Programs and Services
While we love the work that we do, the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter exists with the hope that one day soon our services will no longer be needed.
Work Contract: At a given time, up to four guests will be a part of this transitional housing program. Those guests receive long-term beds, save money, and actively search for housing. Please click here to submit an application for the 2012-2013 Work Contract program.
Resource Advocacy: Trained staff are available each evening to help guests with a variety of resources. Through this program, guests receive guidance in navigating the labyrinthine maze of applying for governmental benefits such as medical insurance, SSI, food stamps, Section 8, and more. Additionally our staff will help guests in job search and finding affordable housing options.
Street Outreach: The Street Team is a fully incorporated program of the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, consisting of 21 trained volunteers, that runs from November 15th to April 15th.
Each night, a group of 3 volunteers arrives at the Shelter around 7:45 to prepare sandwiches and pack up other food before going out into Harvard Square to provide individuals with basic amenities such as food, blankets, and socks; distribute information about available resources (i.e. healthcare, job searches, food during the day, etc.); refer individuals to local shelters; and build relationships with people sleeping outside.
The commitment for Street Team consists of initial training, participating in one weekly night shift from 7:45 PM to 10:00 PM, and coming to an hour-long meeting twice a month. Street Team shifts are a low time commitment, but they have high rewards — shifts can be incredible and sometimes draining despite their shortness.
Generally drawing on student volunteers with no prior experience with the homeless, Street Team looks only for enthusiasm, compassion, and a willingness to brave the cold.
Computers: Three computers with internet connection and a printer are available for guest throughout their stay.
Laundry: We maintain a washer and dryer for guest use.
Meals: Guests at the shelter receive breakfast and dinner; blankets and food are available at the door for guests and non-guests.
Referrals: If no beds are available at HSHS, staff will make referrals to other area shelters upon request.