Three Ways To Get Involved
Apply to be a weekly volunteer today!
Run entirely by students and volunteers, Y2Y Harvard Square is recruiting a group of dedicated volunteers who contribute a wide variety of skills and time to the shelter. We need 150 weekly volunteers to ensure our shelter operates smoothly. Apply to be a weekly volunteer TODAY!
Don’t want to commit to volunteering weekly? You can also sign up for a single shift on our shift calendar below! Shifts are open starting with dinner at June 12.
programming and growth.
Donate Online Below or
Mail a Check.
Mail offline donations made payable to
“Y2Y Harvard Square” to:
Y2Y Harvard Square
Phillips Brooks House Association
1 North Harvard Yard
Cambridge, MA 02138
Stock our shelves with food and supplies.
We are in need of the following items:
Non-perishable food items
Socks and undergarments
Other items listed on our Amazon Wish List
To coordinate drop off at the shelter, email us below!
Support our youth on their pathway out of homelessness.
Y2Y Harvard Square Donation
Frequently asked questions
WHY SHOULD I VOLUNTEER WITH Y2Y?
As a volunteer with Y2Y, you will have the opportunity to both change lives and experience personal change. You will have the opportunity to learn from your fellow volunteers on shift, from staff members through reflections, and from our guests through countless meaningful conversations shared in the shelter. You’ll become part of our kind, supportive, and fun community with almost 200 of your peers.
We hope that Y2Y can be a place for all of us — volunteers, staff, and guests — to rest, grow, and lead together, and we sincerely hope that you will join us!
HOW MUCH TIME IS EXPECTED OF ME AS A Y2Y WEEKLY VOLUNTEER?
As a weekly volunteer, you’ll sign up for one regular, shift: breakfast, dinner, evening, or overnight. While the overnight shift is around 10 hours, the breakfast, dinner, and evening shifts are 2 – 3 hours. You’ll be responsible for staffing that shift each week, on a consistent basis.
Shifts will begin with the Sunday dinner shift on October 15th. You are responsible for filling your shift every week during this time (except for Thanksgiving break). You must either be present or find a substitute to take your place (anyone may substitute for you). If you miss three of your regular shifts, you will be removed from your weekly position. As regular volunteers, the shelter relies on your unwavering dedication and accountability!
If you are concerned that you can’t commit to a weekly shift, but are still interested in volunteering, you can sign up for our substitute volunteer list here. As a sub, you will be able to fill in shifts on an as-needed basis when you’re available.
WHAT ARE THE DETAILS OF EACH SHIFT?
Breakfast (6:30-9:15 AM): Come in bright and early to greet our guests! Breakfast volunteers, arriving between 6am and 6:30am (except on Saturdays when they arrive an hour later), help make breakfast and clean the shelter (an invaluable service!) after all the guests leave at 8:00.
Dinner (6:45-9:15 PM): You’ll be cooking and serving dinner, talking with guests, and perhaps making a food pick-up run from one of the many shops that donate to us.
Evening (9:00-11:15 PM): On the evening shift, help is often needed in the kitchen to clean up after dinner. This is also a relaxed time to visit with guests as they prepare for bed.
Overnight (11:00 PM-9:00 AM): You’ll hang out with other volunteers and night-owl guests, basically hold more good conversations, view movies, wash laundry, read, bake cookies, and more! This is a fantastic shift because it’s a rare opportunity to have long conversations and get to know people well. Don’t worry: we do take turns sleeping — the night is typically divided into three sub-shifts and you will be asleep for two of them (there is a staff room with beds, so you’ll be able to sleep 5-6 hours when it is not your turn to be awake.
I AM PART OF A GROUP (CHURCH, YOUTH GROUP, ETC.) THAT WOULD LIKE TO VOLUNTEER TOGETHER. DO YOU ACCOMMODATE GROUP VOLUNTEERING?
We do! Please feel free to reach out to us at firstname.lastname@example.org with any questions or details specific to group volunteering.
Y2Y Harvard Square
1 Church Street
Cambridge, MA 02138