The Harbor Homes winter homeless shelter will reopen Nov. 1 on the campus of Martha’s Vineyard Community Services, where the shelter has operated for the past two winters.

The Martha’s Vineyard Regional High School committee voted 5-3 to allow the shelter to open nightly through April 30 in the former early childhood building at MVCS, which is located across the street from the school and owned by the district.

“There’s a crisis and there’s a need, and we have to do the best we can under the circumstances,” vice chair Jeffrey Skipper Manter said.

The one-year agreement allows the shelter to accommodate 22 people — 20 guests and two staffers — an increase of two guests over the previous seasons.

“The location can easily accommodate that number,” MVCS chief executive Beth Folcarelli told the committee.

The new agreement also adds more days in November and April and allows daytime sheltering on Thanksgiving and Christmas days.

Schools superintendent Richie Smith will have the discretion to allow additional daytime sheltering in extreme weather or when temperatures are forecast to stay at or below 28 degrees.

Harbor Homes had initially asked for a two-year contract while it continues to hunt for a building of its own.

But at the request of Oak Bluffs town administrator Deborah Potter, the term was shortened to one year.

Representing the Oak Bluffs police department, lieutenant Nicholas Curelli attended Thursday’s meeting to request that the shelter be moved elsewhere, citing an incident last winter when an intoxicated man entered the high school after student hours.

“We understand the need for it, but would ask for a different location,” said Lt. Curelli, asking that the shelter be distanced from elderly housing, schools and youth facilities.

“As a father who has children in the school, [if] someone is wandering around intoxicated in the school and kids are there, I do have a problem with that,” he said.

Shelter manager Lisa Belcastro told the board that the drunk man, who also visited the YMCA, was unknown to shelter staff at the time of the incident, which she said was the first of its kind in the eight-year history of winter shelters on the Vineyard.

High school principal Sara Dingledy added that the school has tightened its security, keeping outside doors locked while students are in the buildings.

“We are better than we’ve ever been in terms of controlling access,” Ms. Dingledy said.

After 3:45 p.m., however, the school is more porous as doors are opened for public meetings and other activities, she said.

Mr. Smith spoke up on Harbor Homes’ behalf, saying Ms. Belcastro has worked well with the school district.

“Lisa last year was a great partner, very responsible,” he said. “I have no doubt that she’ll continue to be that way for us.”

However, committee chair Kathryn Shertzer and members Kris O’Brien and Louis Paciello agreed with the police department’s position.

“When you talk about safety and security, they’re the experts,” said Ms. O’Brien said, who voted no along with Ms. Shertzer and Mr. Paciello.

Ms. Shertzer said she is also concerned about safety at the high school in the mornings, when shelter guests are asked to leave by 7:45 a.m., as well as later in the day.

“I take those kids and those teachers and staff incredibly seriously and it does concern me when your guests are leaving at the time our kids are arriving and I do have concern about the open doors … at the end of the day,” she said.

Mr. Manter, Robert Lionette, Jennifer Cutrer, Roxanne Ackerman and Michael Watts voted in favor of the one-year agreement with Harbor Homes, a nonprofit that has taken over the winter shelter program initiated by Island churches in 2015.

Harbor Homes first gained the school committee’s permission for a shelter at MVCS as an emergency measure in January 2022.

Last fall, the committee granted, rescinded and then, after discussions with Oak Bluffs officials, reinstated its approval for the winter shelter to return for a full season.

On Thursday, committee members pressed Ms. Belcastro on the nonprofit’s plans for a shelter of its own.

“Harbor Homes is committed to a capital campaign [and] looking at different grants. It is our goal, to the best of our ability, to find something,” she said.

“I’ve looked at more than two dozen properties,” Ms. Belcastro added, asking for any leads committee members might have.

Also Thursday, the high school committee held a closed session to discuss a potential settlement of its legal case against Oak Bluffs over the town planning board’s denial of a special permit for an artificial turf infield at the running track.

While settlement talks are ongoing, Ms. Shertzer reported after the closed session, the committee simultaneously will seek a public meeting with the Oak Bluffs select board, planning board, town administrator and a moderator to discuss the issue.

Options for dates, meeting places and agenda options were to be communicated to the other parties today, Ms. Shertzer said.