Dorothy Day House Shelter

Due to the COVID-19 Crisis, the timeline of these new programs may be altered. For more information, please call the Shelter at 510-705-1516 or send an email to

Dorothy Day House believes in meeting our guests’ immediate needs first, while providing them guidance along a pathway to restored independence. 

Dorothy Day Shelter is unlike other shelters. Instead of policing our guests, we help restore their dignity by recognizing them as individuals with common needs, wants and goals. The Gateway Advocacy Project (GAP) is a subset of the Dorothy Day House Shelter that is focused on providing structure and guidance for individuals seeking independent living.

Through our Next Step: Workforce Development Program, Dorothy Day House Shelter is able to offer educational, step-by-step programs to Dorothy Day House Shelter guests and staff who are interested in building a brighter future by achieving independence and financial security with the aid of Program Advocates, who are chosen through a system of seniority in the organization either as an employee or volunteer. 

Participants will work with their Program Advocates, DDH staff and community professionals to foster and grow their skills in the culinary arts. Different educational goals can be chosen, including Cook/Commercial Kitchen training, Custodial/Building Maintenance and Lower Management (Supervisory) training. Upon completion of the program, they will be referred to one of our community partners, which include:

  • Smoke BBQ

  • Bobby G’s 

  • Camal Next Door

  • Chipotle 

  • Triple Rock Brewery 

The Next Step program is also in the process of expanding into other trades as well: including custodial, building maintenance and other skill sets.

Another priority for the Dorothy Day House Shelter is getting as many of our guests back to living independently as possible. To accomplish this, we have developed the LIFT and SHIELD Programs. 

The LIFT program focuses on the guests of the Dorothy Day Shelter who are ready to reclaim their independence. To qualify, the guest must have a monthly income of $1600 or otherwise steady employment. With the help of our community partners, we can advocate for guests to be placed in transitional housing to help them gradually ease back into living independently. DDHS Advocates will provide ongoing, personalized support for participants including education on money management and budgeting, building a savings account and other necessary life skills. 

The Supportive Housing for Independent Employee Living (SHIELD) program functions in a similar fashion to LIFT but focuses primarily on unhoused Dorothy Day House employees who have been with the organization for 6 months or longer. 60 % of the staff at DDHS is currently or has been unhoused. 

Our community partners for the LIFT and SHIELD programs are: 

  • Bay Area Community Services (BACS) Rapid Rehousing Program

  • Downtown Berkeley YMCA Residence

To date, 100% of participants have successfully completed the SHIELD program, and similar results are anticipated for the LIFT and Next Step: Workforce Development programs.

Referral Process

If you are in need of shelter please contact your outreach provider

or call BACS HRC at:



BACS HRC will then provide a referral directly to DDH​