Our Mission

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


The Winter 2018 Emergency Storm Shelter (BESS) is open!

This year, our Emergency Storm Shelter is located at 1007 University Avenue (at 9th Street). In collaboration with the City of Berkeley, the shelter will open its doors at 7 PM every night to provide a safe, warm, and dry place for 90 people who would otherwise spend the night on the streets. This Berkeleyside article gives a very good description of our operations. During inclement weather BESS operates a second shelter, rotating between two locations. For more information, call our direct hotline 510.830-6981.

Dorothy Day House Receives City of Berkeley Proclamation

City of Berkeley ProclamationOn July 27, 2017, Mayor Jesse Arrequín presented us with a special proclamation in recognition of having operated two daily Emergency Storm Shelters during this exceptionally cold and wet winter. From December 14, 2016 through April 15, 2017, our excellent staff worked tirelessly to provide a safe place and a bed to sleep in for close to 1000 guests. Board President Judy Bodenhausen and Executive Director David Stegman were present.

Over 700,000 Meals Served

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 7 and 8 am. (Closed on Sundays.)


We offer a variety of services:

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


_DSC8048Our 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.

Image Arrequín with Guests at the Shelter
Mayor Arrequín just announced that a generous donation from a Berkeley citizen will keep the shelter open at least through May 2017. (Image by Summer Meyer – April 14, 2017.)

What Your Donation Buys

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.

  • $15 provides a 25 pound bag of oatmeal.
  • $25 buys 15 dozen eggs.
  • $50 provides a dozen breakfasts or 3 people a night’s winter shelter or sleeping bags for 4 people.
  • $100 provides 58 filling breakfast meals.
  • $250 keeps our van running for a month.
  • $500 provided 45 nights of warm and dry shelter.
  • $1000 provides 58 meals, 45 nights of shelter, and 33 sleeping bags.