View Our Latest Wish Lists!

In 2017 BOSS is asking for donations to support a MINDBODYSPIRIT initiative for the homeless individuals and families who reside in our shelter and housing programs. Donate today to help us purchase:
  • Gardening supplies – to support volunteer-led therapeutic gardening classes for BOSS shelter and housing residents
  • Recording studio, camera, & video equipment – for creative self-expression and skill-building, for both adults and youth; homeless people have stories of courage, sadness, strength and hope to share!
  • Sports equipment & games – for healthy recreation, social connection, and fighting the isolation experienced by many BOSS program participants
  • Art supplies – for creative self-expression and artistic projects that helps with post-traumatic healing
  • New TVs – for family and program movie nights in BOSS shelters and housing – evening activities are when residents in BOSS housing come together to spend time with friends and family, just as we all do!

Please contact Gwen Austin if you want to help us acquire a specific item or group of items. Gwen is available at 510.649.1930 x1001 or

Downtown Drop-In Center

The Multi-Agency Service Center (MASC) in Downtown Berkeley is a safe haven for people experiencing homelessness. It is a safe, dry, clean place for individuals to sit, receive a meal, use a computer, do laundry, and take a shower. Keeping the MASC up and running has its own unique difficulties, one of which is supplies. We are in desperate need for the following items:

  • blankets and/or sleeping bags (new or gently used)
  • ponchos, waterproof tarps (new or gently used)
  • backpacks (new or gently used)
  • men’s jackets — either work-ready, business wear or warmer outer wear of wool or down (new or gently used)
  • men’s pants — jeans or dress pants in any size (new or gently used)
  • women’s pants — jeans or dress pants in any size (new or gently used)
  • shampoo — small or large (New, unopened)
  • men’s and women’s shoes (new or gently used)
  • toilet paper
  • cleaning supplies

Family Housing

Ursula Sherman Village houses several different programs, including the Sankofa House; long-term transitional housing for families. Our families are in need:

  • TVs
  • Table lamps
  • Area rugs
  • Leather couches
  • Refrigerators (full size)

If you can give, please contact Gwen at either 510.649.1930 x1001 or

Permanent Supportive Housing for Youth

BOSS has converted one of our Hayward programs into permanent supportive housing for transitional aged youth ages 18-25! These young adults need all the items necessary to start a home including bedding (Twin), towels, kitchen & cooking utensils, and cleaning supplies! Anything you can do to support these young adults brings them one step closer to self sufficiency!
These are our ongoing needs!
  1. Large TVs
  2. Blankets, comforters, and socks
  3. Donated storage space, so that we can accept more donations
  4. A working vehicle, preferably a van or larger pickup truck
  5. Working laptops and computers for the computer lab and program use

There are certain items that we always need such as New and Gently Used:

  • Towels
  • Leather couches and chairs
  • men’s jackets — either work-ready, business wear or warmer outer wear of wool or down (new or gently used)
  • men’s pants — jeans or dress pants in any size (new or gently used)
  • women’s pants — jeans or dress pants in any size (new or gently used)
  • shampoo — small or large (New, unopened)
  • men’s and women’s shoes (new or gently used)
  • Men’s jackets (appropriate for office or retail work or for just staying warm)
  • Work-ready clothing – preferably in larger sizes
  • Scrubs, pajamas, sweat pants and shirts – preferably in larger sizes
  • Toiletries (new, unopened):
    • shampoo, conditioner, soap, deodorant, lotion, toothbrushes, toothpaste, razors, hair brushes and combs
  • Office Supplies:
    • printer paper, pens, pads of paper, binders, etc.

Please contact Gwen Austin at (510) 649-1930 x 1001 or if you can donate any of these!

Other Ways to Donate:


  • OnlineUse this option to set up a recurring donation of any size or frequency!
  • Mail: 1918 University Avenue, Suite 2A, Berkeley, CA 94704.
  • Paypal: Use email address  “”.
  • In person: Drop off donations at the above address, M-F 9 am-5 pm.‘In honor of’ gifts: Ask folks to donate to BOSS in honor of a birthday, holiday, wedding, or bat/bar mitzvah! We will send special thank-you cards to all donors, and can provide brochures for your event.

CrowdRise campaigns

  • Rising Stars: Donate to scholarships for homeless and low-income youth that are awarded annually at our Rising Stars Youth Leadership Gala!
  • COT: Donate to the Community Organizing Team (COT), which engages homeless and low-income people in organizing against the root causes of poverty and homelessness!

Stocks & goods

  • NO DROP-OFFS: We are so grateful for your donations, but we do not have space or need for all the items we are offered. Please do not drop off your items at any BOSS sites – we screen all donations centrally: contact Gwen at (510) 649-1930 x 1001,, to see if we can use the items at this time!
  • Stocks: BOSS has an account at Schwab (acct#5498-2633, DTC# 0164) so you can donate stock any time. Charitable Gift Transfer Form (LOA)
  • Long-term giving: Bequests, life insurance, retirement plans or charitable trusts with BOSS as beneficiary can provide legacy support for poor people in your name. If you have named BOSS in your will, we would love to share your story in our newsletter! Please contact Christine at (510) 649-1930 x 1003.
  • Cars: Volunteers of America accepts donated cars for BOSS: 1-800-559-5458.They will pick up the car, process the sale and paperwork, and send a contribution to BOSS.
  • BART tickets: Donate your tiny unused BART tickets to BOSS! Mail or drop off at: 2065 Kittredge St., Ste. E, Berkeley, CA 94704.
  • Collections: Collect toiletries & towels, linens & blankets, and other needed items with your school, office, group, or club. To donate in-kind goods, contact Gwen at (510) 649-1930 x 1001.

Online services

  • AmazonSmile: Select BOSS as your charity and 0.5% of everything you buy on Amazon will be donated to BOSS!
  • Shopping mall and search engine with over 800 stores. You can download a banner for your browser so that every time you visit paricipating sites, any shopping proceeds are automatically routed to BOSS!
  • GoodSearch/GoodShop: Shopping mall and search engine with over 1,500 stores.
  • eBay Giving Works: Sell your stuff on eBay to benefit BOSS – designated BOSS as your chosen charity.

Workplace Giving

BOSS is a member of the Bay Area Black United Fund. If your workplace hosts other charitable federations, you can still write BOSS in as your donation recipient. BOSS is also Combined Federal Campaign-approved charity (CFC code 29959).
CFC logo

Some workplaces have gift matching programs – ask your employer!

If you would like a BOSS speaker to come to your workplace or group, please contact Sonja at (510) 649-1930 x 1008.

BOSS is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization and all donations are tax deductible to the extent allowable by law. BOSS’s tax ID number is 51-0173390.

BOSS is also registered with the Combined Federal Campaign (CFC) and our organization number is 29959.


BOSS Art Cards

The homeless children in BOSS housing have made beautiful art while working in our after-school Children’s Learning Center.

Blank cards with some of this artwork is available for purchase – a pack of 10 cards for $10 (including envelopes). The art in each pack is randomly mixed.

Funds raised through card sales support the Children’s Learning Center – Thank you!