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PROVIDING Emergency Shelter

In the winter of 1981, a man living on the streets of Reading perished in the cold. The next winter, it happened again. In 1983, as cold weather approached, local churches sheltered men with nowhere to go in a desperate bid to save lives. By November 1984, the Reading Emergency Shelter at 430 North Second Street opened its doors to homeless men—just in time for winter.

Today, Opportunity House,  provides an array of services to help the most vulnerable in our community.  Our emergency shelter operates year-round and serves men, women, children and veterans who are homeless, living on the streets, in abandon buildings, or in cars.  In 2021, we served 472 men, women, and children.

Successful clients stay at the shelter 30-60 days and meet regularly with their case managers to rebuild purposeful, self-sufficient lives.  Our goal is to give them the tools they need to maintain a safe, stable and secure future for themselves.

Code Red and Code Blue Announcements

 During the bitter cold winter months, Opportunity House will expand capacity to help an increased number of people have safety from the brutal weather.  Code Blue is declared when temperatures are below freezing, sub-zero or we anticipate a substantial snow storm.

Code Red occurs when temperatures exceed 90 degrees for a prolonged number of days.  This enables those with underlying health conditions an opportunity to get shelter from the oppressive heat and humidity.

Supportive Housing

Clients who successfully complete our shelter program, may choose to live in our permanent supportive housing program.  These individuals and families live in apartments and  townhouses close to Opportunity House.  Our permanent housing specialist provides ongoing communication and support to help former clients maintain long-term maintain stable housing.  


Our supportive housing programs include:

  • Case management services to assist with daily living activities
  • Counseling to help clients set manageable goals
  • Assistance with resume writing and job interviewing skills
  • Mental health and drug and alcohol treatment services
  • Transportation to and from medical appointments when needed
  • Money management to help clients clear debt, learn to budget and save a portion of their income to prepare for independent living
  • Childcare through the Second Street Learning Center to ensure that clients are able to work any shift
  • Aftercare for those who move back into the community and wish to receive continued assistance from their case manager


George Bolton, Shelter Manager, 610-374-4696, ext. 236

Locate the Emergency Shelter & Supportive Housing


The End Of the Road Turns At Opportunity House

Trigger Warning:  This article contains references to suicide that may be disturbing to individuals.  If you are feeling distressed and need to talk to a counselor, please call the Suicide and Crisis Hotline by dialing 988. Foreclosure, addiction, and failed marriages forced Herb to exist in a local motel. He stayed there for nearly three […]