It takes a village.
Summer at The Open Door Shelter
Please help those who come to The Open Door Shelter for food, shelter and support  as we head  into the long summer months.
Spreading Our Wings at
The Open Door Shelter

It's been great to watch our youngest residents learning about nature! Children who come to the Open Door Shelter's Family Resource Center cared for caterpillars as they transformed into butterflies. Once the butterflies were ready to spread their wings, the volunteers and kids released them into our playground and garden. 

The Afterschool Buddies program and the Family Resource Center began as a way for families at the Shelter to have activities of their own. The Center includes computer workstations, a reading nook, books and educational games, and even a kitchen! 
Adults with teaching and social service backgrounds and local students volunteer to help with homework, create arts and crafts projects, give cooking lessons, play games, and encourage indoor and outdoor play.

On an average day, kids and volunteers might team up for a Boggle tournament, write in journals as part of a reading program, and more! Even making a snack is an opportunity to learn - younger children making fruit smoothies get to practice reading directions and measuring, while older kids can experiment with ratios of ingredients to make their own creations. 

On average the shelter houses 20 families with more than 45 children a year. Thank you to the volunteers who help our children and families spread their wings!

Please contact us at if you would like to volunteer with The Open Door Shelter over the summer or during the school year!
SeniorCorps Brings Students and Shelter Seniors Together

Everyone at The Open Door Shelter believes that "it takes a village" to change a life. As part of that philosophy, some of the +55 homeless individuals at the Shelter are serving as Foster Grandparents to local school children with special needs.

The Foster Grandparent initiative began as a part of the The Corporation for National & Community Service's Senior Corps volunteer program. Foster Grandparents volunteer to receive training and a plan to provide one-on-one tutoring and help children with their schoolwork throughout the school day.  They gain skills, are fulfilled by giving service and earn a small stipend to help them make ends meet.

Foster Grandparents volunteer in the classroom to help children learn to read and provide one-on-one assistance. They act as mentors and provide support to children who need help.  They may also work with students through summer school programs.

Several clients at The Open Door Shelter were introduced to the opportunity to be a Foster Grandparent for students at Norwalk elementary schools and are excited to begin training and to help local children learn and grow. 
Community Supporters 

Thank you to the New Canaan Community Foundation and the donors in the community for supporting The Open Door Shelter with a $12,000 grant for food, sheltering, case management services, job training, housing support initiatives, and homeless outreach. 
Another thank you to the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County for their contribution of $10,000 for family food and shelter.

Families with children are one of the fastest-growing members of the homeless population. The Open Door Shelter concentrates on giving the best temporary home possible for families in need and helping them to find a path toward independence and success.

And a thank you to the New Canaan Women's League for their amazing support of $10,000 to purchase fresh food for shelter meals and the Manna House food pantry. 

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 4 Merritt Street, Norwalk, CT  06854.

It takes a village to find a home for everyone.

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