PACEM: Hosting the Ladies

We will be hosting the homeless women of PACEM from February 11th to 18th.  The sign up sheets for you to provide food, host the dinner, spend the night with the ladies or help set up/clean up will be in the Social Hall after every service in January and the first week of February.  We usually experience that we engage nearly 100 volunteers to provide this warm hospitality.  The Central Virginia Islamic Society are our partners for this hosting.

If interested in volunteering, please contact Elizabeth Breeden, [email protected]

In 2003, Charlottesville clergy and homeless advocates created PACEM after members of the Downtown Ministerial Alliance shared the experience of showing up for work in the morning and regularly finding homeless neighbors sleeping in the doorways. TJACH’s 2004 Homeless Census supported the experience of the downtown clergy. Dozens of individuals were living in the streets, in the woods, in their cars, in abandoned buildings, behind garbage dumpsters, or around churches in the middle of winter. With a pressing need for shelter, the Downtown Ministerial Alliance and TJACH joined together. They gave their grassroots initiative the name PACEM.

PACEM is a grassroots organization that coordinates space and volunteers to provide shelter for individuals in our community who are homeless. More than 80 faith congregations and community groups and 3,000 volunteers in the Charlottesville area come together each winter to address the need for shelter by opening their doors, serving evening meals, giving financially, and providing companionship. PACEM believes that a welcoming, safe place to shelter is the first step to addressing the crisis of homelessness.

  • PACEM provided 6,524 total bed nights of shelter during the 2015-16 winter season
  • PACEM’s shelters were open for 22 weeks (153 nights)
  • PACEM served 219 adults who stayed with PACEM for one night or more
  • An average of 34 men and 18 women stayed each night
  • The average length of stay was 30 nights
  • PACEM partnered with the Salvation Army to provide a Warm Room for guests to stay when our beds were full
  • On the night of the Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless (TJACH) Annual Homeless Census, conducted January 28–29, 2016, there were a total of 134 adults in emergency shelter beds in our community. 31% of them were at PACEM.
  • Over 80 congregations and community groups participated in PACEM

-Elizabeth Breeden

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