Second House Appeal (and upcoming events!)

Hello from the Simone Weil House! Please read on for a picture of what our next big step is and our request that you help us, or continue to help us, make it happen. 

As a reminder, we are a Catholic Worker house of hospitality and public household that opened in August 2019. We just updated the Simone Weil House website to reflect the variety of projects we are initiating, inspired by the Worker traditions of hospitality, cooperative economy, and clarification of thought.

Since we opened our doors a year ago, we have become an intentional community staff of two and offered hospitality to an additional twelve folks at various points. We have welcomed outside community to public house days, Wednesday dinners, First Fridays, “clarification of thought” gatherings, and Simone Weil book clubs. As we look toward our second year, we are hoping to expand our hospitality by renting a second house, three doors down from our current home. This house, which will be named the Dorothy Day House (after the founder of the Catholic Worker), will allow us to offer hospitality to an additional four to five folks living outside. 

The Dorothy Day House will be for folks with a fixed income or dedicated monetary support, and will function as either a “women’s house” (with room for exceptions) or mixed, low-risk resident house whose day-to-day operations will be overseen by a live-in staff member. As with the Simone Weil House, to identify potential residents we will be reaching out to folks we know from the community built around the now-closed St. Francis Dining Hall in SE Portland.

We hope to move in in late October, but for this to be possible we need additional monthly financial support. More specifically, we will need to gather 6-month “pledges” in order to get board approval at the beginning of October to create the rental agreement. According to our projected budget, we anticipate needing to double our current levels of support (from about $2000 per month to $4100). If you are able, we are asking supporters to pledge to a recurring donation, ideally for the next six months. (Or, of course, feel free to donate a lump sum and we will break it down in our monthly budget!)

Please consider becoming one of these supporters, and let us know if you are able to make a recurring pledge using this form. You can make your first contribution to our supporting 501c3, In My Backyard, via PayPal or by sending a check to 5311 NE 15th Ave, Portland, OR 97211. 

If you are local and would like to be more involved in the life of the house, send us an email or give Bert a call at (574) 213-5468. We would love to have you over for a socially-distanced dinner or join our external community

Thank you in advance for your support, and we hope to meet you soon!

With gratitude,

Bert & Emma

Upcoming Events

  • 9/15, 5 PST, we’ll discuss Simone Weil’s short essay “The Power of Words” Zoom Link; (link to Google Drive doc) – Email if you want to be on the list for the bi-weekly discussion group

  • 9/16, 6pm PST, Facebook Live Walkthrough & Stories (for those interested in attending in person, please come for socially distanced version of virtual event at 6, and outside dinner at 7)

For more recurring online events, check out our Facebook page or updated website,

Donation Information


Checks to “In My Backyard” can be mailed to:

5311 NE 15th Ave 

Portland OR 97211