It takes a village to change a life.
Summer at the Shelter
It has been an exciting summer at The Open Door Shelter! The children are having a great time at summer camp, we're working with clients who are searching for new jobs and new apartments, and the beautiful weather has everyone in a good mood.

Like most nonprofit organizations, we are feeling the effects of state budget challenges and are determined to fill the budget gap and keep providing the best possible services to people who need a hand up. Supporters like you are making a huge difference! We're also collaborating with other organizations to raise funds for the Shelter (like this fall's SoNo Half Marathon!) and are always open to new ideas.

If you would like to help make a difference,  please donate to The Open Door Shelter. 

Gardening in the City - What a few plants can do!

Our little garden provided by Green Up
and cared for by a team of fantastic volunteers is already helping to stock our kitchen and pantry! We've harvested broccoli, lettuces, and lots of fresh herbs. Soon we'll be picking peppers and cabbages, and there's a bumper crop of tomatoes right around the corner! The Shelter garden has been a great way to provide food for the Shelter and to create educational opportunities for both children and adults.

If you have a garden of your own and would like to donate produce to our kitchen and pantry, please bring it to the Shelter at any time! Fresh fruits and vegetables are truly appreciated and can be costly for local families to buy on their own.

Run for a reason - SoNo Half/5K!

For anyone who runs or wants to support The Open Door Shelter in this year's  SoNo Half, please go to and join us!

Contact Erin at or 203-866-1057 to learn how to receive a free race entry by raising funds for The Open Door Shelter.

The SoNo Half is a half marathon, 5K, and kids' fun run on a certified course with music, swag, and a great after party!  The 2017 SoNo Half will be  Saturday, October 14, starting and ending at Veteran's Park.
Progress at the Smilow SoNo Life Center

It's so exciting to see everything coming together at 2 Merritt Place to transform a vacant but beautiful historic factory building into a job training center, community health clinic, and supportive apartments for people in our community. The Smilow SoNo Life Center will add to our ability to serve those in need. We can't wait to welcome everyone to the ribbon cutting this fall!   

The construction team has framed out the walls on the first and second floor, and the windowsbuilt to measure for each unique opening will be arriving soon to restore this century-old building to its former glory.  During the second half of the summer, interior walls will be going up, and we are still on target for moving in by late fall! We are so grateful to everyone who has made this possible.

Each week is a new adventure - walls are going up!
The Open Door Shelter will still remain at 4 Merritt Street with the comprehensive services we provide - shelter, food, case management and housing placement. With this building we will also expand our job training program to help members of the community and our clients find living wage jobs.  

As we get closer to opening day, there will be opportunities to help - 
we will be furnishing apartments in October and are looking for assistance,  and we can always use people willing to share their time and talents as part  of our job training program. Let us know how you would like to get involved!

If you know someone who would donate appliances, we are seeking new stoves, refrigerators and washer/dryers.  Contact Ashley Fern at for more information on sizes.
You're making a difference every day... Thank you! 

There are wonderful people working every day to make a difference at The Open Door Shelter! Follow us on Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram to check it out.
Thanks to the Community Fund of Darien and the United Way of Coastal Fairfield County for selecting The Open Door Shelter as one of its grant recipients! The funding will support the Shelter's case management services, homeless outreach, hot meal and food pantry program, job training and housing support initiatives. Both organizations have been longtime supporters of The Open Door Shelter's mission along with many other wonderful organizations who we collaborate with to help people in our community!

Thanks to the St. Mark's YPG (Youth Philanthropy Guild) for choosing to support people in need at The Open Door Shelter! The members of YPG toured the Shelter and decided to make a contribution. We're so honored to receive support from a group of young people working to make things better!

Summer food drives organized by Graham Capital and St. Jerome Parish helped to fill shelves in our pantry. Thank you to these wonderful groups and to everyone who donated!

Thanks to GE Capital for transforming our women's dorm, sprucing up the children's play area, AND working with our clients on computer skills all in one afternoon! We always have a great time with volunteer groups, and it makes such a difference!
The GE Capital team after a busy afternoon!

Our second project through The Impact Vine was funded! Thanks to generous donors, we'll be able to purchase outdoor tables for our families to spend more time together outdoors, and parents will have a comfortable place to watch their kids play on the playground. Once school begins, it will also be a great location for our after-school program to read, celebrate warm weather birthdays, and do messy science experiments. (Fun with bubbles! Lemon volcanoes! Making rainclouds!) 

Thank you... Thank you... Thank you.  Warm kind hearts doing good deeds makes it possible for us to change lives!
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.

If you would like more information on our Building Lives Capital Initiative to fund family housing, please contact Jeannette Archer-Simons at or 203-866-1057 x11

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 | |