Overnight shelter opens at Community Services

A homeless shelter at the former MV Community Services building has officially opened. — Lucas Thors

Harbor Homes recently announced on Facebook that it successfully moved its entire shelter operation at the Old Whaling Church and two other church shelters to the Martha’s Vineyard Community Services old Early Childhood Center. 

The move comes after the Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School committee (which manages the property Community Services sits on) voted to allow a change of use to the first floor of the childcare building to accommodate homeless and housing-insecure people.

Because Community Services’ early childhood programs are now housed in the newly constructed Early Childhood Center, the old building’s bottom floor was unutilized. The top floor has been used as administrative offices and to accommodate overflow from other office buildings. 

Following the vote, the new shelter location opened on Jan. 15, and is now accepting guests.

In the Facebook announcement, shelter director Lisa Belcastro gave a shout-out to Beth Folcarelli at Community Services, Matt Rossi, Oak Bluffs Fire Chief Nelson Wirtz, Amy Houghton of the school board, along with other school officials, Meegan Lancaster, Tilton Rentals, Chicken Alley, and the team of volunteers who put in extra hours to help pack up the three church shelters and move it all to the new space. 

The shelter will operate from 6 pm to 8 am. All guests must arrive between 6 and 7 pm. There is no admittance after 7 pm. 

“Thank you to all our supporters and donors on-Island. MV is the best place to live because of the people who live here!” Belcastro wrote in the announcement.

Visit harborhomesmv.com for more information, or call 774-563-3687.