Winter Volunteer Opportunities

Volunteer at the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter this Winter Season! The Harvard Square Homeless Shelter is the only student-run homeless shelter in the nation, with a volunteer force of 150+. 

The shelter is located at 66 Winthrop Street in the basement of the University Lutheran Church in Harvard Square (on the corner of Dunster and Winthrop Streets, next to the MAC and Pinocchio’s Pizza).
Around town anytime between Tuesday, December 20 and Monday, January 23 and looking to share some holiday cheer?

The Harvard Square Homeless Shelter would love your help!

No previous experience or training required–just a willingness to lend a helping hand. Shifts are as short as 2 hours–shift descriptions and map of our location are below.

Please contact us at with any questions.

Sign-up for Winter Break/J-term (dinner on Tuesday 12/20 to breakfast on Monday 1/23):



There are 4 shifts:

Dinner: 6:45 PM – 9:15 PM
Evening: 9:00 PM – 11:15 PM
Overnight: 11 PM – 9:00 AM
Breakfast: 6:30 AM – 9:00 AM

*But if it is SATURDAY morning, then it is*
[Friday] Overnight: 11 PM – 10:00 AM
[Saturday] Breakfast: 7:30 AM – 10:00 AM

BREAKFAST — Come in bright and early to greet our guests as they begin to wake up!  You’ll be making breakfast and helping to clean the shelter (an invaluable service!) after all the guests leave at 8am.

DINNER — You’ll be making and serving dinner, and perhaps be lucky enough to run on a food salvage trip or collect pastries from the many shops that donate to us.

EVENING — This is a relaxed time to visit with guests as they prepare for bed.  It’s usually very quiet and a great opportunity for some wonderful conversations.  Help is also often needed in the kitchen to clean-up after dinner and prepare plates of food to hand out at the door.

OVERNIGHT – You’ll hang out with other volunteers and night-owl guests, basically having more good conversations, watching movies, doing laundry, reading, baking cookies, etc!  This is a fantastic shift because it’s a rare opportunity to have long conversations and get to know people well.  Overnight volunteers often say it’s the best shift!  And never fear, we do take turns sleeping — the night is typically divided into three sub-shifts and you will be asleep for two of them (there is a staff room with bunk beds, so you will be able to sleep 5-6 hours when it is not your turn to be awake).


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