An emergency shelter opened its doors in 1982 in the form of a makeshift shelter in the basement of the First Congregational Church in Stamford.
In the ensuing years, homelessness continued to grow and become increasingly undeniable. That small oasis of warmth and safety from the cold and deadly nights in the basement of the church began a concerted community effort to address homelessness in the greater Stamford area.
The visionaries: Co-founders Leslie Furst, Maureen Hughes, Pat Phillips, Nancy Stoetzer, and Reverend Gary P. Brown helped shape what is today Pacific House men's emergency shelter.
Patricia C. Phillips was recognized in gratitude of her vision and generosity at the re-dedication ceremony in June 2013 to honor her many years of dedication. The first affordable housing property managed by the shelter for formerly homeless men, Berkeley House, will now display a plaque that signifies Pat's commitment to helping her community!
The Patricia C. Phillips House residents have jobs, pay rent, and live independently. This is a success story that can be replicated with more affordable housing opportunities in our community.
From 1983 through 1985, under the sponsorship of The Council of Churches and Synagogues, the basement shelter was serving 60 people a night. In July of 1985 a Board of Directors was formed and Shelter for the Homeless became an independent nonprofit service agency. The Shelter began offering overnight emergency shelter, showers, and limited case management services.
In 1988 the Board of Directors successfully raised over $2MM to purchase and renovate the building at 597 Pacific Street which was to become “Pacific House.”
Construction of Pacific House begins.
Pacific House opens its doors thanks to a dedicated Board and caring and committed community members.
Onsite health care program is launched.
Recovery program is formalized and launched.
Berkeley House is acquired (supportive housing).
Berkeley House opens (supportive housing).
Beacon I property acquired (supportive housing).
First gala event is held to benefit Pacific House and recognize the donors who make the shelter possible.
Meal-a-Month program launches.
Beacon I property opens (supportive housing).
Beacon II property acquired (affordable housing) and Adopt-a-Day program launches.
Beacon II is converted into three apartments to accommodate seven tenants. A ribbon-cutting ceremony is held in September with Mayor David Martin presiding over the celebration. After renovations, three properties in Stamford (Beacon III, Lighthouse I, Lighthouse II), plus two newly-acquired houses in Norwalk (Vranos House and Parkview South), will eventually house even more people.
2016 - 2017
Ninety-four formerly homeless individuals will have permanent affordable housing by 2017. The shelter thanks its partners for their support and monetary contributions to make this initiative a success.