We, at Dorothy Day House, are humbled by a group of over 70 regular volunteers – who show up, day after day – to help the unhoused in Berkeley. It is because of our volunteers that we can serve approximately 70,000 meals per year. Arguably, this is the most crucial part of what we do. By meeting immediate needs first, we can build a relationship built on trust with the unhoused in Berkeley. This relationship-building process makes the difference between an unhoused person's success in navigating the system and an unhoused person remaining on the street.
Learn about our current volunteer opportunities and fill out our volunteer interest from below to see how you can become a part of the Dorothy Day family.
Volunteering here allows you to be on a first-name basis with many individuals that previously were just faces (or shapes) on the street. We always try to provide as much dignity, and choice, and make it something special as much as possible – because it might be the only special thing that happens in someone’s day.
Jay Kelekian, Volunteer & Board Member
Berkeley Community Resource Center
DDH staff and volunteers prepare breakfast, lunch, and dinner out of our Center Street location for our program guests in three DDH locations. Our day program at the BCRC includes breakfast and lunch.
The BCRC also offers guests access to a clothing closet stocked with clothing donations from the community.
Volunteers work with staff members to prep food, portion meals into containers, set up for service, serve meals, and clean up afterward.
Breakfast: 7AM -9AM, 7:30AM -9:30AM, M-Sa
Lunch: 9AM-11PM, 10:30AM-12:30PM, 11:30AM-1:30PM, every day
Dinner: 2PM-4PM, 4PM-6PM, every day
PARKING LOT PANTRY
Volunteers stock our pantry trailer with shelf-stable groceries, toiletries, and ready-made foods recovered from our myriad partners and help guests fill a bag with items of their choice.
12PM -2PM, W during lunch
Volunteers pick up donuts from Happy Donuts (1041 Gilman St.) and deliver them to the BCRC. Replacement bins are also transported from the BCRC back to Happy Donuts
Any time between 6AM -9AM, Tu, Th
Shift usually takes less than 1 hr.
Volunteers to help manage our clothing closet and create a welcoming environment for folks to choose what they need. This includes sorting, organizing and laundering donations, as well as assisting BCRC staff.
10AM -12AM, M, Th
At Dorothy Day House, we understand the importance of meeting people where they are. This includes bringing our services to those who would not – either by choice or another obstacle – visit one of our locations. Our Outreach Teams visit areas of the county that traditionally have high rates of food insecurity and poverty, with a primary focus on populations living within encampments.
DDH PANTRY TRAILER
The DDH pantry trailer is recognized as a symbol of support and is a welcome weekly sight to many. Our Outreach team stocks our pantry trailer with shelf-stable groceries, toiletries, and ready-made foods. They roll out to multiple homeless encampments to distribute the items directly to those in need.
Berkeley encampment: 11AM-2PM, F
RIchmond encampment: 9:30AM-12PM, 1st and 3rd Th of each month
OUTREACH WITH BILL
In partnership with Christ Church, DDH serves the unhoused in locations that our truck and trailer can’t access. Volunteers join Christ Church's Bill Barnes, a passionate and experienced community support soldier, load up his van and make the rounds with hot coffee, water, pastries, and hygiene supplies.
9:30AM -11:30AM, Th (meet at our Center St. location)
Summer 2023 Youth Volunteer Program
This is a week-long program for rising high school sophomores, juniors, and seniors to provide a view of the many facets of our operations at DDH.
Students will help with food prep, meal service, cleaning, stocking, and staffing our clothing closet. They will also ride along with staff to partner organizations and assist with the pick up of meals and pantry supplies.
Orientation: prior to summer, date TBD (A parent/guardian is required to attend)
Program: 7AM -1:30PM, one week Tu-F
Two spots per week throughout the summer.
Please contact Volunteer Coordinator, Tami Stewart, at email@example.com for an application