Island Homeless Outreach

Harbor Homes: Island Winter Shelter Program and Warming Center

2021-22 UPDATE: Good Shepherd Parish, has begun hosting the daytime warming center on 11/17/21. Lunch is provided.

We are hosting from 11:00 am – 1:30 pm M-W-F at our parish center, lower level, 55 School St., Oak Bluffs.

UPDATE 1/13/22: St. Andrew’s Episcopal parish house, EDG hosts on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, serving lunch and providing laundry and shower facilities from 11:00 am-1:30 pm.

UPDATE overnight shelter moves to MVCS building 1/13/22

The overnight winter shelter has changed from only the Whaling Church in 2020. Beginning Nov. 28, 2021:

the Federated Church, 45 S. Summer St., EDG will host in their parish hall Su-M;

the Old Whaling Church, 89 Main St., EDG on Tues;

and St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 51 Winter St., EDG at their parish house W-Sat.

These overnight shelters provides dinner and breakfast, open 6 pm – 8 am; no admittance after 7 pm.

Harbor Homes of Martha’s Vineyard is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit that serves as the umbrella organization for all homeless prevention programming on the Island.  
This includes congregate housing, transitional housing support, a winter shelter, a hotel respite program and case management. Harbor Homes provides responsive, compassionate, and empowering support to low income individuals and families who face homelessness.

To get help with a housing issue contact Maura Morrison, homeless prevention caseworker at 774-563-3687.

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In 2013, originally called the Houses of Grace, the emergency winter shelter program was born and was the first assistance of its kind offered on Martha’s Vineyard. This unique shelter program  offered daily sleeping accommodations and 2 hot meals in the Parish Houses of 3 participating churches. Together with a daytime Warming Center begun here at GSP in 2017, during the harsh winter months, was open from 11 am – 2 pm; with over 60 trained volunteers, this heroic effort met the critical shelter needs of 25-35 adults who were homeless each winter.

In the era of Covid-19, both programs have been combined to better serve our most fragile Island neighbors. With a $150,000 grant from Martha’s Vineyard Hospital and over $120,000 commitment toward homeless prevention from private donors, Harbor Homes of Martha’s Vineyard has taken over the administration of the shelters.  The Vineyard Preservation Trust leased Harbor Homes the ground floor of the Old Whaling Church in Edgartown to operate the shelter from November 2020 through March of 2021.  This centrally located facility offered three meals a day and could house up to thirteen chronically homeless residents.  With this influx of financial support, the Shelter had been able to hire 15 paid staff for the first time. This space met all CDC safety standards for shelters and staff had received training on COVID guidelines from hospital consultants to protect the health of themselves and guests.