About Us

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About Open Door Shelter
Our doors are alwyas open. 7 days a week. 365 days a year.

Open Doors’ mission is to effectively address the causes and complexities of the homeless and working poor by providing shelter, food, clothing, case management services, treatment services, transitional planning for short and long term goals, subsidized housing, education, employment, and a path towards independence and success.

We provide emergency shelter with over 95 beds able to accommodate individuals and families. In the same building, we operate a kitchen and pantry that provides food to the community. We serve three meals each day (over 77,000 in the past year) and provide shelf-stable groceries, baked goods, and fresh produce to low-income individuals and families to help them make ends meet. Between the kitchen and the pantry, we provide more than 300,000 meals each year to individuals and families in our community.

Open Doors also operates a number of private residences, providing supportive and affordable housing to those who are working and earning an income but unable to afford standard rents in the area.

Open Doors operates primarily from private donations, with less than 25% of our operating budget coming from government funding. 90 cents of every dollar donated goes directly to providing food, shelter and assistance to those in need. Our board is comprised entirely of uncompensated volunteers.

Please consider a donation today, as the current state of the economy means more people than ever before are seeking our assistance, even as private sector donations dwindle.

Housing
  • Single night and short term shelter
  • Supportive housing and transitional housing
  • Permanent housing transition (unsubsidized)

Open Doors offers two types of housing. Our emergency shelter provides overnight and short-term shelter for those who have no viable options for themselves or their family. We also offer affordable and supportive apartments for those who have an income but are unable to afford market level rental rates.

We seek to avoid chronic homelessness by developing individualized plans, supported by caseworkers, to transition each resident from dependence on the shelter to other housing options along the continuum to independence. This includes counseling, assistance with exploring options, vocational training and employment assistance, and supportive housing options.

Open Doors owns and operates a number of private residences that are rented on a subsidized level to those who are working and can afford to dedicate 30% of their income to rent, but cannot yet afford market rates, or are waiting for transition to government-funded long-term options such as Section 8 or HUD subsidized ownership.

Hospitality
  • Manna House Soup Kitchen – Three hot meals every day, 365 days a year
  • Food pantry – Canned and box foods supporting the working poor with supplemental groceries.
  • Holiday food support for Thanksgiving and Christmas — Coordinating the donations of hundreds of turkeys and hams for the holidays

Open Doors’ kitchen serves three meals a day to members of the community and shelter residents in need of hot food. Anyone is welcome to share a meal with us, and the kitchen helps provide people with a sense of community and is an entry point for people who may need additional assistance.

Our food pantry provides shelf-stable groceries, baked goods, and fresh produce to local residents who need to supplement the food they are able to purchase with their own income.

You can help by donating non-perishable food items like canned tuna, pasta sauce, dried beans, or rice. You can also participate in our meal sponsorship program, where 100% of your donation goes directly to purchasing food for the hungry.

Click here to learn more

Counseling
  • One-to-one counseling and support focused on overcoming barriers to independence, and facilitating the transition to self-reliance.

Every guest of Open Doors receives counseling and case-work services. Treating each person on an individual basis, our professional staff acts to determine the underlying reason why the person has come to require the services of the shelter, and then formulates a plan of action designed to help them move from emergency shelter into homes of their own.

Leadership

Michele Conderino, Executive Director

Michele Conderino joined Open Doors as the Executive Director in June of 2019. Michele has worked for Catholic Charities Homeless Services for ten years and was most recently Regional Director of Northern Fairfield County.

Beginning as a case manager working with homeless individuals diagnosed with a chronic mental illness, Michele has a BA in Social Work from WCSU, and an MSW in Social Work Administration with a focus on International Development from UConn.

mconderino@opendoorshelter.org or 203-866-1057 x111

Frank Concepcion
Director of Operations

Frank Concepcion is the Director of Operations. He is responsible for the direction of facilities management at the the shelter, Smilow Life Center, and supportive apartments as well as the Open Doors kitchen and pantry. Frank has over 30 years of experience in Human Services. He is passionate about serving the needy.

fconcepcion@opendoorshelter.org or 203-866-1057 x114

Izora Ebron
Associate Executive Director
Izora Ebron

Izora Ebron supervises client services here at Open Doors. Izora has a B.S. degree in Human Services (concentration in Administration), with over 30 years of experience in this field. She served on Norwalk’s Fair Rent Commission, Action Housing Board, Side By Side Community School Board, and Trustee Board/Financial Secretary of Calvary Baptist Church.

iebron@opendoorshelter.org or 203-866-1057 x130

Board

John F. Erdmann III – Term ends 2019
President

Nancy Meany – Term ends 2021
Vice-President

William Burnham – Term ends 2021
Secretary

Robert Genuario – Term ends 2021
Treasurer

DIRECTORS
Jon Beyman – Term ends 2020
Barbara Blasso Chiamulera – Term ends 2019
Martin Buccolo – Term ends 2019
David Cudiner – Term ends 2020
Anthony DeChellis – Term ends 2020
Alexandra Farsun Dembishack – Term ends 2019
Sherelle Harris – Term ends 2019
Read Hubbard – Term ends 2020
Melora Johnson – Term ends 2021
Rick Kleeman – Term ends 2021
Brian Kreiter – Term ends 2019
Charles V. Raymond – Term ends 2019
Kersten Rivas – Term ends 2020
Nathaniel Yordon – Term ends 2021

Joel Smilow
Advisory Member

Board of Directors’ Conflict of Interest Policy