Thanks to a grant from the Albert W. and Helen C. Meserve Memorial Fund, clients will receive personal hygiene items and other necessities, such as laundry detergent.

The grant, worth $3,500, is the latest to be announced by the fund this year and will be distributed in partnership with the Danbury Lions Club.

"The shelter provides more than just a place to sleep," Aimee Budnik, the city's welfare director, said Wednesday. "People in this situation are in need of toiletries, clothing and food."

Budnik added, "It is very difficult to look for a job when you have not been able to shower in several days or have newer clothes."

Lions Club president Keith Beaver welcomed the grant.

"The club is thrilled to be able to help with this worthwhile cause," Beaver said. "This partnership is another opportunity that will allow us to continue our mission."

The club runs programs that include providing glasses to needy schoolchildren and free eye screenings.

The New Street homeless shelter, which has been operating for more than 14 years, offers accommodation for single adults day and night, with a capacity of 15 beds.

It also provides support and advocacy services.

Budnik said that with federal and state budget constraints, the city has been searching for funds to maintain programs.

"We're thrilled and thankful for the Meserve Fund's generous donation," Mayor Mark Boughton said. "We're always looking toward our corporate partners to help support the operation of the shelter, whether through volunteer time or donations of food."

The Meserve Fund, which awards grants to a variety of charitable and community organizations in the greater Danbury area, was established in 1978.

Contact Brian Saxton at

or at (203) 731-3332.