Matt Young of Burlington, Vt., a former resident of Martha’s Vineyard, died Thursday, March 23, of cancer. He was 68.

Raised in Freeport, N.Y., he was a graduate of Blair Academy in Blairstown, N.J. and Alfred University in Alfred, N.Y., and attended the New England School of Law in Boston. But his dream was to own a restaurant. He learned the restaurant business working at Dom’s in Boston’s North End in the 1970s, then settled on the Vineyard, where he opened the popular Ocean Club in Vineyard Haven, with a second Ocean Club following in Harvard Square.

He never lost his interest in good food and good company. But around 1990 he made a life-changing decision and moved to Burlington, Vt., where he soon gained a wife, a young stepson, and a new and unforeseen career in social services. He became a founder, and subsequently supervisor, of the Howard Center Street Outreach Program, working with the homeless and those facing unmet mental health challenges in coordination with local authorities and the business community. Under his leadership, Street Outreach became an award-winning model program emulated in cities around the country, which sought his advice and guidance.

He returned often to the Vineyard, and to Jamaica, where he spent time every winter until recently, when his illness made it impossible for him to travel.

Matt is survived by his wife, Sheryl Bellman, of Burlington; his stepson, Max Blasdel, of Portland, Ore.; his sisters, Amanda Heller of Newton and Libby Young Warren of Merrimack, N.H.; and lifelong friends from Vermont to the Vineyard to Negril.