A new initiative to establish group housing for homeless Islanders aims to get off the ground by next spring if funding can be secured from Island towns, private donors and borrowing, backers said this week.

The project called Harbor Homes is the brainchild of the Martha’s Vineyard Network of Homeless Prevention, an advocacy group that aims to provide stable housing and support services for residents who do not qualify for rental assistance or other subsidy programs.

Karen Tewhey, the Dukes County associate commissioner for homeless prevention, came before the county commission last week to outline early-stage plans to buy a home in the $800,000 price range.

“We have not specified a property, but have determined some factors about the property,” Ms. Tewhey said. “It will be a five-plus bedroom house down-Island near public transportation and health services.”

She said Harbor Homes plans to apply for $300,000 in Community Preservation Act funds from Island towns to help support the project.

County commissioners voted to endorse the CPA application. County manager Martina Thornton said she is in discussion with the nonprofit Island Housing Trust to structure a mortgage for the additional $500,000 needed. She also said the Permanent Endowment for Martha’s Vineyard has agreed to set up a fund that will accept donations for the initiative.

Ms. Tewhey said if the funding can be secured, Harbor Homes plans to identify a property in the spring, buy it in the summer and have the first residents start moving in by September.

“We’re piloting this,” she said. “It’s small. Over the course of the year maybe 10 people will take advantage of this.”

The Rev. Cathlin Baker, pastor for the First Congregational Church of West Tisbury, said the idea is to provide congregate housing for the Island’s neediest population.

“There would also be support services there to help folks become employed to be able to move on to other affordable housing on the Island,” she said.

A fundraiser for the Harbor Homes program will be held on Sunday, Oct. 28, from noon to 5 p.m. at The Barn Bowl and Bistro in Oak Bluffs.

Meanwhile, Island churches are gearing up for the Houses of Grace Island Winter Shelter program, now in its third year. Houses of Grace provides temporary church-based shelters and meals for Islanders in need from January through March. The program is led by the Rev. Chip Seadale of St. Andrew’s Church in Edgartown and other Martha’s Vineyard clergy members.

“The idea of Houses of Grace is to give people shelter in the coldest and cruelest months,” Reverend Baker said.