It takes a village to change a life.
Finding Homes for Families
If you would like to help those in need of food, shelter, and support, please think of the families who come to The Open Door Shelter for assistance.

Please make a gift at  The Open Door Shelter's website or send a donation to:
The Open Door Shelter, 4 Merritt Street, Norwalk, CT  06854.

It takes a village to find a home for everyone.

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Celebrating the Holidays in a New Home!

One of our greatest joys is helping our residents move into a new home. This week we celebrated (and packed!) with Sarah and her children as they moved into their own apartment.
A few years ago, Sarah left an abusive relationship and moved to be live with a family member. Soon that family member had a change in circumstances and could no longer let Sarah and her children stay at their home. Even with her job, Sarah could not afford an apartment, and she and her two small children had nowhere else to go. She had never been homeless and was worried for her family, so Sarah called 211 for help and was placed with us at The Open Door Shelter.

The Open Door Shelter was here for Sarah, and she made the most of her time here. Sarah built a plan for the future with her transition coach and stuck to it. She continued working and started classes to advance in her career. Her children are regulars at our Family Resource Center's after school program and are excelling in school.

Sarah and her transition coach found an apartment that she could afford, and now she and her children will be celebrating the new year in their own home! She'll continue to work with her transition coach to stay on the right track, and her children will still come to the after school program for homework help and fun activities.
There Are Still Families Who Need Help

Volunteers with the 2016 Point in Time Count identified over 1,300 homeless parents and children here in Connecticut. The Open Door Shelter is the only family shelter in greater Norwalk area. We serve those here in our neighborhood as well as those in need throughout the Fairfield County area. The Open Door Shelter provides meals and shelter in a shared living area for 29-35 individuals in families, plus an outdoor play area complete with picnic tables, swings and small basketball court area for children.  Next to the play area is the Family Resource Center, an after school and preschool education program for shelter children.

In addition to homeless families, The Open Door Shelter also helps many other struggling families in the region. A report from the United Way of Connecticut states that 29% of Norwalk residents couldn't afford basic needs such as housing, child care, food, health care, and transportation. Poor families are struggling to keep a roof over their heads and feed their children. Over the past two years, demand for our food programs grew from 800 to well over 1,000 individuals and family members. The support that we provide through our community kitchen, pantry program, and health clinic partnership with Norwalk Community Health Center helps families reduce their expenses and stay in their homes.
We Couldn't Do It Without You!

The holidays are coming up in a few weeks, and The Open Door Shelter will be providing hundreds of individuals and families with holiday meals thanks to your generosity. BKind, Game Haven, Girl Scouts, Norwalk Historical Society, Pepperidge Farm and other donors give food so that people could enjoy holiday meals here at the Shelter or in their own homes.
Center Street Public House in Darien is collecting coats and cold weather accessories for the Shelter. Bring a coat to Center Street Pub between Thanksgiving and Christmas and get a free appetizer and draft beer!

Thank you to everyone who has donated
 food to
  our Manna House Kitchen and Food Pantry! We have served over 380,000 meals through the hot meal and boxed food programs for those who are hungry in the past year.  More than 1,300 individuals, families and children were helped. 
If you're interested in volunteering at The Open Door Shelter, please contact Erin at  (203) 866-1057 x29 or
Those of us working every day at Open Door Shelter see the generous support of good people supporting our good work.  We are so grateful for the warm and caring hearts that make up this community. 

Thank you for your help to give a hand up for those we serve.  Every gift makes a difference.
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I f you'd like to help The Open Door Shelter as part of your online shopping this season, go to  and Amazon donates to The Open Door Shelter.

The Open Door Shelter | (203) 866-1057 | |