Overnight shelter beds will become available next month for Islanders who are homeless or without heat, but locations have been secured for only six nights a week and there’s no place yet for a daytime warming center, according to executive director Karen Tewhey of Harbor Homes Martha’s Vineyard, which administers the winter shelter program.

“We have six nights of space committed from two churches in Edgartown, St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church and the Federated Church,” Ms. Tewhey told the Gazette Monday. “What we are lacking is a space for one night to hold the shelter.

The two churches that have come forward are meeting this week to confirm which six nights they are hosting, she added.

The daytime warming shelter that has operated for the past four years is on hold, Ms. Tewhey said.

“We don’t yet have a space for the daytime program and that’s a real concern,” she said. “We were [previously] fortunate to rent a space where we had access to the building 24/7.”

The Edgartown churches hosting the overnight shelter are only making their facilities available in the evening hours, Ms. Tewhey said. “If there are … individuals or organizations that have a creative idea around offering the warming center this year, we’re eager to collaborate.”

From November through March, the overnight shelters offer dinner, beds and breakfast for about a dozen people a night, said Ms. Tewhey, whose organization took over management of the shelter program from Island clergy last year. On average, she said, about five to eight Islanders a night have checked in, adding up to more than two dozen different people.

“Over the course of the past six years there’s been a shelter, there are consistently about 25 individuals who have used the shelter for anywhere from a few days or a few months over the winter, so we know that it’s a critically needed service, especially when the weather gets cold.”

To staff the overnight shelters, Harbor Homes is recruiting both volunteers and paid workers.

“We’re looking for volunteers for the dinner shift, which is about 5:30 to 8:30, and then we plan on paying staff who sleep overnight,” Ms. Tewhey said.

The overnight shift runs from 8 p.m. to 8:30 a.m. and pays $17 an hour, with no special background required, she said.

“We provide training and we’re looking for people who are non-judgmental, caring and responsible, and reliable,” Ms. Tewhey said. “Volunteers in the past have been extraordinarily compassionate individuals and have provided real support to the guests who are homeless and frequent the shelter.”

Covid-19 prevention protocols will remain in place at the shelter, although the social distancing requirement has been relaxed, she said.

“People will have to wear masks inside the facility unless they are sleeping,” Ms. Tewhey said.

Islanders interested in volunteer or paid positions should email harborhomesmv@gmail.com or call 978-273-0533.

Paid workers are asked to commit to one, two or three nights a week for the entire five-month shelter season, Ms. Tewhey said.