Our Mission

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


The Dorothy Day House Shelter is open every night at MASC! Additionally, BESS operates during rain and low temperatures at Old City Hall.

Our nightly shelter opened its doors on October 1, 2018! Find us at the Multi Agency Services Center, MASC, at 1931 Center (across the street from City Hall) from 6pm until 7:30am. On nights when it rains or when temperatures drop below 40 degrees, we run our Berkeley Emergency Storm Shelter (BESS)  at Old City Hall (at 2180 Milvia) from 7pm to 7am with extra beds .

Since the start of December 2018, the Berkeley Emergency Storm Shelter (BESS) opened its doors for additional beds on nights when it rains or when the temperature drops below 40 degrees. BESS moved into the Old City Hall after the City Council approved this as its final meeting at that location. More information is to be found in the BerkeleySide article Old City Hall to become emergency winter homeless shelter.

All this good news is 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 shelters since December 26, 2017. For more information, call our direct hotline at 510.830-6981.

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

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
  • Dorothy Day House Shelter
  • 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.

(Image Susan Black – Volunteers at our first ever Thanksgiving Meal in 2018.)


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!