Dorothy Day House

5/17/2019 (via Mike Zint of First They Came for the Homeless on

Dear Friends and Supporters of Dorothy Day House:

We are writing to urgently request that you write or call or e-mail the City Council and the Mayor telling them to provide full funding in the coming budget to Dorothy Day House, as enthusiastically approved by the Homeless Commission in February, restoring the $223,356 that City Staff has cut. We learned of these cuts last week when consulting with city staff about our proposals. We are shocked and dismayed. These cuts, if allowed to stand, would eliminate the decades-long Breakfast Program and decimate the Dorothy Day Shelter and Drop In Center.
The next meeting of the City Council is June 11 and we urge you to come and speak up for our programs

In response to the RFP process for the coming fiscal period Dorothy Day House submitted four proposals for funding. The following is a brief description of each proposal:

This program has been in existence for a number of decades. Daily between 60-80 free meals are served. In the past year 10,000 meals have been served.
The Homeless Commission recommended we move the program into the Drop In Center
Homeless Commission Recommendations $41,022
Staff Recommendation: ZERO

Located in the Veterans Building and open every night. Guests are referred by City of Berkeley Staff from a list of the 100 most vulnerable un-sheltered individuals identified by various North County service agencies and Berkeley identified
We are at capacity with 57 guests every night. The age of the average guest is over 50. Most guests are medically or mentally frail or both. This shelter is considered a low barrier shelter.
The Homeless Commission approved the full $577,000 requested.
Homeless Commission Recommendation: $577,000
Staff Recommendation: $416,000

This is a new project for Dorothy Day House, it will also be housed at the Veterans Building. It will be open 365 days a year and provide a safe and secure place to be during the day. Two healthy meals will be provided. Food, respite from the street, emotional support and community building are all critical to the health of our guests. Our vision for the center is to bring service providers in on a regular basis to help navigate our guests through serviced that will enable them to begin to move forward with their lives.
Homeless Commission Recommendation: $181,770
Staff Recommendation: $160,437
BESS was activated for 67 days this winter. BESS served a total of 311 unique guests. The average age of our guests was 49. Our average attendance was 27 per night. A third of the guests were women. 224 guests were from Berkeley and 34 were from Oakland.
98 of our guests were participants in the Coordinated Entry System.
The criteria for activation was less that 40 degrees or rain.
Homeless Commission Recommendation: $30,100
Staff Recommendation: Full Funding

We do not believe we can run programs that will have the most benefits to our guests and the COB with these drastic cuts. We are confident we can provide services that will encourage our guests to move forward if we are funded adequately, as demonstrated by of decades of work to support those who are without shelter.

It is our mission to provide a safe place to sleep and meals to those most in need. It is also our mission to do this with the greatest possible fiscal responsibility; of course without sacrificing the quality of services we provide

Thank you,

Susan Black

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One Response to Dorothy Day House

  1. Jennifer Bowlin says:

    I find it apauling that I have been waiting for housing since Jan. 2018. I am a Native American Born in Alameda County. I was recently told by a worker at Bachs that I will probably never get chosen from the by name list. I have acute PTSD and am 55 years old. I was told I could apply for senior housing at 55 and now it’s changed to 62. My 75year old father and I have been displaced after 13 years due to lack of rent control. I can feel my ancestors turning over in there graves. It breaks my heart and my spirit diminishes a bit each day.

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