This year, we are planning quite a few maintenance and repair projects for the Oakland Catholic Worker building, including replacing windows, siding, bathroom floors, hot and cold water pipes, and most of the roof; installing a heating system; constructing a roof over the rear deck; and adding insulation.  If you have the interest and skills to help with any of these projects, please contact us. 


​Work one-on-one with a guest, helping them understand a particular subject, such as English writing, computer literacy, or academic subjects for our school-aged guests.  Subjects will vary depending on current needs.  Volunteers should be proficient in the subject they are tutoring; kind, respectful, patient, and professional in their interactions; and able to communicate subject matter to guests who speak very little or no English.  Conversational Spanish is helpful, although it may not be necessary in every case.  Volunteers working with children will have to complete training and fingerprinting. 

Our hot meals program provides lunch to people who come to our door on Mondays and Wednesdays. Volunteers set up and prepare food from 9:30am-11am, serve hot meals from 11am-2pm, and clean up until 2:15/2:30 on Mondays and Wednesdays.  Alternatively, some volunteers prefer to prepare their own food ahead of time and bring it to our kitchen to heat up and serve.  Basic Spanish is helpful, but not required, and we can accommodate volunteers who are not able to stay for a complete shift.  Currently, volunteers do need to be able to manage stairs.  Consistent commitments (once a week, once a month, etc.) are especially helpful.  Let us know if you'd like to come try it out!


Have a special talent you would like to share (computers,  accounting, art, music, organization, construction, etc.)? Willing to be contacted to help with special events or projects?  Let us know!

English Teacher, Teaching Assistant, or Conversation Partner 

​We offer two English classes for Spanish-speaking adult beginners - one in the morning and one in the evening - four days a week. Our ESL coordinator designs the curriculum, provides lesson plan outlines, and offers support while our volunteer teachers commit to teaching one or more 1.5 hour time slot each week.  Our next round of classes will run from September 25-November 17, 2017. Please let us know if you are interested in teaching in the next semester. 

ESL teachers must be fluent in English and at least conversational, preferably fluent, in Spanish.  Experience with ESL and/or adult education is preferred.  .

ESL assistants work with the primary English teacher to facilitate class activities, working with individual students or groups as necessary. They also may occasionally serve as interpreters, depending on the Spanish proficiency level of the primary teacher. ESL assistants sign up for one or more 1.5 hour time slot each week, and should be highly proficient in both English and Spanish. ESL/adult education experience is not required.  
Conversation partners converse with guests and/or ESL students to help them practice English. Spanish skills are helpful but not required, and timing may be flexible depending on the schedules of guests. We are in particular need of conversation partners in the months of May and January when we offer several structured weekly conversation hours.

Building Maintenance and Repair

Obrero Católico de Oakland

Hot Meals Program


Oakland Catholic Worker

Thursday Grocery Distribution

Our food distribution program provides groceries to 200-300 families each week. We set up from around 7:30am-11am and do food distribution and cleanup from 11am to around 1pm every Thursday.  Volunteers who make a weekly commitment may also receive a free box of groceries at the end of the day.  No specific language skills required, but basic English, Spanish, Cantonese and/or Mam are especially helpful.  Weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly commitments are preferred.  Arrival time for set-up is flexible, but volunteers who wish to help with the actual distribution should plan to arrive before 11 and stay until the end of the distribution (usually around 1pm). 

Our ESL classes, grocery distribution, and hot meals programs, as well as our house itself, are maintained by our volunteers!  Please consider giving some of your time--whether it is once a week, once a month, or once a year--to help keep our work going.  Contact us if you are interested in one of the opportunities below, if you have any questions, or if you have a special talent you would like to share with us.