A home of their own

The measure of your life will not be what you will accumulate but in what you give away.” —Wayne W. Dyer, American philosopher 

In 1982, an emergency shelter opened in the basement of The First Congregational Church of Stamford. Some 30 years later, Pacific House, formerly known as the Shelter for the Homeless, has grown exponentially, giving hope and help to those in need.   

Pacific House is the only regional men’s shelter in lower Fairfield County, serving Greenwich, Darien, New Canaan, Norwalk and Stamford. Its mission is simply to end homelessness by helping clients become self-sufficient. This is not an emergency shelter but one with several buildings to keep as many homeless men off the streets as possible until permanent housing can be found.   

Four years ago, the shelter contacted Andrew M. Reid, a well-known businessman who soon joined its board. A few months later, he became chairman of the annual gala. Andy has worked tirelessly, giving his time and putting his heart into making this fundraiser a success.      

Each year Pacific House has raised the bar in terms of getting the community and neighboring towns involved to respond and help the shelter. At the most recent gala this past May, more than 400 people gathered at the Italian Center of Stamford.  Former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine was the master of ceremonies, while Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal, an honoree, spoke about the shelter. The event raised $500,000 to support housing, hot meals, job and life skills and health-care services that include treatment plans for recovery from substance abuse. Andy and the committee look forward to an even bigger fundraiser in 2017.      

“Ending homelessness in lower Fairfield County is within our reach,” says Rafael Pagan Jr., Pacific House’s executive director. “We know it can be done, and now we know how to do it. All that is now missing is our collective will.” 

Stamford and Pacific House have chosen to undertake a big issue in our world today.  Every day they are giving their time to those less fortunate and helping their community.  Maybe this is a lesson that we all can learn from. Pacific House is an example of what giving back truly means.  

For more, visit pacifichouse.org. Reach Giovanni on twitter @GiovanniRoselli and his website, GiovanniRoselli.com.

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