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.

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