Harvard Square Summer Shelter

The Harvard Square Summer Shelter is a 7-week housing program designed for people who need a stable living situation as they work toward housing-related, job, or personal goals. Guests should be willing to work closely with a student case manager and be able to live well with others in a close knit-community. We are located in the basement of the University Lutheran Church on 66 Winthrop Street in Cambridge at the bottom of the ramp.

Please note: there is no nightly lottery throughout the summer because guests at HSSS stay for the duration of the program.

The program provides the following services:

  • A permanent bed (in a single-gender group sleeping space; gender-neutral sleeping arrangements are also available, but there are no private sleeping rooms or restrooms)
  • Dinner and breakfast, to go lunches, limited storage of personal food items in the kitchen
  • Toiletries, shower, locker storage, laundry, access to a temporary mailing address
  • Funding for MBTA transportation
  • Internet, computer, and printer access
  • The program will also cover fees associated with applying for a Mass ID and other documents

This is a 7-week program open from the beginning of June to the beginning of August (exact dates TBD, and we will email applicants when we know the final dates.)


Please read carefully.

  • Applicants must be clean and sober within the shelter space at all times and must submit to a breathalyzer test and bag search upon entry.
  • Applicants should be able to spend every night at the shelter, with up to 12 “nights out” over the course of the summer.
  • Applicants should be willing to work closely with a student case manager to reach personal goals and meet once per week.
  • Applicants should feel comfortable living with 14 other guests and working with shelter staff.
    If applicants have received a seasonal bar from HSHS within the last two years or a bar from the Harvard Square Summer Shelter within the last two seasons, they are not eligible to enter the program this season.

Guest Selection Lottery

Interested potential guests must have completed and submitted a form with their name and contact information by 10 pm on May 1 to be entered into the lottery. Guests may only enter the lottery once and must use only one name. The random selection process took place on May 1 and directors are in the process of reaching out to winners to schedule mandatory in-person meetings to confirm that applicants can adhere to shelter policies. You will need to confirm that you will accept the place in this program within one week of hearing from us. Please email [email protected] with any questions.

Note on Privacy: The information you enter here will go directly to the Harvard Square Summer Shelter email and can only be accessed by the Summer Shelter directors. We will delete the Google Form and all of the information after we run the lottery.

Questions? Contact us at [email protected].