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Author Archives: Julia VanTine



Rediscovered Hope

Posted on Monday, November 26, 2018
By: Julia VanTine
Categories: Spotlights

With her life in chaos, Tammica, a mother of three, didn’t know where to turn for help. But with your generous support, she’s built a stable home for herself and her children – and has rediscovered hope.
I was in a bad relationship, and it was 10 years of craziness. Some problems I brought on myself, but I didn’t want my kids to suffer for them. I did what was best...

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Tagged:Spotlight


Affordability vs Excellence?

Posted on Monday, November 26, 2018
By: Julia VanTine
Categories: Spotlights

When it comes to child care, too many Berks County families must choose between affordability and excellence. Because of your generosity, this family has both — and appreciates its emphasis on learning and fun! The teachers and aides who care for our children are like family. I know they’re in good hands when they’re here.
Our children are 12, 8, 4, and 2, and for us, the...

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What Opportunity House Does for Vets

Posted on Monday, November 26, 2018
By: Julia VanTine
Categories: Spotlights

The world had seemingly given up on Scott, a Navy veteran. But with your help, Scott built a new life from scratch: a rewarding job, his own little place, and a meaningful, productive life. After a normal life and 20 years of full-time employment in warehouse work, I’d lost my job. It was only a matter of time before I was evicted from my place. So I made the trip from Hamburg to...

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A Long Road Home

Posted on Tuesday, November 06, 2018
By: Julia VanTine
Categories: Spotlights

Most mornings, Joe’s outside, scoping out the sidewalks and side streets around the shelter. The trash he finds—paper cups, snack-food wrappers, cigarette butts—goes into a black plastic bag. No one told him he had to. But he’s been doing it since April 2017, when a Shillington cop drove him and his sister Lisa here because you can’t live on a bench in the park. Trash detail...

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Tagged:Client Success


Board of Directors Spotlight: Julie Ravis

Posted on Wednesday, May 02, 2018
By: Julia VanTine
Categories: Spotlights

This Stevens & Lee attorney joined our board last November, thanks to a colleague already active in a number of local charitable organizations. He knew Julie wanted to expand her community involvement. When Opportunity House board member Carol Miller called to ask him to recommend an attorney for a vacant board seat, he thought of Julie.
After touring the shelter, Learning Center, and...

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Tagged:Spotlight


You Can't Keep A Good Man Down: Richard's Story

Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2018
By: Julia VanTine
Categories: Spotlights

You can work hard and play by the rules, and homelessness happens anyway. Ask Richard. He worked his whole life and held a good city job until six years ago. At age 48, ill health and an injury turned his life upside down.
               But there is good news. This gentle, humble man has found a home at our House, along with hope that he’ll...

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Tagged:Client Success


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


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


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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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