It takes a village to change a life.
Help Us Help Those In Need
Every gift makes a difference in the lives we serve.
Please help those who come to The Open Door Shelter for food, shelter and support.
If you'd like to help The Open Door Shelter as part of your online shopping this season, #StartWithaSmile at and Amazon donates to Open Door Shelter. 
Bridging a Gap!  
The Open Door Shelter housed 31 children during the last month.   On any night in Fairfield County there are 223 children who are homeless.  Those here at the shelter went to school, had after school homework help and snacks, and were warm, fed and safe. 

Three families found new homes.

The food program served more than 31,600 hot and boxed meals.  Dozens of organizations, faith groups and individuals help provide food so that no one goes away hungry.

On an average night there, are 87 beds filled with men, women and children.  They have a meal, do chores, meet with their case manager to work a plan, go to work, rest and work to find a home.   We are not a band aid, we are a solution! 
Run for a Cause at the Turkey Trot 

On your mark...get ready for Thanksgiving with a short run around New Canaan and GO! on Sunday, November 20, at 11:30am! The 13th annual 5K run/walk begins and ends at Waveny Park on South Avenue in New Canaan, and proceeds benefit The Open Door Shelter.
Every year this popular run is organized by local high school students who develop leadership and serve as peer role models. This year's Turkey Trot is chaired by Paige Lord and co-chaired by Brielle Connellly, Morgan Connelly, Teddy Schoenholtz, and Dave Tamburri and coordinated by a team of New Canaan and Weston students. "Each year, the Turkey Trot encourages members of our community to give back during the holiday season," says Paige Lord.

Sign up in advance below! Race day registration opens at 10:30am on November 20, and the race starts at 11:30am. There is a $25 entrance fee and any small donations are welcome. The walk and run will take place rain or shine. Students can use this event to earn community service hours. Clothing donations are also being accepted, including adults' and children's coats, gloves, hats, scarves, and blankets.


Fun at Fat Cat - Dining for a Cause

Good friends, great food and wine, and amazing support highlighted the evening with The Open Door Shelter at Fat Cat.  Thank you to our hosts Suzanne and Tony Ancona for their generous commitment to giving back in the community.  Bankwell made a challenge sponsorship which was double matched by donors at the event!   Good people, warm hearts and a relaxing evening was enjoyed by all. 

Thank you again to our partner bank, Bankwell for generously supporting this event, to our hosts at Fat Cat Pie Co. and everyone who came together to help those in need at The Open Door Shelter.
Welcome to Our New Interns  
It truly does take a village to make a difference for those dealing with poverty and homelessness, and our village has expanded with three new interns!
Alvaro and Isabel joined our team in September.  Both are pursuing Masters of Social Work degrees and are gaining real world client service experiences by working with transitional coaches under the supervision of a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.  Interns are exposed to development of SMART plans designed to leverage the strengths of the clients who are sheltered. They are also learning about the reporting requirements for case management, how to connect with other social service providers and resources in our community to bring together services and develop an understanding of how nonprofits work internally and in addressing community needs. Alvaro represents Southern Connecticut University and Isabel is attending Fordam University.

Andy is an Executive Fellow and comes to us as part of the Encore! Fairfield County program.  He has had a successful career in consulting and business development and wanted to broaden his knowledge in nonprofit management.  His project is to assess the food program, identify opportunities for enhancing the delivery of food in our community to the working poor, developing connections to strengthen internal practices and data collection and reaching out to other providers to identify the gaps in the community and opportunities for leadership to address those gaps. He will be developing recommendations and practices that will help The Open Door Shelter in its collaborative efforts to address hunger in the community.
The Heart of Community is Giving! 

We're grateful to receive a generous grant from Near & Far Aid, whose mission is to eliminate the causes and effects of poverty in Fairfield County. These funds will help support emergency shelter, food services, and case management services for our clients who are homeless or living in poverty.

Thank you to the volunteers from
Junior League, National Charity League, and IMPACTrumbull who have planned great events
for our Shelter children and parents. From pumpkin carving to reading activities, October is full of fun for Shelter families!  It makes their temporary home a happy, learning place until their transition to their permanent home. 
The wonderful team at Bankwell put together a shoe drive for the Shelter, and their customers and staff generously donated shoes and boots for those in need in our community. A good pair of shoes can change the day of someone who mostly travels on foot, and thanks to Bankwell we were able to provide shoes to many people in need!

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
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 | |