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Category Archives: Spotlights



Client Spotlight: Marvin's Back in the Driver's Seat

Posted on Tuesday, December 05, 2017
By: Julia VanTine
Categories: Spotlights

The black Chevy S-10 isn’t new, but it’s new to Marvin Sensenig, and it gets him where he wants to go. During the week, that’s to work and back home, and on weekends, to family outside the city. He bought the 1995 pickup just weeks ago, the day before his 50th birthday. “It was my present to myself,” says the Navy veteran. The truck also is a symbol of...

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Tagged:Spotlight, Client Success


Berks County Muralist Brings His Students to Our House to Make a Meal—and Art

Posted on Tuesday, December 05, 2017
By: Opportunity House
Categories: Spotlights

Around here, where there's a wall, Mike Miller has probably considered painting it. The Wyomissing High School art teacher has been spearheading public art projects in and around the city and Berks County for almost 15 years, including here at the House.Public art typically is displayed outside, for everyone to enjoy. It brings beauty and a human touch to what can be a cold, impersonal urban...

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Tagged:Second Street Learning Center, Volunteer


Volunteer Spotlight: Holly Hartshorne's Warm-Up Act

Posted on Tuesday, December 05, 2017
By: Julia VanTine
Categories: Spotlights


In August 2012, in the midst of the Great Recession, Holly Hartshorne lost her job at a small local company. The loss was traumatic; at age 57, the marketing professional wasn’t hopeful about landing another.But before the end of that difficult year, she’d gained something priceless: a purpose. We gained something, too: a dedicated volunteer.Facing the prospect of...

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Tagged:Volunteer


Employee Spotlight: Cynthia Brown

Posted on Thursday, November 02, 2017
By: Julia VanTine
Categories: Spotlights

Her formal job title is “receptionist,” but no one here thinks of Cynthia that way. Almost as soon as she arrived here in 2013, as an AARP volunteer, she was ready to take on bigger things. “Just answering phones seemed boring--after a few weeks, I asked if there was anything else I could help with,” says the Reading native.Oh yes. There was. And in 2014, she went from...

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Tagged:Spotlight, Employee


Client Spotlight: Maria Torres

Posted on Thursday, November 02, 2017
By: Julia VanTine
Categories: Spotlights

Drugs didn’t break her. Nor did a tumultuous relationship or a health scare. Smart and articulate, Maria is a survivor. It just took her a minute to find her stride. Maria, 43, grew up in Reading with her mother and two sisters. When she was 26, her mother passed away, “and that was the beginning of my drug spiral.” She started smoking marijuana and progressed to harder...

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Tagged:Spotlight, Client Success


From Angry Kid to Goal-Driven Man

Posted on Friday, September 29, 2017
By: Julia VanTine
Categories: Spotlights

Growing up in Brooklyn, 30-year-old Marquis Solomon had smarts and a large, stable family. But months before his ninth birthday, his father passed away. The loss left this bright little boy with a sense of abandonment that turned to rage. “I felt that I hadn’t had enough time with him,” says Marquis. Even his strong family unit couldn’t ease...

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Tagged:Client Success


Bonnie Smith Balances Our Books, New Job, New Life

Posted on Friday, September 29, 2017
By: Julia VanTine
Categories: Spotlights

Bonita Jo “Bonnie” Smith moved to Berks County from Chester County this summer.  Along with a new home, the accountant embraced a new challenge: keeping the books for a non-profit organization. Having worked for a local township, her new position “is a challenge, but a fun one,” she says.
Outside of work, Bonnie spends family time with DJ, her...

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Tagged:Employee


For Our Kids in the Women’s Shelter, a Back to School Bonanza

Posted on Friday, September 29, 2017
By: Julia VanTine
Categories: Spotlights

For most kids, September means sharp new clothes, backpacks, and supplies. Thanks to our two local benefactors Jennifer Dinatally and Lauren Swartz, our kids in the Women’s Shelter hit the classroom in style. Jennifer,
a realtor at United Real Estate—Strive 212 in Wyomissing gathered the goodies with a friend, with “colleagues, friends and other co-conspirators...

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Tagged:Volunteer


All About OppHouse - Rachel Arndt, Director, Supportive Services for Veteran Families

Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2017
By: Opportunity House
Categories: Spotlights

Rachael Arndt always wanted to be involved with helping the homeless. She said that she believes "everyone should have a home to call their own." As the program director for Supportive Services for Veteran Families (SSVF), Rachael has achieved her goal of making an impact by becoming directly involved with ending homelessness. Rachael began at Opportunity House as an intern (as a matter of...

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Tagged:Profile


All About OppHouse Rachel Arndt, Part 2

Posted on Thursday, March 16, 2017
By: Opportunity House
Categories: Spotlights


Michael Williams, a Schuylkill County native, stayed at Opportunity House for six weeks. "That place is great," Williams exclaimed when asked about his experience. He admits that he had no idea what to expect, but when he arrived he realized it was different from previous experiences.  It was not long before SSVF had set him up with an apartment. "At first, it was very empty,"...

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Tagged:Profile


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Opportunity House

430 North 2nd Street
Reading, PA 19601

Phone: (610) 374.4696
Fax: (610) 374.3165

Email: info@opphouse.org

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