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At Dorothy Day House, everyone is family.

This year has been difficult for everyone. More than ever, we all need each other to get by – whether it be by supporting public health measures, volunteering in your community, or donating to local non-profits. At Dorothy Day House (DDH), we have been immeasurably humbled by the outpouring of support from people like you.

We have been working tirelessly to ensure that the unhoused in Berkeley have access to a full array of services since 1992.

For the homeless people that DDH serves, COVID-19 is a crisis within a crisis. Since California issued a shelter-in-place order in March, many social service agencies have had to drastically reduce staff and services, or even worse: shut their doors entirely – just in time for a wave of people pushed underwater by job losses due to the pandemic. Unfortunately, this has not improved – and as we barrel towards winter, we are bracing for an even greater demand for our services.

DDH was founded in the spirit of Dorothy Day, who believed in loving our brothers regard- less of race, color or creed, and that love must be shown by working to improve their conditions immediately.

For Leonard, a current staff member, that is what really stood out about our organization.

Leonard in the DDH Courtyard

“I went to two organizations that gave me out of date information when I first became homeless,” says Leonard, “When I came here, Dorothy Day House staff made sure I had everything I needed.”

Leonard took a chance when he took on a contract job, which ended up not being renewed as he had expected. Like so many of the other people we help, Leonard did his best to find a new job, but could not replace his income before getting evicted.

Luckily, he had only been on the streets for a couple of weeks when he found Dorothy Day House.

“I began volunteering almost immediately,” he says with a laugh, “I stopped by for services one day and just never left.”

After volunteering for a short period, Leonard, who is chronically ill, ended up in the hospital for a week – and stayed in a respite motel for a short period of time afterwards.

“My roommate stole all of my belongings while I wasn’t around one day,” says Leonard, “I didn’t know what else to do, so I told the staff at Dorothy Day House, and they not only took me to the store to help me get the things I needed – but they were able to get me into the shelter as well. It was like leaning on my own family.

Not long after, Dorothy Day House was able to offer Leonard a job as well. Now that he is on even footing again, he hopes to get his Master’s in Public Health to continue giving back to the community.

“I feel like the work I am able to do at Dorothy Day House is absolutely crucial – especially now,” Leonard says, “If you need help – come to Dorothy Day House.”

We know times are hard. As we approach the coming winter season, your help is needed more than ever.

During the time of COVID-19, no one is safe until we all are. Will you consider donating? You can send a gift online at this link, or you can send a gift by mail to the following address:

Dorothy Day House

PO Box 12701

Berkeley, CA 94712

100% of donations we receive directly support our unhoused community members. Your generous philanthropy is what has allowed us to help people like Leonard, and many others.

Thank you for your ongoing support of our extended family living outside in Berkeley.


Mark Newsom

Board President, Dorothy Day House

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