As Temps Drop, PACEM Opens Doors to Homeless


CHARLOTTESVILLE, VA (NEWSPLEX) — Winter months are fast approaching, and PACEM is already helping dozens of people in Charlottesville’s homeless community come in from the cold.

The organization provides a seasonal shelter of last resort for people with nowhere else to go.

“It’s especially hard to live on the streets in this weather, when it gets really cold,” said PACEM Executive Director Dawn Grzegorczyk. “We have hundreds of neighbors in our area who need that safety net who otherwise would be out on the streets without food without shelter. It’s a hard place to be, it takes years off your life.”

This year, PACEM started at the end of October and had helped at least 70 people by mid-November.

More than 70 of PACEM’s partnering church congregations work together each year to provide support services, such as food and entertainment, or actual shelter every night.

“They open the doors to their places of worship, set up cots and welcome our homeless neighbors in,” said Grzegorczyk.

PACEM typically serves around 200 people each winter in the Charlottesville community.

Grzegorczyk said the complex program would be impossible to run without support from the general public.

“I think all of us want a community where each of our community members has the resources they need to survive,” she said.

This year, PACEM will provide its services to the homeless through April.