless men. With just two volunteers and 10 cots, he laid the foundation of Carpenter’s Shelter. Since then, the organization has moved into an 80-bed, mortgage-free emergency shelter and engaged over 1,000 volunteers. At the Residential Shelter, families and individuals alike find a temporary home and the help they need to secure a permanent one. Life-skills classes, job-readiness training, and assistance with housing placement are all provided – as well as school, health, and medical services from the Shelter's community partners. David’s Place day shelter offers showers, phones, laundry facilities, a mailing address, and shelter and housing placement referrals to chronically homeless adults; a Winter Shelter provides a warm sleeping place in the colder months. And moving away doesn't mean being forgotten: the Shelter also offers continued case management and educational opportunities for those living independently. For 1,000 homeless and formerly homeless people, Carpenter’s Shelter is more than a building with beds. It is a source of hope for the future.

Headquarters: VA-City of Alexandria

Where They Operate: VA-City of Alexandria

Age Groups Served: All

Ethnic Groups Served: African American; Caucasian

Schools They Work In: Alexandria City Public Schools ; St. Stephen's & St. Agnes School ; George Mason University; Potomac School

Awards & Recognition

Charity Navigator's 4-star rating for sound fiscal management- Fall 2015
Alexandria Chamber of Commerce Business Award Nominee- 2015
Featured in The Washingtonian Magazine as one of the Best Small Charities in the region - Dec 2008
Charity Navigator's 4-star rating for sound fiscal management - March 2008
United Way Eureka! Award for Nonprofit Innovation - 2006
Bank of America's Neighborhood Builder Award - 2005


  • Governor Makes Meaningful Return
    Thu Jul 29 2010, Alexandria Times  
    Governor Bob McDonnell visited Carpenter's Shelter on July 27 to present a generous contribution to board, residents, and staff.

Budget (FY2012)

  • $3 million or higher
  • The current budget for Carpenter's Shelter is: $1 million to $3 million
  • $500k to $1 million
  • Less than $500k

Catalogue charities range in size from $100,000 to $3 million. This graphic indicates the budget range of the organization featured here. If you see an organizational budget above the $3 million mark, that is because the featured charity has grown in size since it first appeared in the Catalogue. We proudly present on our website the work of these "growth" charities.

About the Catalogue for Philanthropy

Each year 120 expert reviewers evaluate applicants for distinction, merit, and impact. Each featured charity has been successfully site visited and its financials given the thumbs up. The Catalogue for Philanthropy charges no fees and raises funds separately to support its work. Since 2003, it has raised over $34 million for charities across the Greater Washington region.

The Catalogue for Philanthropy looks to friends like you to keep our services independent and entirely free of charge. Consider a small contribution to the Catalogue to cap off your gift and help the causes you care about get the full support they deserve!

If you like Carpenter's Shelter you might also like

This organization collaborates with