PACEM (Sheltering the Homeless)

PACEM 

Upcoming Dates 2017:

PACEM Training & Potluck: November 9, 6:30pm, Activities Center

November 11-25 – PACEM Hosting at Incarnation

2017 Job Descriptions

Cold evenings are fast approaching. We will host our PACEM homeless guests from Nov. 11 to Nov. 26. We want to turn the PAC into a comfortable, safe and caring place for our guests. The PACEM Pot-Luck is November 9 and open to all. Go here for more information about PACEM and how you can sign up.
PACEM is a great opportunity to serve in so many different ways. We need daily lead volunteers, cooks, meal servers, overnight volunteers, setup and take down folks, sandwich makers, hard boiled egg cookers, orange juice, and laundry volunteers. We need volunteers for evening activities and spending time with our guests. There are lots of ways to pitch in and help, consider having your family run Bingo in the evening!
Sign up by November 5. Please sign up early!
We would like to offer the men haircuts again this year. If there are any barbers or hair stylists in our parish who could serve these men contact Tom or Sheila. We are also looking for people to share their talents to make this the best experience for these men. Consider offering a Stretching Class, Nutrition Workshop, Art project, Resume Building session or any other ideas you may have.

History and Philosophy of PACEM

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.

The 2004 Homeless Census – conducted by the Thomas Jefferson Area Coalition for the Homeless (TJACH )– 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 – an acronym for People and Congregations Engaged in Ministry, a word that also comes from the phrase for peace: Dona Nobis PACEM.

Based on a rotating shelter model from Richmond, PACEM opened during the winter of 2004. As we prepare for our 13th season this upcoming winter, PACEM has provided nearly 80,000 total nights of shelter for people who are homeless in our community. Along the way, we have learned that homelessness is not simply “house”-lessness. To be homeless is to lack roots, ties to place, and a sense of belonging. Extending hospitality re-establishes this connection.* (Source: Richard Hopkins)

PACEM believes that a welcoming, safe place to shelter is the first step to addressing the crisis of homelessness.  Sharing a compassion for our neighbors in crisis, we bring the members of nearly 80 congregations and groups together each winter to address the need for shelter in our community.

Our Mission

PACEM’s mission is “To bring together the faith community of the greater Charlottesville area to provide temporary shelter, compassionate support, and access to services to homeless individuals, so they can move to a stable housing solution. This work can only be achieved by forging partnerships in the larger community.”

Shelter of Last Resort

Because PACEM is a shelter of last resort, we are sometimes required to help individuals recognize that they have other choices. There are a variety of reasons why a guest may be referred elsewhere, encouraged to move forward, or assigned a limited length of stay. The most common reasons are housing or supportive resources in a nearby community.

Broader Community Safety Net

The annual Point in Time Count* in 2016 identified 161 adults in the Charlottesville area who are homeless. Of these, 22 (less than 14%) were unsheltered.  During the Point in Time Count in 2004, 23% were unsheltered.

We would like this number to be zero, but an unsheltered count of less than 10% is a reflection of a community with a strong safety net. The decrease in the number of neighbors who are unsheltered since PACEM opened in 2004 is one way to evaluate our work. We thank our more than 3,000 volunteers for their work over the last twelve years in strengthening our community!

*TJACH’s annual Point in Time Counts (January, 2004 and January, 2016)

During the day, PACEM guests return to The Haven at 7:00 a.m. where there is a hot breakfast served. There are showers, computers, storage bins, and laundry facilities. Guests may also use The Haven’s address to receive mail.

Soup kitchens in churches around the downtown area provide lunches each day. Please refer to the soup kitchen schedule in the resource section found in the Appendix.

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We host PACEM guests in the Parish Activities Center for 1-3 weeks each year, typically the two weeks surrounding Thanksgiving.  When we host this fall, we will, once again, need hundreds of parishioners volunteer to provide food, do laundry, spend time with the men, set up and take down the area, and assist with a variety of other tasks.  If you would like to be involved in one of the many jobs that are necessary while we are hosting, please stay tuned in October for the announcements that direct you how to get involved.  As sign-ups are taking place, the spreadsheets and duties will be posted to this page, too.

We want to turn the PAC into a comfortable, safe and caring place for our guests. PACEM is a great opportunity to serve in so many different ways. We need daily lead
volunteers, cooks, meal servers, overnight volunteers, setup and take down folks, sandwich makers, hard boiled egg cookers, orange juice, milk, and fresh fruit providers,
haircutters, and laundry volunteers. We need volunteers for evening activities and spending time with our guests. There are lots of ways to pitch in and help.

If you would like to get involved with our PACEM committee, please contact Tom Eckman (eckmantj@hotmail.com) or Sheila Herlihy,  Coordinator of Justice & Charity in the office (justiceandcharity@incarnationparish.org).  If you would like to become more involved with the organization of PACEM, contact info@pacemshelter.org.

 To learn more about PACEM, click here for their website.

 


PACEM Documents (pdf)

Pacem Guidelines 2017

PACEM overview 2017

2017 Job Descriptions

2017 Volunteer Manual

PACEM schedule Nov 5 2017 webnov10