It takes a village to change a life.
Making a Difference in 2017
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. 

Our family washer/dryer broke this week, so if you are interested in supporting an immediate need, a donation will support a stackable extra large washer and dryer for our families!

Helping Families Find Homes

In the past year, there has been a 40% increase in the number of families coming to The Open Door Shelter with nowhere else to go and an 80% increase of children served. Homelessness and the lack of affordable housing for working families in our area has become a growing problem.

As part of our capital campaign, an anonymous donor contributed funding to help The Open Door Shelter to address this problem and will soon have three to four more multi-bedroom units of supportive housing for families in need in the Norwalk area.  We hope to add 10-15 units serving 50+ family members.

If you would like more information on how you can support the capital campaign, please contact Jeannette Archer-Simons at jarcher@opendoorshelter or 203-866-1057 x11.  Information on the campaign is posted  here.

April 27 - Save the Date for our Gala and Auction!

We're excited to announce that The Open Door Shelter's annual Gala and Auction will be held on Thursday, April 27, 2017 at Woodway Country Club
! The gala is returning to Woodway and will include a cocktail hour and dinner as well as silent and live auctions.
Proceeds from the Gala help support those who come to The Open Door Shelter for shelter, food, and assistance on a path towards independence and success.

You can also support the work of The Open Door Shelter by sponsoring the Gala. Our current sponsors include Wheelock Street Capital, Capossela, Cohen, LLCGWay Print Solutions, Source, Bank of America, Hotel Zero Degrees, Merrill Lynch, Diageo, People's United Bank,
 and  Dennis and Nancy Meany.
For more information on tickets and sponsorships, please email Erin at or call 203-866-1057 x29.

January 24 is the Connecticut Homeless Point-In-Time Count
The Point-In-Time Count is a one-day unduplicated count of sheltered and unsheltered homeless individuals and families across the United States.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) requires that each Continuum of Care (CoC) conduct a count at the end of January every year. Here in Connecticut, all CoCs conduct their counts in the same way, at the same time, so findings can be compared across communities and over years.

There are thousands of individuals and families in shelter at any time, and hundreds more living without shelter in Connecticut. Only by knowing who, where, and how many people are experiencing homelessness in Connecticut can we plan and identify the resources needed to best serve the most vulnerable, and ultimately move families and individuals into permanent housing.

You can learn more about the 2017 Point-In-Time Count at
Inspiring Change in Our Community
We are so grateful to IMSci for creating a beautiful video about The Open Door Shelter and the people who are working together to ensure that everyone has a safe and stable home. 

It's no sur prise to u s that this video  won an International 2016 Cinema In Industry (CINDY) Award!

Who We Are - The Open Door Shelter
Who We Are - The Open Door Shelter
Hard at Work at the Smilow SoNo Life Center
Work has begun on the Smilow SoNo Life Center, and we couldn't be more excited!
Thanks to the many people who came together to make this dream a reality, The Open Door Shelter has started work to transform a historic factory building into a job training center, a neighborhood health clinic, and supportive apartments. Watch for changes over the next few months as we progress with a planned opening in late October or early November. 

Thank you for giving in 2016! 

Thank you to everyone who made the holidays brighter for children living here at The Open Door Shelter and for children in need in our community! All of our families received gifts and had fun holiday events thanks to generous individuals and groups like Assumption Church, the Boy Scouts, Bridgewater Associates, CompHealth, the Connecticut Coalition to End Homelessness and CT REALTORS, Darien Congregational Church, Diageo, Halle's Hope, Homebuilders of Fairfield County, the Junior League of Stamford-Norwalk, the Norwalk Police Department, Source Marketing, St. Luke's School, Temple Shalom, and the United Methodist Church and Fire Department of Vista, NY

We've been lucky to receive support for the work that we do at the Shelter from foundations like the Alexander Family Foundation, the Belvedere Foundation, the Everett S. Bulkley, Jr. Trust, the Maurice Goodman Foundation, the Fannie M. Lienhard Foundation, the Shouvlin Foundation, the Twenty Seven Foundation, and the Vranos Family Foundation. Thanks also to Eversource for purchasing tax credits to help us provide a job training center, a community health clinic, and affordable apartments at the Smilow SoNo Life Center.

Thanks to those who donated
 coats and clothing to
  The Open Door Shelter! We have distributed warm winter clothing and shoes here at the Shelter, as part of our street outreach, and to members of our community in need. We'll be announcing hours for our new clothing distribution center soon!
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.

If you'd like to help The Open Door Shelter as part of your online shopping, visit and Amazon donates to The Open Door Shelter.

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