Opportunity House is a multi-service organization improving the quality of life for children, families and adults who face various obstacles to independent living. With a primary goal to achieve and maintain self-sufficiency, our services include the Second Street Learning Center (with state-of-the-art technology and curriculum for children age six weeks through school-age); emergency, transitional and permanent housing for individuals and families who are homeless, and our SSVF program (shelter services for veterans and their families who are or at risk of becoming homeless). The Childrens Alliance Center (CAC) provides services to children who have been sexually abused.
Classroom Lessons Come To Life At Opportunity House29/04/2016 Duração: 06min
Kate Alley, VP of Development at Opportunity House, talks with interns Erin Maguire and Elaine Atherholt . These girls worked both ends of the spectrum marketing the Opp Shop to seniors and students. Erin and Elaine share the benefits and lessons learned during their internship at Opportunity House.
Super Chef Tim Twiford talks to Kate Alley about the 14th Annual Souper Bowl!12/04/2016 Duração: 15min
Kate Alley interviews Chef Tim about his participation in the 14th Annual Souper Bowl benefiting Opportunity House. This event takes place at the Crowne Plaza in Reading PA on 4/18 at 5:30.
A Community works together of keep the doors open for those in need.22/03/2016 Duração: 05min
Carol Miller just can’t stop talking about Opportunity House. She is a board Member at Opportunity House but her service to this organization started back in the days when it was still the Reading Emergency Shelter. She recalls the days when the shelter only housed homeless men and takes us through the journey from inception as the South Of Penn Ministries to today. Carol attributes the continual expansion of services that Opportunity House offers to many of the churches in Reading putting together teams of people to serve meals every week. The Organization is successful because of people in the community caring about people in the community. As a Board Member Carol spreads the news of the work at Opportunity House and drums up support for more volunteers.
The Rewards of Volunteering at Opportunity House16/03/2016 Duração: 07min
The staff calls her a superstar and the kids call her Miss Bev. Kate Alley VP Development at Opportunity House and Robert Waters, the Daycare Manager talk with Bev Sanders, a superstar volunteer at Opportunity House since 2012. Robert says when Bev walked in to volunteer with the kids one day and quickly became family. Today she is in charge of arts & crafts for all ages. She helps kids make cool gifts for all the Holidays. Bev shares the stories of appreciation and surprise from family members who are recipients of these gifts. Bev has gotten so close to the kids she knits hats, mittens and sweaters for all the kids. Robert says the kids aren’t the only ones who look forward to Miss Bev visits. The staff truly appreciates the help she offers and the connections she has made with the kids.
It’s Called Opportunity House Because It Is Full Of Opportunity10/03/2016 Duração: 09min
Kate Alley introduces you to Marine Veteran Sid Samson. It was in the 1990’s when Sid first found himself homeless. He got assistance at the Reading Emergency Shelter, went to school and became a Certified Nursing Assistant. Sid went back to his hometown of Philadelphia and fell on hard times again. He recalled the love and assistance he received at the Reading Emergency Shelter so he returned. This time it was re-named Opportunity House. He talks about all the help he received through their Veterans Program. Today Sid is the proud owner of has his own house. Klover Custis, Program Director of the SSVF Program at Opportunity House and explains the SSVF Program that Opportunity House offers in Berks, Lancaster and Schuylkill Counties. They received a $750,000 grant to help homeless veterans find a home and get them the assistance the need to address any life issues they may have. The program is receiving kudos from veterans and administrators
Homeless to self-sufficiency, Tracy Boggs is paying it forward...01/03/2016 Duração: 09min
Kate Alley and Delia McLendon talk with Tracy Boggs about her experience at Opportunity House. Tracy and her daughter found themselves homeless and went to Opportunity House for shelter. She left and came back again when she realized she needed support services. Tracy shares her success story. Through the assistance and resources she found at Opportunity House Tracy was able to set goals, go to school and get her life back together. Today she is self-sufficient, raising her 2 daughters while working at the Second Street Learning Center. Tracy says her case manager has always been there for her and she wants to pay it forward and help others.
Why pick Opportunity House to serve your internship?24/02/2016 Duração: 07min
Meet two interns from Kutztown University who chose to fulfill their internships at Opportunity House. Erin Maguire & Elaine Atherholt talk about what they are studying and the reasons they selected Opportunity House to complete their internship. Both have a public relations minor and they will be helping tell the story of all the facets of Opportunity House. One of the newest projects is ‘Opp Shop’. Erin and Elaine will be spending their time making sure the community knows about this thrift store that sells donated items. The shop employs Opportunity House residents and all proceeds help support the services that Opportunity House provides.
