Updated: Jul 15
When Dorothy Day House Berkeley was founded 29 years ago, it was with the intent of making a difference for those in need in our community. This took the form of serving food out of the personal kitchens of volunteers, of church basements, and any place that could be secured. The dogged resilience of the individuals who ran our early operations is still reflected in our ongoing fight to end the cycle of chronic homelessness in our community.
The growth we have experienced in the past 2 years has been nothing less than extraordinary for our team, and we could not be more grateful for the outpouring of community support.
With the creation of our Berkeley Community Resource Center Program in 2019, we began to reposition ourselves as a one-stop-shop for the unhoused in our area, providing access to clean clothing, showers, laundry services, hygiene supplies, and referrals and linkage to housing navigation resources in addition to our array of food services.
The evolution of this program was sped up rapidly by the COVID-19 crisis, which required shelters to reduce their indoor services by 50% to adhere to health and safety guidelines.
Undeterred, DDH continued to meet the moment by creating street outreach teams to ensure that the unhoused still had access to hot meals and other resources and restructured our services to ensure that we were providing the maximum possible number of showers and laundry despite the limitations on indoor services.
With the rest of the world beginning its return to normalcy, DDH has continued to meet the evolving challenges that face those who live outside. Our longtime partners at the City of Berkeley reached out to us to helm the new Horizon Transitional Village, which began its services in earnest on July 1, with 10 current residents moving in.
The facility includes a Clothing Closet, a Library, Computer Station, Kitchen and Dining Area, an outdoor recreation area, and a community garden.
Each participant will be given their own space, clothes as necessary, and space to safely store their personal belongings. This new 24-hour addition to our organization will help us further deliver on our primary goal: getting unhoused individuals back on their feet and living sustainably for the long-term.
Dorothy Day House would not be able to help those in need without people like you. Thank you.