Our Mission

We are devoted to serving people in need with food, shelter, and kindness.


The Emergency Shelter opens Monday October 1 at MASC!

We are in business again! Find us at the Multi Agency Services Center, MASC, at 1931 Center (across the street from City Hall).
FYI, this is a link to the homelessness services guide

The Berkeley Emergency Storm Shelter (BESS) was located at 1925 University Avenue through August 30th. Since December 2017, and in collaboration with the City of Berkeley, the shelter had opened its doors around 6:00 PM every night to provide a safe, warm, and dry place for 90 people who would otherwise spend the night on the streets. On August 21, Council Member Davila and Mayor Arreguín organized a Town Hall meeting to brainstorm on a year round location for the shelter. This BerkeleySide article gives an excellent overview of what took place at the meeting. David Stegman, our Executive Director, spoke eloquently about the multiple risks of closing the shelter. The closing of the shelter on August 30, because of fire regulations, impacted our guests in many ways. To tie us over, we were able to reopened a couple of weeks later with a changing schedule between other city facilities. Ultimately, it was decided that MASC would be the most logical new location for BESS, and on October 1, 2018 we moved in.

David Stegman at Town Hall meeting

Below you can find a timeline of some of the story behind the 2017-2018 shelter operations and extensions.

On Tuesday night June 26, the City of Berkeley officially extended shelter operations through August 31! This is the culmination of months of work from many community sources that have been advocating for this approach. It is also a testimony to the outstanding management skills of our Shelter Manager, our 22+ ‘homeless’ monitors and over 600 individual guests who have stayed at the shelter since December 26, 2017. For more information, call our direct hotline 510.830-6981.

Berkeleyside has been covering BESS in other articles this year. On April 14th, this online independent news site announced that the city of Berkeley had found funds to keep the winter shelter open for another six weeks. Earlier that month, Berkeleyside featured The Berkeley Emergency Storm Shelter fills a gap – but will close soon – when it still looked like we would be closing on April 15.

Bob Whalen and staff volunteers at the 2018 BESS location
Shelter Manager Bob Whalen and Shelter Monitors at the 2018 BESS location. Photo: Mary Rees

Berkeleyside also interviewed our Executive Director, David Stegman in January. New Berkeley emergency homeless shelter opens on Ninth Street gives a very good description of our operations.

Our COMMUNITY BREAKFAST has served over 700,000 meals!

Lessandro and D'Angelo-COLLAGE
Lessandro and D – Community Breakfast Program gurus.


Our community breakfast is provided 6 days a week, year-round at Christ Church of Berkeley, located at 2138 Cedar Street (at Walnut) in north Berkeley. Anyone in need of a hot breakfast can join us between 6:30 and 8 AM. (Closed on Sundays.)




We offer a variety of services:

  • Community Breakfast
  • Emergency Storm Shelter
  • Holiday Season Services
  • Outreach Projects




Our Breakfast Program needs new volunteers from diverse backgrounds and experience. Each day volunteers offer their time to helping meet the growing crisis of hunger within our community.


Homeless numbers have grown by over 35% since the start of ‘the Great Recession.’ Dorothy Day House is a volunteer-based non-profit organization that has provided meals, shelter, and holiday season services for homeless and low income residents in Berkeley for over 30 years. But with food and housing insecurity on the rise in Alameda County, we depend on the contributions of concerned citizens like you more than ever.

Thank You to Our Donors!


Even a small donation of $15 can make a difference. Dorothy Day House’s life saving programs are made possible only by donations from people like you!

We would like to thank everyone who contributed to our Year End fundraising effort! You truly made a difference!