1. What is it like working in Salinas' Chinatown?
It is challenging and deeply rewarding. We work with a wide range of people, but the majority of our guests have been traumatized by poverty, homelessness and other systemic oppressions. There is great beauty here, but also intense suffering. We see people we love die almost every month. Our commitment to our deeply held values is what makes our service possible. Joining us, you will need to have a plan for self care and sustainability.
2. Who was Dorothy Day?
The co-founder with Peter Maurin of the Catholic Worker movement. She was a social justice activist and journalist. She has the title of Servant of God in the Catholic Church, as a cause has been opened to have her canonized. Dorothy's Kitchen and Dorothy's Hospitality Center were named in her honor.
3. How does one join the Community?
New community members must apply for and be accepted into an available full-time volunteer position at Dorothy's Place. See the Service Opportunities page for the requirements of currently open positions. The About Us page has a description of community obligations.
4. Where do full time volunteers live?
Community members are provided with furnished housing at The Mercy Center (about half an hour's walk from our workplace) or at The House of Peace, located on the second floor of Dorothy's Place (along with the administrative offices of the Franciscan Workers of Junipero Serra).
At the Mercy Center there are 6 apartments in 3 houses; each person has their own bedroom, usually with a shared bathroom, living room and kitchen. The first apartment is used as communal space; we host Community meetings, meals and activities in the living and dining area.
The House of Peace has 15 individual rooms that serve as transitional housing for former guests of Dorothy's Place or Women Alive! as well as accommodating full time volunteers. Everyone has their own bedroom with shared kitchen and bathrooms.
5. Do Community members get paid?
In order to support us in our commitment as full time volunteers, the Franciscan Workers of Junipero Serra provide Community members with supplemental food assistance through the local food bank and a modest living allowance. Catholic Volunteer Network - AmeriCorps members also receive an education grant at the end of a year of service.
6. Where is Salinas, CA?
Salinas is in the Central Coast Valley of California in beautiful Monterey County. It is primarily an agricultural community with a large Spanish speaking Latino population. It is close enough to San Francisco and Big Sur for weekend trips, and 20 minutes away from beaches, the Pinnacles, and the Carmel artist community.
Dorothy's Place Hospitality Center
30 Soledad St. Salinas, CA 93901