It takes a village to change a life.
Giving Thanks to YOU  
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. 

Thank you for your help to give a hand up for those we serve.  Every gift makes a difference.
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. 
Helping Families Find Homes  

The Open Door Shelter housed 31 children during the last month.  At least once a week we are called because family member is living in the car or an abandoned building or a park. On any night in Fairfield County there are 223 children who are homeless. At the Shelter we work with the parents to leverage their strengths and help them define a path to a home. The parents work on finding a home and increasing income. The children go to school, have after school homework help or preschool learning experiences with snacks, and were warm, fed and safe. 

Three families found new homes. Two moms found jobs. The families helped each other and we support their success.

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 hungry.
No one should have to choose between food and rent.

On an average night at the shelter, 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! 
The New Canaan Turkey Trot Is This Sunday!

Get ready for Thanksgiving and start the giving season 
this Sunday, November 20, at 11:30am! The 13th annual 5K Turkey Trot 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.


November is National Homeless Youth Awareness Month
The Connecticut Coalitition to end homelessness estimated in their most recent Statewide Youth Count that there are 3,000 homeless youth in the state - including those living in shelters, street homeless, couch surfing, and "doubled up" with relatives or friends.

The Open Door Shelter is working with organizations and agencies across the state to ensure that these young people are safe, sheltered, and have advocates to help them build a better future.

You can learn more about the action plan for youth at 

For everyone looking to give back this season, please consider a gift to The Open Door Shelter on Giving Tuesday, November 29. People who come to the Shelter for assistance receive much more than shelter and food. Here at The Open Door Shelter, they find advocates who are committed to working with them on an individualized plan for success.

In the past year, we have helped people move into their own homes, some for the first time. We have worked with them to find new jobs and made sure they were ready for their first day. We have mourned the loss of loved ones. We have helped high school seniors apply for college and cheered for them as went off to their school of choice.

And it is thanks to YOU that we can continue to help children perform at grade level, provide groceries to local residents so that they can stay in their homes, and do everything we can to support people as they improve their futures.
Who We Are... and How We Help
Who We Are... and How We Help

Thank YOU for Giving! 

Thanksgiving is next week, and The Open Door Shelter will be providing hundreds of individuals and families with holiday meals thanks to your generosity. Endurance House Norwalk, Exchange Club of Norwalk, Pepperidge Farm and anonymous donors gave turkeys and side dishes so that people could enjoy Thanksgiving here at the Shelter or in their own homes.

Thank you to the volunteers from 
National Charity League for decorating the Shelter's common room for the fall. It really brightens people's day to have a meal at a table all decorated for the season.
Thank you to the great volunteers from who helped to distribute coats and winter clothing to people here in the Norwalk region! Thanks again to Junior League of Stamford-Norwalk, Marsh, Side by Side Charter School and everyone who brings coats, clothing, shoes, toiletries, diapers and more to the Shelter; the items that you donate to The Open Door Shelter go directly to people in need.

Center Street Public House in Darien is collecting coats and cold weather accessories for the Shelter. Bring a coat to Center Street Pub between Thanksgiving and Christmas and get a free appetizer and draft beer!

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 | |