Questions Regarding Dwell

How much does Dwell cost?

  • Dwellers need to fundraise $6,500 per year which goes towards covering program costs
  • Donations to DOOR are tax-deductible
  • It costs DOOR about $16,000 per year to host a Dweller

Program costs to DOOR include:

  • Participant housing, food, stipend, local transit, retreats, study materials, community day events, and health insurance
  • City director staff time
  • Administrative costs

Income to run the program comes from:

  • Placement agency
  • Denominational support
  • Grants
  • Individual Dweller fundraising
  • Local Dwell fundraiser events

What are the requirements to be a Dweller?

  • 19-30 years old (if you are outside of this range, contact us)
  • One (or more) year(s) out of high school. Some college experience preferred, but not necessary
  • Willing to be an active attender of a local church in your placement city
  • Able to fundraise $6,500 financial support. Financial assistance may be available.
  • Able to work at a local agency for 32 hours per week
  • Willing to commit to the Dwell community and the full year program

City Specific Information


Typical Placements

  • Homeless services and advocacy
  • Furniture bank
  • Youth programs


Atlanta Dwellers live in "the big purple house" in the Grant Park Community. This large house has 6 bedrooms, 2.5 bathrooms, and an open kitchen/dining/living area. It is in walking distance of Grant Park, ZOO Atlanta, and the Atlanta Braves stadium. 


The Dwell house is in a gentrified community served by Marta bus lines.  Dwellers can bring personal vehicles, but gas, insurance, and repairs are the responsibility of the owner.

Local Support and Connections

  • DOOR Atlanta board members take turns spending one community night per month with the Dwellers
  • Former Atlanta Dwellers/YAVs serve as mentors and spend one community night per month with the Dwellers
  • Connected with several churches in the Atlanta area and have a game night with a different church each month
  • Board members and Dwell/YAV alumni often attend various celebrations and gatherings hosted at the Atlanta Dwell house


Typical Placements

  • A local school that aims to "equip youth to lead and service as Christians so they can make a difference in the world" 
  • A housing program that works on a grassroots level for fair and affordable housing
  • An after school program that provides educational, recreational, and sports programs
  • A domestic violence prevention program that works with an emergency shelter 

Local Support and Connections

  • DOOR Chicago's board members help welcome Dwell participants to the city and fellowship over meals and stories throughout the year
  • Community members/neighbors
  • Mentors and/or prayer partners

Local Transportation

Chicago has a great transportation system and Dwell participants are provided an unlimited monthly CTA pass. Having a car is not a necessity.


DOOR Chicago's Dwellers live in Faith House which is located in the East Garfield Park neighborhood. It has great access to public transportation, opening up the whole city to our Dwell participants. Members of our Dwell community share sleeping and living space. Faith House has a washer and dryer, a wonderful community garden next door, and a nice large front porch for hanging out.


Local Support & Connections

  • The DOOR Denver local board welcomes Dwellers to the city and interacts with participants through the year
  • Dwellers are connected with prayer partners and/or mentors
  • Dwellers are welcomed and supported by several local congregations

Typical Placements

  • Refugee resettlement programs
  • Provide services for people living homelessly
  • Educational program for children in public housing


  • Dwellers use either public transit or a bicycles to get around the city
  • Monthly bus passes are provided for each Dweller
  • Dwellers have limited access to the DOOR program vehicle


Dwell participants live in a duplex that includes four bedrooms, two full baths, and two kitchens. The apartment is a few blocks from the a West Line light rail station and a few blocks away from bus stops.

Los Angeles:

Typical Placements

  • An agency that assists and inspires homeless youth to build self-sufficient lives, and provides a safe place to be creative and less vulnerable to the talons of traffickers.
  • An agency that works to build a dynamic network of relationships with those experiencing homelessness, those who have been recently housed, service providers, public agencies, business leaders, and the broader community.
  • An agency that engages with the most vulnerable of the chronic homeless through street outreach, and then connects clients to a family of agencies working together to end homelessness.
  • A church program that provides compassionate and empowering services for marginalized friends while also tending to spiritual needs.
  • An agency that secures permanent housing for chronically homeless individuals and provides supportive services thereafter to assure their housing is sustained.

Local Support and Connections

  • The DOOR Los Angeles board which is comprised of local pastors and deacons, neighbors and former neighbors, small business entrepreneurs and nonprofit directors, and Dwell alumni and consciously works to maintain a dynamic diversity
  • The local Discern team- teens and young adults who work and volunteer for DOOR
  • A growing network of Dwell alumni who remain in their job assignments, attend nearby seminaries and colleges, and help maintain the community garden


Los Angeles Dwellers live in a furnished duplex with 4 bedrooms, 2 kitchens, and 2 bathrooms. Each bedroom comfortably fits 2 Dwellers.

Local Transportation

DOOR Los Angeles provides full access to unlimited public transit use (bus, subway, rail) and Dwellers are expected to use this as their primary source of movement. LA is becoming increasingly bike friendly as well.


