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 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.


  • 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.

Together we help our neighbors

PACEM coordinates the efforts of community faith congregations, secular organizations, and individuals allied in service to our most vulnerable neighbors.

Board members and ED serving guests, March 2023