Harvard Square Business Association Holds Charity Yard Sale for Homeless Shelter

Yard Sale
Susan E. Miller-Havens, owner of the Miller-Havens Art Gallery, and Priscilla J. McMillan of the Harvard Square Business Association discuss an art piece with an attendee at the Harvard Square Business Association's Yard Sale to benefit the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter.

Square residents ventured out in the cold to Brattle Street Saturday to shop and support their neighbors at a charity yard sale for the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter.

The yard sale, organized by the Harvard Square Business Association, was held in the Corcoran building, which formerly housed Urban Outfitters, Tealuxe, and Sweet Bakery. The stores closed late last year ahead of plans to demolish and rebuild the site as a “pedestrian mall.”

Among some of the sellers were former Brattle Street stores, which donated eclectic pieces ranging from furniture to art to 1930s baseball cleats. The event raised nearly $2,000 for the homeless shelter, according to Denise Jillson, the Executive Director of the Harvard Square Business Association.

The event organizers made clear that the purpose of the sale was to give back to the community. As they perused, patrons were reminded by pamphlets taped to walls and cabinets to “consider those who have fallen on hard times” in making their purchases.


Susan E. Miller-Havens, a local artist who helped organize the event and whose gallery was forced to close with the planned construction, said the yard sale was designed to address one of the Square’s most pressing social needs.

“It is an ongoing problem in Harvard Square that we don’t have enough shelters, and the shelters don’t have enough money,” Miller-Havens said.

Jillson said the charity partnership was a natural fit.

“The Harvard Square Homeless Shelter is a member of the association, and it has been since its inception,” Jillson said.

Ultimately, she said, holding the yard sale to support the shelter “was really a no-brainer.”

Ethan M. Kahn ’20, the co-administrative director of the Harvard Square Homeless Shelter said the relationship between the shelter and the Harvard Square Business Association is ongoing.

“The Harvard Square Business Association oftentimes facilitates our connections with donors, including other organizations and shops throughout the square,” Kahn said. “We’re really appreciative of their support.”

The yard sale will also run on Feb. 9, from 10 a.m. - 4 p.m. at 0 Brattle St.

— Staff writer Ellen M. Burstein can be reached at Follow her on Twitter @ellenburstein.


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