How Can I Help The Homeless In Berks County?

As you consider the plight of the homeless in Berks County and wonder, “How can I help?” Opportunity House is the answer. Our mission is to positively affect the lives of homeless men, women, and families with children.

Help Opportunity House Provides 

How Can I Help The Homeless In Berks County?Opportunity House has pursued the mission of helping the homeless since 1984. Our efforts extend into many areas, including the following:

  • Emergency shelter
    • 24/7/365
    • Three meals and a snack each day
    • Access to shower and laundry facilities
    • Toiletries and self-care items
    • Case management to address the challenges preventing self-sustained housing. Examples include:
      • Securing ID
      • Obtaining a driver’s license
      • Medical care
      • Substance or alcohol abuse treatment
      • Educational assistance
      • Child care
      • Appropriate clothing
  • Transitional and permanent housing
  • Second Street Learning Center
    • A Keystone 4 Star Learning Center
    • Accepts children 6 weeks – 13 years of age
    • Programs offered include:
      • Infant
      • Toddler
      • PreK Counts
      • Preschool
      • School Age
      • Summer Camp
    • Serves about 200 children per year
  • Reuse/Recycle Program
    • OppShop thrift store
      • Proceeds help support Opportunity House
      • Shelter residents can choose clothing using vouchers
    • Warehouse for recycling
      • Recycles approximately 700,000 pounds of merchandise annually

When you realize the scope of the Opportunity House mission, you’ll recognize that we can’t do this work without help through donations of time, money, and items.

Help Opportunity House Needs

Opportunity House relies on financial assistance from both public grants and private sources. Donations from corporations, organizations, and private individuals are welcome. We accept them online, in-person at the shelter or store location, through our annual fundraisers, or dropped in the mail.

You may give anonymously, in your company’s name, as a tribute to a loved one who has passed away or in recognition of a significant milestone.

Giving your time is also greatly appreciated, and we have several different volunteering opportunities to match every personality and interest. 

  • Prepare and Serve a Meal at the Opportunity House shelter
  • Serve on a planning committee for one of our annual fundraisers:
    • Souper Bowl
    • Wine, Women, and Shoes
    • Golf Event
    • Community Garden Celebration
  • Plan a Service Day
  • Work at OppShop
    • Sort merchandise
    • Greet customers

Another way that you can help Opportunity House is to donate items. We need two types of goods – brand-new items for the direct use of clients at the shelter and gently used goods that we can resell at OppShop, the Opportunity House thrift store.

Items that we routinely need at the shelter are those that every person needs. Underwear for both men and women, socks, sports bras, and diapers regularly top our wish list, but we also welcome undershirts; toiletries like shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste and toothbrushes, hairbrushes and combs, soap, lotions, feminine hygiene products, and bladder control products, and nail clippers; linens including washcloths, towels, and sheets; laundry detergent; cold weather clothing; baby essentials; and bottled water. All of these items should be new.

Bring your gently used items to one of our donation bins throughout the county or our drop-off center behind the OppShop thrift store. We will collect large items like furniture from your home; call to arrange an appointment.

A problem like homelessness can seem overwhelming and is too much for one person to solve. You can contribute to the solution, though. The clear answer to anyone asking, “How can I help the homeless in Berks County?” is to help Opportunity House.