The Open Door exists to serve people at their point of need, cultivating personal growth and community sustainability. We model our faith in Jesus by providing practical solutions, to physical, spiritual, and relational brokenness.
We accomplish this by offering food, shelter, basic needs, addiction recovery programs, and connection to resources to those in the Great Glens Falls area who are caught in poverty and homelessness.
Open Door’s vision is to foster life transformation in a compassionate collaborative community where the marginalized feel safe asking for help, resources are accessible, and all are treated with dignity.
Who We Are
The Open Door Mission started out of Ernie Blanchette’s concern for having a shelter in Glens Falls. After a feasibility study, it was determined that a soup kitchen was of more immediate need. The Open Door served its first 13 hot meals from an RV in Peter Shabat’s parking lot off of South Street in Glens Falls, NY, on September 5, 1991. When it became too cold to serve outdoors, Peter Mastrangelo (representing Glens Falls National Bank) offered us the bank’s “community room,” and later, a storefront on South Street. In October of 1993, we were offered an opportunity to move to 24 South Street, and from there to 47 Lawrence Street in 2010. In 2018 we were able to move into a new space at 226 Warren Street which will continue to be renovated to meet the needs of the growing homeless population in Greater Glens Falls.
Since our founding in 1991 to today, our focus remains on meeting the needs of those most vulnerable in our community. We currently maintain our kitchen at the Lawrence Street location until the completion of the kitchen in our new space.
On average we serve more than 1,600 meals a month and with our new 8-bed shelter we are housing men who are homeless each night of the week. In our new facility, we were able to host the 2019 winter CodeBlue Shelter in an overflow area with mats. We are working toward having additional dorm space by our next winter to serve our CodeBlue guests in an even greater capacity.
In a year, our emergency food pantry provides 20,000 meals to over 75 families, as well as distributing thousands of pounds of gleaned and other food items to other local social service organizations.
We also partner with nine local schools to provide weekend lunches for 390 identified “at-risk” students in local schools, in cooperation with school administration and the PTA organization.
We have expanded our programming to include a day room and a resource center. In addition to hot meals and shelter, the program provides guests with encouragement for daily living, case management, counseling, connections to community resources, medical screenings, substance abuse recovery programs and counseling, training classes, budgeting, life and job skills, transportation, and advocacy.
The Mission functions with a small staff along with 620+ volunteers representing many local businesses, agencies, and churches. The Open Door is a Christian ministry dedicated to reaching out and serving the needs of the poor and homeless of our community. One major way we accomplish this is by offering services in a friendly, welcoming environment and developing a relationship with our guests so we can walk beside them until they are stable. We offer this care to all people, regardless of race, gender, sexual orientation, national origin, creed, or religion. All of our services and programs are provided free of charge.
The Open Door is a 501(c)(3), non-profit organization. The Mission’s legal, tax-exempt name is Servants of the Word; it legally does business as The Open Door.