Programs

Hospitality Network

This program offers case management and shelter to homeless families in Berks County. It is designed to help individuals achieve sustainable independence while engaging people with diverse backgrounds to come together and form lasting partnerships. Our unique model recognizes that maintaining family units increases successful outcomes. The latter allows couples or a single parents to remain with their children while being sheltered versus being separated by gender. This 90-day program offers enrichment to participants and volunteers alike and helps foster self-sufficiency and community engagement.

Services

• Safe overnight and day shelter
• Private sleeping space for each family
• Transportation
• An address to receive mail
• Three meals per day
• Assistance in securing permanent housing
• Assistance in gaining employment
• Mediation
• Education programs
• Referrals to service partners
• Advocacy
• Monitoring and coordination of services
• Laundry facilities
• Shower facilities
• Kitchen facilities

Eligibility

• Homeless
• Resident of Berks County for at least 90 days
• At least one child in legal custody
• Clean history of violent crimes
• Successfully pass a child abuse clearance
• Drug and alcohol free while in the program
• Actively seek, gain and maintain employment
• Actively pursue a GED or higher education if appropriate
• Comply with program rules and guidelines

How It Works

We partner with congregations throughout Berks County who help us provide emergency shelter, meals and assistance to homeless families for about one-third the cost of traditional shelters. Family Promise keeps families together and provides them with a safe, supportive and home-like environment. Expenses for our Day Center building at 325 N. 5th Street, Reading, our vehicles to transport the families to and from the churches, and our staff that nurtures the families through the program are paid for by the generosity of Our Donors, and occasional government grants.

Contact us to discuss adding your congregation to the list of participating hosts.

Even an hour of volunteering can change lives. There are many opportunities to share your time and talents – Read a story, help write a resume host overnight, prepare a meal, set-up and break-down a room, shop, help with laundry after a host week, become a volunteer coordinator, recruit fellow volunteers, serve on a committee and/or Board of Directors.

Our work is made possible by your generosity; we value your partnership and look forward to your involvement!

Read the Myth Busters to see how easy it can be to give back.

Watch an Introduction to the Hospitality Network Program  Ways Volunteers Can HelpTraining for Volunteers


U-Turn

This program offers case management and Drop-In Center facilities on Tuesdays and Thursdays from 3-6 pm to unaccompanied/homeless youth in Berks County. It is designed to help individuals achieve educational, employment and housing stabilization goals. Our approach to service is based on community building and cooperation. U-Turn is designed to help individuals achieve sustainable independence while engaging people with diverse backgrounds to come together and form lasting partnerships.

Services

• Housing stabilization
• Employment search
• Interview preparation
• Budget counseling
• Education planning
• Mediation
• Coordination of services
• Referrals
• Advocacy
• An address to receive mail
• Transportation
• Laundry facilities
• Shower facilities
• Kitchen facilities
• Social services applications

Eligibility

• Homeless
• Aged 17 to 22
• Willing and capable of working on educational and vocational goals
• Attend school if applicable
• Teens under the age of 18, must have a signed consent from their parent or legal guardian to receive ongoing services

How it Works

By federal definition, a youth is considered homeless if they are still in high school (or eligible to attend HS), under the age of 22, and not living with their parent or legal guardian. Youth homelessness affects more people than you would think!  Each year we receive an average of 100 calls from homeless student liaisons in school districts throughout Berks County.

We partner with school districts, BCIU, service partners and volunteers to help individuals achieve educational, employment and housing stabilization goals.

 


Rent & Utility Assistance

This program operates while funds are available by providing rental and utility assistance to eligible individuals.  Individuals must provide documentation and demonstrate a reasonable ability to regain self-sufficiency through temporary assistance. The goal of this program is to prevent homelessness through early intervention. The latter reduces overall cost of service for providers and decreases the potential tax burden of homelessness on the local economy. RUA serves as a resource for families and teens in the Hospitality Network and U-Turn programs looking to secure permanent housing.

Services:

• Temporary financial assistance
• Mediation
• Advocacy
• Counseling
• Education programs
• Training programs
• Referrals to service partners
• Monitoring and coordination of services
• Habitability inspection
• Lead-based paint assessment of housing unit

Eligibility:

Demonstrate a reasonable ability to regain self-sufficiency through temporary assistance and:

• Homeless or at risk of homelessness
• Reside in Berks County outside City of Reading limits
• Meet income guidelines
• Possess an eviction notice
• Possess a utility shut off notice