It takes a village to change a life.
Health and Hope at The Open Door Shelter
Please help those who come to The Open Door Shelter for food, shelter and support.  Every gift makes a difference in the lives we serve.
Finding Hope at The Open Door Shelter

Maybe you have volunteered or given a gift of clothing or food, or maybe you have a connection to us in the community. If you have never had a tour of The Open Door Shelter and all it does, the team at IMSci has generously created a video that tells you all about our work, some of our partners and those we serve.  Thank you to the artist, Andra Day for giving us the right to use her powerful voice on the video for 2 years. Please watch to learn more about what the Shelter does today and about our plans to help even more people with housing, job training and access to health care in the future!

Who We Are - The Open Door Shelter
Who We Are - The Open Door Shelter

Please contact us at if you would like to help those in need!
Healthcare for the Homeless

Health and poverty in the United States have a complicated and intertwined relationship. Often, health issues can be the cause of poverty. Medical bills are still the main reason that Americans
file for bankruptcy, and for those with little to no savings even a seemingly minor illness or injur y
can force people to go without food, utilities, or housing payments. People living in shelters are
more than twice as likely to have a disability
than the general population, according to the
Department of Housing and Urban Development.
On the other side of this difficult situation, poverty and homelessness can a lso be the catalyst for  new or worsening health problems. For patients who are homeless, properly storing medication, maintaining a healthy diet and consistently going to the doctor are hard to do when they are spending a goo d deal of time trying to find a place to sleep.
Many people experiencing homelessness have also experienced trauma, either resulting from homelessness or in some way leading to it, according to a report from the National Alliance to End Homelessness. 
Here at the Open Door Shelter, we have partnered with Norwalk Commu nity Health Center to provide preventative and ongoing care for people in need in our community. Twice a week, their mobile health clinic arrives in front of the Shelter, and th e health care professionals on board start seeing patients. Shelter case managers work with clients to help them get the treatment they need and continue to follow medical advice. 

Thanks to the work that the Norwalk Community Health Center and The Open Door Shelter's case managers have done, we have been able to provide care to hundreds of people in need and reduce local emergency room visits by 52%.
Even this mobile program is not enough to meet the needs of the community. As of today, there is a two week waitlist of appointments for the mobile clinic. The Open Door Shelter is working to increase capacity to meet this need.
Calling All (Overly Successful) Gardeners!
Is your garden overflowing and you're not sure what to do? Thanks to the weather and some good fortune, we've been hearing from gardeners who have more produce than they can use. We would like to spread the word that YES, we would love to receive some of your harvest!

All fresh vegetables, fruits, and herbs are welcome at The Open Door Shelter. Donated produce will be used by the chefs who prepare meals in our Manna House kitchen, and we'll also be able to offer more fresh food to our food pantry clients.  This week alone we chopped squash and apples for meals.  Eggplant, squash and tomatoes were distributed to the community.  

The Open Door Shelter provides over 300 meals a day, 365 days a year to residents and members of the community. We also serve over 1,000 people through our Manna House food pantry's grocery program. With that many people in need, every donation helps.

Unfortunately we're unable to pick up donations, but please drop off items whenever is convenient for you! The Open Door Shelter is open 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.
Community Supporters 

Thank you to the many members of Diageo and the leadership of the Diageo Facilities team for supporting us with a food drive, pub night, fun run AND painting and sprucing up the Shelter's family common room! You're an amazing part of The Open Door Shelter team.  The extra help to make the family area nice by refinishing the kitchen tables and providing a microwave cart was above and beyond!

Many thanks to the Kiwanis of Weston for sponsoring the paint, new bed linens and curtains for the Shelter's family bedrooms. You helped to make this temporary home more comfortable for parents and children in need!
Thank you to Brooke and Nicole for volunteering your time to teach computer skills to both our staff and clients. This was a great opportunity for our clients and it was much appreciated! Comments like, "I learned computers!" were heard throughout the building.  Imagine how empowering a new skill like this, even basis, can be in transforming lives.

A big thank you to the volunteers who assisted with our August 12 clothing distribution event and to those who donated clothes for our Shelter clients and members of the community. Your generosity of time makes a difference to those in need.  It was hot, but you helped make the distribution possible.

Thank you to everyone who helped to provide children here at the Shelter with backpacks, school supplies, and clothes for the coming school year!  The heart felt gift of back to school materials included bags stuffed with goodies for children - including even those that are too young for school.  Making the start of school fun and exciting can be the beginning of progress towards success.

If you're interested in volunteering at The Open Door Shelter, please contact Erin at  (203) 866-1057 x29 or
If you would like to help those in need of food, shelter, and support, you can always serve the people 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.

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