In December 2011, the Board of the Fairfield County Community Foundation voted to approve a competitive grant in the amount of $15,000 for Shelter for the Homeless. With this grant, SFH will proceed with implementation of an updated marketing program, including development of new communication materials and a website.

SFH Executive Director Rafael Pagan Jr. says that the primary focus of the agency's grant requests has always been to fund programs and services that allow SFH to both serve and advocate for those who are homeless in the area; and this remains an important goal. But he also understands that how the social services and human development agency presents itself in the community has a significant impact on its ability to deliver on its mission. As such, this grant from FCCF is particularly timely.

With SFH working to address the issue of homelessness -- through the emergency shelter at Pacific House, recovery program, employment program and other initiatives -- and continuing to develop new units of affordable housing for those who are homeless, Pagan notes that "individuals, organizations and businesses need to be able to easily access information about our programs. The fact that we are competing for `attention' dictates that we develop digital communications and printed materials that are instructive and persuasive."

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According to Pagan, the ultimate benefits of this grant are those that will accrue to the Shelter's clients and people who are homeless in the area.

"FCCF has been a generous supporter of our efforts," he said. "They know that each person who is inspired to support our efforts -- from those who donate time or money to those who donate clothing and food -- will allow us to provide help and hope to so many who have nowhere else to turn. And for that, we are grateful."

The Fairfield County Community Foundation promotes the growth of community and regional philanthropy to improve the quality of life throughout Fairfield County. Individuals, families, corporations and organizations can establish charitable funds and contribute to existing funds. The foundation provides philanthropic advisory services, and develops and leads initiatives to tackle critical community issues. It is in compliance with the Council on Foundations' national standards for community foundations. The foundation has awarded more than $135 million in grants to nonprofits in Fairfield County and beyond. For more information, visit www.fccfoundation.org.

Shelter for the Homeless, a nonprofit organization, is a safe and caring environment that serves lower Fairfield County.

by providing temporary housing to homeless men, striving to obtain permanent supportive housing and services for men and women tailored to meet their relevant needs, and empowering people to help themselves achieve their greatest level of self-sufficiency. Shelter for the Homeless provides four cornerstones of client service: emergency shelter, health and recovery services, job and life skills training and transitional and long-term housing.

Visit www.shelterforhomeless.org or call 203-406-0017.