Island Homeless Outreach

Harbor Homes: Island Winter Shelter Program and Warming Center

The overnight shelter and day shelter closed 3/31/22.

2021-22 UPDATE: Harbor Homes will only offer the daytime warming center in EDG beginning 2/10/22.  St. Andrew’s Episcopal parish house, 51 Winter St., hosts on Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays, serving lunch and providing laundry and shower facilities from 11:00 am-1:30 pm.

We hosted 11/17/21-2/9/22 from 11:00 am – 1:30 pm M-W-F at our parish center, lower level, 55 School St., Oak Bluffs; lunch provided.

UPDATE overnight shelter moves to MVCS building 1/13/22 https://vineyardgazette.com/news/2022/01/12/overnight-winter-shelters-get-okay-move-mvcs-building?fbclid=IwAR39rt89N7NnYSBVAjsGvdDazZY0iR7vcN2i5yLoVSnInejvzDtrJoS4dVc

The overnight shelter 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.