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Amazon Donates $300,000 to Finish Alexandria’s New Carpenter’s Shelter

$300,000 gift will go toward the New Heights Campaign to provide shelter and housing services for up to 625 children, women, and men experiencing homelessness in Northern Virginia

Shannon Stene, executive director of Carpenter’s Shelter, speaks at a New Heights Campaign fundraising event at Purple Strategies. (Photo by James Cullum)

ALEXANDRIA, VA– The Carpenter’s Shelter has now met the $2 million fundraising goal for its New Heights Campaign, thanks to a $300,000 cash gift from Amazon. The $300,000 gift is the single largest donation to the campaign, which will help support the construction and furnishing of one facility with three shelters serving children, women, and men as well as expanding support services and exploring new approaches to ending homelessness.

The Amazon Effect

“We’d like to extend a warm welcome to our new neighbor, Amazon, and thank them for joining the hundreds of supporters who have helped us reach New Heights,” said Shannon Steene, Carpenter’s Shelter’s Executive Director. “By continuing to invest in issues of homelessness and affordable housing, Amazon has joined the incredibly generous community that powers our mission every day.”

Construction Rendering of the new development, looking south along Route 1. Carpenter’s Shelter will occupy the first floor, and the apartment housing will occupy the top six. (Photo courtesy of AHDC)

“Carpenter’s Shelter provides essential housing and services in the Alexandria community. New Heights is an innovative use of land and brings additional affordable housing paired with services for those who need it most,” said Alice Shobe, Director, Amazon in the Co mmunity. “We are grateful to join this effort and help complete the New Heights Campaign ahead of schedule.”

Other Notable Contributors

In addition to recognizing Amazon’s generous contribution, Carpenter’s Shelter credits the successful completion of the New Heights Campaign to more than 400 generous local donors, businesses, faith communities, and private foundations. Charitable contributions of particular note come from the Hoffman Family, LLC, Daniel E. Offutt Charitable Trust, Mr. and Mrs. John Siegel and Mr. Earl W. Stafford.

Publicly launched in May 2019, the New Heights Campaign supports Carpenter’s Shelter’s ambitious property redevelopment project at their longtime home base in North Old Town cARAlexandria.


The New Shelter Will Be State-of-the-Art

In a collaborative partnership with the Alexandria Housing Development Corporation (AHDC), Carpenter’s Shelter demolished their old facility at 930 North Henry Street and began construction on a new, state-of-the-art building.

When construction ends in 2020, the new building will provide a 60-bed, purpose-built homeless shelter, a day shelter for the chronically homeless, a winter shelter fighting hypothermia, 87 affordable apartments, and 10 permanent supportive housing units for homeless adults. Carpenter’s Shelter will operate the shelter and provide services to the permanent supportive housing tenants while AHDC owns and manages the apartments.

“We believe it is through partnerships such as this that the twin issues of housing and homelessness in our region will be solved, and AHDC is grateful for Carpenter’s Shelter’s bold vision in this field,” said Jonathan Frederick, Executive Director at AHDC.

Ways to Keep Giving

Community members who still wish to contribute to this effort have until November 30, 2019 to make a gift or a pledge. Every donor who contributes $5,000 or more will be included on a commemorative plaque in the new shelter. Those who contribute $10,000 may select a naming opportunity to further recognize their gift. To donate or learn more, visit:

Mary Wadland

Mary Wadland is the Publisher and Editor in Chief of The Zebra Press, founded by her in 2010. Originally from Delray Beach, Florida, Mary is a Phi Beta Kappa graduate of Hollins College in Roanoke, VA and has lived and worked in the Alexandria publishing community since 1987.

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