Vineyard Gazette: Island churches doubling as homeless shelters help fill gap in services

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When the Federated Church in Edgartown, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, also in Edgartown, and Grace Episcopal Church in Vineyard Haven opened their doors to anyone who needed shelter on Jan. 1, no one came. Volunteers staffed the shelters every night, anyway. Ten days later, the program’s first guest showed up, and the churches have provided shelter to someone every night since. The program is slated to end on March 31. A total of 21 people have used the shelter service so far, and they stayed a combined 264 nights. Most were men, but eventually the shelters served women, too. On most nights now, five or six people arrive in need of a meal and a place to sleep.

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