Local Support and Connections

  • DOOR Miami's board members are involved in the Dwell program, leading some community days and workings as mentors
  • A great network of pastors and local leaders that serve as mentors for the Dwellers
  • A network of former Dwellers who have stayed in Miami after their year of service who continue to be involved in and support the Miami Dwell program


Depending on the number of Dwellers, participants may stay in an apartment or a house in Miami-Dade County.


Public transportation is available within Miami-Dade County.

Some Dwellers have brought their own cars. Contact the Miami City Director to go over the pros and cons of bringing a personal vehicle.

Typical Placements

  • Homeless shelter
  • Interfaith worker justice/immigration advocacy
  • Gun violence prevention program
  • Youth after school program/youth mentoring
  • Inner city school
  • Local church/outreach ministry
  • Neighborhood revitalization organization

Questions Regarding Discover

How much do the Discover programs cost?

Week long:

The weeklong Discover group program starts at $300 per person for college groups and $325 for all other groups.  

Public transportation availablity and costs vary by city. Using public transit is optional. 

Extra nights (lodging only) may be available ($750/group OR $25/person, whichever is greater). DOOR hosts groups at local churches. Like all churches, sometimes DOOR's host churches need to use their buildings for last-minute services (ex. memorial service, wedding, funeral, vigil, etc.). These events may limit DOOR's ability to honor extra night requests.


The weekend long Discover group program costs $130 per person.  Public transportation costs vary by city. Using public transit is optional.

What does the payment and communication schedule look like for Discover Groups?

All payments go towards the overall balance. Payment due dates are included with registration confirmation and group contract.

Week long groups:

  1. Submit registration & initial deposit of $75 per person. Receive registration confirmation, payment schedule, and group contract.

  2. March 1 (summer groups) or 10 weeks before trip (all other groups): Pay second nonrefundable deposit of $100 per person and return signed group contract. Receive payment confirmation, trip information packet, and participant forms.

  3. 3 weeks before trip: pay final balance. Receive payment confirmation.

Weekend groups:

  1. Submit registration and deposit of $25 per person. Receive registration confirmation, payment schedule, group contract, trip information packet, and participant forms.
  2. 3 weeks before trip: pay final balance and return signed group contract. Receive payment confirmation.

What age range and group size can participate in the Discover Program?

Group size: week long- 6 to 70 participants

weekend- 6 to 45 participants

Some cities can take larger groups. Contact the national office with inquiries.

Participant age: 13 and older

Not all of our service sites can accept volunteers younger than 13. If you would like to include youth under 13 in your group, please contact DOOR first. We want to make sure all participants have a full experience!

What is DOOR's availability for Discover Groups?

DOOR offers Discover programming all year. Please contact the national office for current availability for all locations. In general we do not offer weekend programming in the summer, though sometimes we are able to make exceptions.

What is the cancellation policy for a Discover Group?

In the event that a Discover group needs to cancel, DOOR has the following policy:

Week long program:

  • If a group cancels after their initial $75 per person deposit, the funds may be applied in their entirety to a future trip this year or next.
  • If a group cancels after their second payment of $100 per person, the initial deposit amount can be applied to a future trip as stated above.  The second payment is nonrefundable, as stated in the registration information, confirmation materials, group contract, and deposit confirmation page.
  • If a group cancels after they have paid in full, the final balance is also nonrefundable due to the proximity between the time the group cancelled and the scheduled trip.  The initial deposit may be applied as stated above.

 Weekend program:

  • If a group cancels after their initial $25 per person deposit, the funds may be applied in their entirety to a future trip within the next 12 months.
  • If a group cancels after their final payment is due (3 weeks prior to arrival), the initial deposit amount can be applied to a future trip as stated above.  The remaining balance is nonrefundable, as stated in the registration information, confirmation materials, and group contract.  This remaining balance helps us to cover commitments made to agencies and speakers and staff planning time.

For all participants:

DOOR is self-funded through participant fees. Participant fees cover group meals, speaker stipends, scheduling, support staff costs, and city director’s salaries. When DOOR schedules a Discover group, we make arrangements with local organizations where participants will volunteer. The organizations are counting on participants to come. When a group cancels, especially after a second or final payment, it affects many agencies with which DOOR works, limits DOOR’s ability to register replacement groups, and disrupts all aspects of scheduling.

Questions Regarding Discern

How old do you have to be to be a Discerner?

Summer staff positions are available in all DOOR cities for participants ages 16-24.

What additional opportunities are there for Discerners?

  • Engage in yearlong activities/programming
  • Teambuilding and peer support
  • Opportunities to develop vocational and college skills
  • Additional faith exploration
  • Mentoring support from local city director
  • Schedule and activities vary by city; visit the city page or contact the local city director for more information

Do you have to be local resident to Discern in that city?

Yes, we want our Discerners to be local so that they can effectively lead others throughout it.