Paying It Forward

Paying It Forward

Culpeper Shelter not only provides emergency shelter for those in need, but also with Rapid Re-Housing funds assist many families to obtain permanent housing. Over the past several months CCDC has rapidly re-housed six families. These families were in the emergency shelter for several weeks to several months. All six families are presently in permanent housing and doing well. CCDC provides ongoing case management to help these families succeed.

It has become evident that families and individuals that spend less time in the shelter and receive help to move into permanent housing tend to do better. They will work harder to remain stably housed. Meeting routinely with a case manager for budget and housing counseling becomes a way of life and not a chore.

Recently we had a mother of two come back to the shelter for an unexpected visit. She had not come this time for shelter. She came by (as she said) “to pay it forward.” CCDC had provided this family with shelter for several months while the mom found employment and a landlord who was willing to rent to her. We were able to help with her security deposit and first month’s rent so she could move into her own apartment. She has continued to stay in touch and works hard to maintain a home for her children.

She came to the shelter bearing gifts for other shelter families. She bought paper towels, toilet paper, two fruit baskets, a salad basket, and children’s toys. Her daughter fixed a basket with small toys and items for children. She stated she was so appreciative of all the help she had received and wanted to “pay it forward” to help others. This is a mother who lives on a tight budget but felt the importance of giving back.

As the Executive Director of CCDC and a case manager for over 16 years, times like this simply warm your heart. Helping the homeless and those in need in the Culpeper community is our job and a job we love to do. Touching lives in a special way is a true blessing.

If you would like to get more information about Culpeper Shelter and the various programs that we provide or find out how you could be of help please contact Cheryl Carter -Executive Director -825-7434.

Photo by Matt Collamer on Unsplash

Turning the Bad into Good

Turning the Bad into Good

As the Executive Director of Culpeper Housing and Shelter Services (CHASS) I meet women every day from all walks of life. Each one has her own difficult circumstances to deal with and her own level of pain to endure. One may have a disability, another may be struggling with fear and anxiety, or another has been physically or sexually abused. There are women battling addiction, the loneliness of divorce, or the feeling of betrayal. Another may have lost her children due to homelessness.

Each woman has a different level of regret, shame or hurt as she shares her life changing experience. Many, if not all, had something in their past that has made them feel unloved and insignificant. Some stories are harder to listen to than others, yet each woman needs someone to listen and to care. That is something we do at CHASS is listen, care and then try to find the answers to help these women get back on their feet again.

I have heard many times that God will use for good what the devil intended for evil. God has a purpose for each one of us. It doesn’t matter how different our past experiences are. We can choose to live as proof of the power of God to change our lives. God’s love is unconditional. He doesn’t judge. It doesn’t matter what has happen in our past, or what we have or have not done. He has a plan and purpose for every life – not despite our difficult past, but because of it.

I would like to share part of a letter I received from a client recently. She is a single mother with four children. She came to CHASS with nowhere to go. We were able to put her and her children into housing where they have all thrived. The children are honor students and have won many awards at school. The mom still struggles every month with bills as she can never be sure of her child support, yet she works two jobs to keep food on the table and a roof over her children’s head.

“As their mother I am over the moon but the key to our family and its success has been this home! ! Being stable and safe are two of the most important gifts I can provide for my family. CHASS has changed our lives forever. I am thankful EVERDA Y for this home!! Without the support and amazing staff of CHASS I don’t know where we would be! Thank each and everyone of you! You change lives, you give hope and I will always be FOREVER Grateful. Thank you”

This is just one of the many letters and cards we get thanking us for what we do. I feel it is truly a blessing to be able to help so many families on a daily basis. CHASS provides shelter, financial assistance and case management to clients as needed.

If you would like to find out more about CHASS please contact: Cheryl S. Carter, Executive Director – 540-825-7434.

Image by Rob1n from Pixabay