There is a whole team of people at Opportunity House who look out for sexually abused children.18/02/2016 Duração: 09min
Melissa Heydt is the VP Children’s Alliance Center does forensic interviews for sexually abused children. Using a multi-disciplinary team approach they schedule interviews with the child and his or her family in a very child friendly atmosphere. The Children’s Alliance Center works in tandem with law enforcement or Children and Youth Services. Usually see about 400 children a year between the ages of 3 and 18. Melissa has been in this position with opportunity House for about 3 years and spent all her career working with abused children. Over the years she has found that it is important to take care of herself in order to have the energy to absorb the emotion of these very difficult cases.
He studied to be an Architect but his calling is to take care of kids… Meet Rob Waters10/02/2016 Duração: 09min
Rob Waters are in charge of scores of children at the Daycare Center at Opportunity House. There are between 175 and 200 kids who attend the Second Street Learning Center. Rob started as an intern in school not realizing it would be his career. He attended school to be an architect and joined an architectural firm upon graduation. Rob went back to visit the people he worked with at Second Street Learning Center. He says, “The greeting he received from the children made him realize that this is where I belong”. 15 years later Rob is the Daycare Manager and says, “knowing you are making a difference in someone’s life, pushes me to do what I do”. To this day he continues to see students he taught who come back as young adults to see him.
Delia McLendon talks about being homeless and getting back into the community.04/02/2016 Duração: 09min
Delia McLendon started as a case manager at Opportunity House before moving into her current position as VP Shelter Services and Supportive Housing. Delia says, “Working here has made me more grateful for my blessings. Every night I go home I am just glad I have a key to open the door to the house where I live”. The first thing a person does upon arrival at Opportunity House is sign a self-sufficiency contract. Delia says, “during intake we ask you how are you going to get out of here. It sounds harsh but when people arrive we want them to realize it is temporary and think about how to get back into the community”. It typically takes about 90 to 120 days for people to get back on their feet
Opportunity House helping to protect children who have been sexually abused26/01/2016 Duração: 09min
Melissa Haydt, VP Children’s Alliance Center, discusses the services provided for sexually abused children. It has been 11 years since the center has operated under the umbrella of Opportunity House. Melissa says, “Each year the numbers of cases seem to go up. Since the Sandusky case more abuse cases are reported.” The benefit is the more that people are aware the more protection services can be put in place. Talks about the signs of abuse and the appropriate responses if there is a concern about the possibility of abuse. Law enforcement or Children in Youth Services refer cases to the Children’s Alliance Center where the environment is child friendly. Ultimate goal is to have a successful prosecution in a case and to get the children and their families the services they need to heal.
The Second Street Learning Center at Opportunity House is a Keystone Stars Site19/01/2016 Duração: 08min
Robert Waters, the Daycare Manager, says “the Second Street Learning Center is a Keystone Stars Site … just like a hotel you can have up to 4 stars” The current rating is 3 stars. Getting the fourth star is all about staff education. Bachelor and Post Grad Degrees are necessary. Education of staff will add the 4th star to the Second Street Learning Center. All other criteria has been met , the post grad staff component is being addressed and the 4th star will be reached putting the Second Street Learning Center education in the upper echelon of childcare facilities Open 24-7 Second Street Learning Center difference is the structured environment. Robert Waters says, “Even though kids moving in and out at all times of day… there is always an education component and the kids are constantly learning something”. Marie Leon’s son has been there since he was 6 weeks old. Now 8 months Marie says “He is happy as can be!” Second Street is great accommodating schedules. She works 8-hour shifts as a Pre-K teacher at Se
Marine Corps Veteran Orlando Harris is grateful for the assistance he received from Opportunity House.14/01/2016 Duração: 07min
Klover Custis, Dir of Supportive Services for Veteran Families at Opportunity House shares her passion for helping veterans and Marine Corps Veteran Orlando Harris is grateful for the assistance he received from Opportunity House. Klover and her team of case managers in Case managers in Berks Lancaster & Schuylkill Counties work diligently on outreach. They seek out veterans who are either homeless or in danger of becoming homeless in order to get them in stable housing or keep them in their current housing. Clover Custis says “We believe no veteran or their families should ever be homeless”. Orlando Harris sports a big smile when he talks about the ways he benefited from the program. Upon returning to Reading Orlando didn’t have a place to go. He says the Opportunity House staff helped me get an apartment, a bed and furnishings. Orlando was a resident at the YMCA for a little bit. He says, “They came in to the YMCA and started doing a program. They reached out to me and did the paperwork. I was
Premier Episode of Faces of Opportunity21/12/2015 Duração: 07min
Premier Episode of Faces of Opportunity - Jo Painter talks to Delia F. McLendon, VP Shelter Supportive Housing, and Alice Dillman, House Manager about the lives they touch and the impact their services have on men, women and children.