Our Mission

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


The City of Berkeley extends our Emergency Shelter through August 31!

This year, our Berkeley Emergency Storm Shelter (BESS) is located at 1925 University Avenue (at 9th Street). In collaboration with the City of Berkeley, the shelter has opened its doors around 6:00 PM every night since December 2017 to provide a safe, warm, and dry place for 90 people each night who would otherwise spend the night on the streets. 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.

Dorothy Day House Receives City of Berkeley Proclamation

City of Berkeley Proclamation
Board President Judy Bodenhausen and Executive Director David Stegman received the proclamation.


On 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.



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!