Opportunity House response to the Coronavirus COVID-19 pandemic

Effective Monday March 31, 2020, these are the policies Opportunity House will enforce during the Coronavirus COVID-19 Outbreak. Please recognize that the situation is fluid and these policies may be modified as needed. Thank you for your thoughts and support as together we navigate through these challenging times.

The shelter will be closed from 12:00 pm until 6:00 pm daily so we can disinfect and deep clean all community areas.
There will be no new admissions until further notice.

All clients need to enter from the rear of the building via the shelter entrance. There aren’t to be any clients entering at the main entrance until further notice.

We are asking our volunteer cooking groups to continue to prepare their meals as scheduled. If this is possible, we are then asking that you deliver the meal to the shelter and leave it to our staff and clients to prepare and serve.

All clients and employees will have their temperature taken upon entering the building.
Clients will need to contact their case managers via phone. Should a client need to see their case manager, they will meet in the dayroom or the women’s dormitory. The community service afternoon program will be discontinued until further notice.

We are asking any agency representatives that have clients residing here would refrain from coming into the building to meet with your client. Please meet in an outside venue. Our community garden will be closed.

If you have any questions or require additional clarification, please contact Delia McLendon, Shelter and Housing Director at dmclendon@opphouse.org


The Second Street Learning Center reopened on the day Berks County went green, June 5, 2020. As of that date, our hours of operation changed to:  Monday through Friday 5:30 am to 9:00 pm. These hours will remain in effect for the
foreseeable future. For the SAFETY of the children and employees we will be doing a daily health assessment at drop off so please allow extra time. Only one adult may drop off at the door.
The assessment will include the following:
·Temperature (above 100.4 – will not be allowed to be in the childcare)
·Trouble Breathing
·Flushed Face
If a child has ONE of these symptoms, they will not be allowed in the childcare center. You MUST have alternate care
arranged. If your child becomes ill while they are in the childcare center, they must be picked up within the hour. We will need a copy of your work schedule and contact numbers on the first day your child is at the childcare
center. Once your child is evaluated and has no symptoms a staff member will take them to their classroom. When you arrive at the childcare center entrance for pick-up, a staff member will go to the classroom and bring your child to the door.  These are the guidelines outlined by the Center for Disease Control and the Department of Human Services, which is our licensing agency. We will adhere to these guidelines until instructed by these agencies
to change our procedure.


The Children’s Alliance Center is open on a daily basis. Referrals to the center are made by Children & Youth Services and law enforcement. Any questions or concerns may be addressed by contacting Ro Gonzalez, the case manager/victim advocate at 610-898-0535 ext. 4.  You may also call Melissa Haydt, Vice President, at 484-269-6566. When a forensic interview is scheduled, we ask that only 1 adult bring in only the child to be interviewed. Everyone entering the center must wear a mask. Everyone coming to the center will have their temperature checked at the door. If anyone has a slight inkling of an illness or fever, the forensic interview will be rescheduled. The use of therapy dogs has temporarily been discontinued.


Community outreach throughout Berks, Schuylkill, and Lancaster counties continues to be suspended.
Case Managers continue to provide services via email and telephone calls. We are planning to return to the Berks & Schuylkill County offices and meet with Veterans by appointment only, Monday, June 1, 2020.
Temporary Financial Assistance continues to be provided and we have recently received additional “CARES Funding” in light of the Coronavirus COVID19 Crisis. Veterans scheduled for medical/dental/psychological appointments at the Lebanon VA Hospital will continue to be transported as needed.  Call VA’s Telephone Care Line 24/7 at 717-272-6621 & press 3 for any additional assistance needed.  Any additional questions regarding SSVF should be made to Rhonda Bates, Program Director at rbates@opphouse.org or by calling 610-457-1134.

OppShop is OPEN Friday, June 5 from 10 am-7 pm, and thereafter Tuesdays through Saturdays. Masks required. Pop in on the 5th for our surprise “Opening Day” sale! We will once again begin accepting donations from 10am-6pm at the back of the store.  Picking up donations at homes and businesses is suspended until further notice. Donations can still be made at one of our donation bins located throughout Berks County.  Anyone requesting additional information or clarification should contact Modesto Fiume, President at mfiume@opphouse.org.

All media requests should be forwarded to Kate Alley, Chief Development Officer at kalley@opphouse.org.


Addiction Lead to Homelessness and Redemption–Opportunity House

“When is the bus stopping? I need a cigarette.”  You’d expect to hear that from people who have an addiction to cigarettes.  They don’t sound like life-saving words, but they were. When Terrance left Atlanta to return to Pennsylvania, he had no plans.  His girlfriend died. Her children didn’t want him around. He was returning […]