PACEM is a grassroots organization that coordinates space and volunteers to shelter for individuals in our community who are experiencing 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 Board of Directors

Resolving Homelessness in Charlottesville

PACEM provides emergency shelter and services in partnership with faith organizations and the community.

PACEM alleviates the challenges of homelessness through compassionate support, relationship building, and facilitation of services.

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Respect: Treat everyone with dignity, compassion, and empathy

Partnership: Collaborate with other organizations

Equity: Create access and opportunities


Our history: a passion for helping the homeless

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.

Full PACEM History

PACEM’S place in the community safety net
  • PACEM provided 9,591 total bed nights of congregate shelter during the 2019-2020 winter season
  • PACEM’s congregate shelters were open for 32 weeks (228 nights)
  • PACEM served 213 adults who each stayed at least one night
  • An average of 35 men and 11 women stayed each night
  • The average length of stay was 45 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 23, 2020, there were a total of 188 individuals (including children/youths) in emergency shelter beds in our community. 33% of them were at PACEM.
  • Over 80 congregations and community groups participated in PACEM