July 18, 2022
Opportunity House Issues Code Red for Berks County Homeless Community
Reading, Pennsylvania…With temperatures exceeding 90 degrees this week, Opportunity House is issuing a Code Red alert for homeless people. The severe weather is particularly harmful to people with underlying medical conditions including heart conditions, lung disorders, COPD, emphysema, and asthma. For homeless families, getting out of the heat and having access to water is essential to avoid heat stroke. Temperatures in cars can exceed 130 degrees during the day, even with the windows open.
Opportunity House provides emergency shelter to Berks County residents who are homeless. during Code Red, Opportunity House will temporarily increase its capacity to provide shelter to men, women and children who may be sleeping outdoors or in cars. Clients staying at Opportunity House receive three meals a day including snacks, cool bottled water to avoid dehydration, a clean bed, access to showers, and laundry facilities.
Since 1987, Opportunity House has been the community’s primary resource providing shelter to over 450 clients each year. According to Modesto Fiume, president, Opportunity House continues to address the needs of our community. “We provide temporary shelter for people in need. Our goal is to stabilize individuals and families and help them find permanent housing.” During their stay at Opportunity House, clients receive individualized case management, life skills, and other resources to promote long-term housing stability. “We are passionate about empowering people to improve their lives. We help clients make lasting change for long-term success,” said Fiume.
In addition to the homeless shelter, Opportunity House administers the Supportive Services for Veteran Families program in Berks, Lancaster and Schuylkill Counties. The Veteran’s Administration funds this grant to provides rental assistance, case management and other supportive services to over 300 Veteran and their families facing eviction or those who are literally homeless.
Opportunity House is a Keystone 4-star Early Childhood Learning Center with programs for newborns, preschool, and after-school programs. The Pre-K Counts program ensures that every child meets the requirements for kindergarten. Over 125 families benefit from the program by providing quality daycare to low-income families, giving parents an opportunity to work and provide economic stability for their family.
Opportunity House provides housing for over 100 clients through their transitional and permanent housing programs. These programs offer long-term support as part of the extended Opportunity House community. If you know someone needing shelter, please call 610-374-4696 ext 229.