Local Reading PA Charities

Of the charities local to Reading, PA, Opportunity House allows donors to do the most good with their dollars, items, and service hours. We at Opportunity House offer shelter and service to the homeless children, women, men, and Veterans of Berks County.

About Opportunity House

Local Reading PA CharitiesHelping the homeless is the primary mission of Opportunity House, and the measures that we take to do this stretch in various directions.

We serve about 500 clients annually, providing 24/7 shelter, three meals and a snack daily, access to showers and laundry facilities, toiletries, essential clothing, and case management. 

The journey out of homelessness can be arduous, and we offer targeted support to help homeless individuals and families overcome obstacles and secure permanent housing. Our assistance includes securing ID, employment, job skills, medical care, addiction counseling, mental health care, life skills, child care, and more. 

We also provide transitional and permanent housing units for residents.

In addition to the emergency shelter, Opportunity House operates the Second Street Learning Center. This center is a Keystone 4-Star Learning Center that serves about 200 children from 6 weeks to 13 years old each year. We provide early childhood education and childcare, allowing shelter residents with children to pursue employment, job training, and life skills programs. The programs offered at the Second Street Learning Center include:

  • Infant
  • Toddler
  • Pre-K 
  • Preschool
  • School-age
  • Summer Camp programs

The reuse/recycle program that we’ve created includes OppShop, the retail thrift location, and our warehouse. Every time you donate to or shop at OppShop, it helps the homeless population of Berks County, PA. Donations of various items in good condition go into the store and are resold for the benefit of Opportunity House. We provide the community and shelter residents with the essentials they need at rock-bottom prices.

Ways to Support the Work of Opportunity House

The work of Opportunity House requires support, financial and otherwise, and we’re grateful for all assistance provided. Monetary gifts are the most direct way to support our work. You can make them through multiple mediums, including fundraisers, recurring or one-time online donations, by mail, or even cash dropped off at the shelter. 

The shelter also uses some items frequently, and we welcome in-kind donations. We suggest that you call us to ascertain our pressing needs at the moment and bring in new, unopened items. Examples of things we frequently need include:

  • Undergarments, including underwear, undershirts, sports bras, and socks;
  • Toiletries like soap, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, etc.; 
  • Feminine hygiene and bladder control products;
  • Laundry soap;
  • Cold weather clothing, including sweats, long-sleeve shirts, yoga pants, coats/jackets, etc.; 
  • Baby items, including bottles, diapers, and wipes;
  • Bottled water.

Donating gently used items to OppShop helps clean out your storage and supply inventory for the work of the thrift store. The items that you donate need to be clean, undamaged, and gently worn. From clothing and shoes to housewares, CDs, DVDs, books, home decor, toys, and more, goods that will sell are welcome donations. Bring them behind the store to our drop-off center, deposit them within one of our donation bins, or schedule a pickup of large items. 

Opportunity House stands out among the local Reading, PA, charities for the depth and breadth of our services. To explore ways to support our mission, click here.