Nationally, almost 40 million people, including 13 million children, lived in poverty in 2017. The same number lived in hunger or on the edge of hunger.
But homelessness and hunger are issues in Berks County, too. Over 2,000 students in our community don’t have a fixed nighttime residence for part or all of the school year, and medical bills can push our neighbors to the brink of homelessness.
Opportunity House has been helping the homeless population of our area since 1984 and has expanded significantly since then. Our emergency shelter served over 500 people and 90,000 meals last year. We also offer a childcare and learning center, services from the Children’s Alliance Center, assistance for veterans, and reuse and recycle services that reinvest funds back into our agency to further support our mission and services.
In FY 2017, 80% (30 of 37) of families, 62% (43 of 69) of single women and 58% (68 of 116) single men successfully transitioned back into the community with appropriate housing and a source of income to sustain it.
Our Impact in 2019
581 men, women, and children spent 30,262 nights at the emergency shelter.
19 families were provided with affordable housing and case management services.
333 veterans and their families were provided with supportive services, including financial assistance and case management, through our Supportive Services for Veterans Families (SSVF) program.
367 children from low-income families were enrolled at the Second Street Learning Center.
322 child victims of sexual abuse in Berks County were served through our Children’s Alliance Center (CAC).
311,651 books scanned and processed or sold as pulp through our Reuse and Recycle program.
Thank you, Berks County!
800 individuals and groups throughout Reading and Berks County volunteered a total of 7,500 hours of service and donated 56% of the meals served at the emergency shelter.