Sept 2016 E-News: An Open Letter to Our Friends

With less than two months until the start of the PACEM season, we are busy in the office preparing for the 13th year of providing emergency shelter to the area’s homeless. Of course, PACEM could not operate without your support and that of Charlottesville and the greater community.

To keep our supporters connected, we are launching this new e-newsletter to provide you with ongoing updates and an inside look at life inside PACEM and upcoming PACEM events. We hope the communication will serve as a helpful way to keep the friends of PACEM updated and involved. As always, we welcome any and all feedback and thanks for reading!

pacem-moveShelter Season Expansion

This year, PACEM is hoping to extend its shelter season! Typically, our season begins at the end of October and runs through the end of March, a total of 22 weeks each year. Recently, however, the PACEM Board of Directors decided to expand the season by two additional weeks – closing our doors in mid-April – but only if we receive the necessary funds.

Extending by two weeks is just a start, but will hopefully give our guests more of a reprieve from the traditional spring rains as they prepare for the warmer months of summer. However, each additional week costs around $6000 so we are seeking to raise nearly 12,000 additional dollars for our two week extension.

Your support has always been the reason we are able to provide our homeless neighbors with shelter. If you are able to support this expansion – even in part – please do. If you are unable to do so but know someone who can, please relay this information to them. Contact Executive Director Dawn Grzegorczyk for more information.

Concessions for a Cause
This fall, we have the opportunity to partner with Aramark Concessions who provide all the food and drink at University of Virginia athletic events. For this football season, we are staffing a concession stand with volunteers at select home football games and will receive 10 percent of the sales in return, or a minimum of $50 per volunteer. If you are interested in participating please contact Program Director Jayson Whitehead. Go ‘Hoos!
Stories of Success
Guest Spotlight: Gary stayed with PACEM all of last season. During his stay we made a referral to a local clinic with whom we partner. Gary’s check-up revealed that he had a few minor health issues he needed to address. I walked with him through the process of testing and then helped him understand his new medicines.
We also worked on his barriers to housing. Like most of our guests, employment was the biggest hurdle. Gary kept looking for a regular job, yet it seemed he just couldn’t catch a break. He kept filing application after application, and each time was turned down. The odd jobs he did get ended in only part time hours, never amounting for enough for him to get his own place. Through it all, Gary was not discouraged. Read more…
Update From the Executive Director

Here at PACEM, especially during the shelter season, staff often live by Dory’s refrain. You know it. “Just keep swimming, swimming, swimming….”However, this summer I had the opportunity to lift my head above the water and  take in the full scope of what we’re doing together as a community to assist our  homeless neighbors.The National Alliance to End Homelessness (NAEH) organizes a three-day national conference each July, and I was blessed to be able to attend. In the coming months, I hope to share with you some of my takeaways. For now, if you want to explore further, check out the keynote speaker (CEO of the NAEH) here.

Thank you for your ongoing support of local efforts to help those who would otherwise be sleeping on the streets of Charlottesville. Your work and your financial support of PACEM have made all the difference in the lives of so many.
Dawn Grzegorczyk

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