Island Homeless Outreach

Houses of Grace: Island Winter Shelter Program and Warming Center

The new location for 2020-21 was the Old Whaling Church, Edgartown offered  through Harbor Homes. It opened Sunday, Nov. 29 and will be in service daily through the end of March 2021. Overnight limit is 13. Check in is 6 pm (dinner is served) through 9 am (breakfast at 8 am). They offered lunch from noon-2 pm as well.

2020-21 UPDATE: Due to continuing coronavirus restrictions, GSP is not hosting the overnight shelter or warming center.

Good Shepherd Parish in 2020 again hosted the Houses of Grace Island Winter Shelter on Wednesdays Jan.-March at the Parish Center lower level. 2020 weekly schedule began Thursday, Jan. 2nd. In 2017 and 2018 St. Augustine’s hall was used. Started in 2016, this program is for men, women, and families–whether you are homeless, or out of heating fuel and need a warm place to stay overnight. St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, Edgartown hosts Tues., Fri.-Sun., and the Federated Church, Edgartown hosts Mondays/Thursdays.  This was suspended mid-March due to the coronavirus.

The shelters open at 7 pm and close at 7 am the following day. Bedding is provided. Volunteers will also help put out an evening meal and a breakfast. No dinner after 7:30 pm, or admission after 8 pm. There will always be 2 persons per shift and there are 2 shifts per night. 2019 volunteer training sessions were offered Oct. 18, Nov. 5 & Dec. 5. If interested in helping contact Fr.Chip Seadale at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church: The shelter is coordinated by the Island Clergy.

Training sessions for new volunteers were offered at The Federated Church, Edgartown or at Good Shepherd Parish Center, Oak Bluffs.

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The Houses of Grace Warming Center was cancelled here for 2020-21 (see above for new location). If and when a new locations is identified we will update you. The regular hours were: Mon 12:15 – 2:00 pm; Tues-Sat 11:00 am – 2:00 pm through March 30, 2020. This was also suspended mid-March due to coronavirus precautions.

New to the island for 2017, the Warming Center was made available at the Parish Center basement/gym,  during the harsh winter months. It’s a respite from the cold for men, women and families during these daytime hours with warm beverages and refreshment along with showers, laundry service, use of the internet and ability to charge cell phones was available. Meals to go are provided and toothbrushes/toothpaste. It is open only when staffed by volunteers. If interested in volunteering, call the office and we will forward your information to the coordinator, Rebecca Jamieson. Donations are welcomed.

Both of these community outreach programs here at GSP are financially supported by our Good Shepherds.