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 2015-2016 Work Contract program.

Resource Advocacy: The Resource Advocacy program provides case-management to our guests to help them connect with social services in the Boston/Cambridge area. We help guests with employment, housing, transport, education, health services and more. As an RA you will be trained to assist guests and in the process will gain invaluable insight into the social service system.

You will be expected to attend weekly meetings, carry a weekly 3-hour shift from 7:30 to 10:30 PM at the shelter, and follow up with referrals during regular business hours.

Street Outreach: The Street Team is a fully incorporated program of the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter, consisting of 28 trained volunteers, that runs from November 1st to April 15th. 

Each night, a group of 4 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, basic toiletries (e.g. soap, shampoo, toothpaste) 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.


Harvard Square Homeless Shelter
66 Winthrop Street
Cambridge, MA 02138


We are open from the evening of November 1st to the morning of April 15th. The shelter is open from 7PM to 8AM, except on Saturday mornings when it is open until 9AM.

To enter the bed lottery, call toll-free at 1-888-285-4038 between 7:30AM and 8AM.