Rozzi announces $100K grant for Opportunity House

TEMPLE, March 1 – State Rep. Mark Rozzi, D-Berks, announced a $100,000 grant has been approved for Berks County’s Opportunity House with funds provided by the Department of Community and Economic Development. Opportunity House serves people in Berks County who are experiencing homelessness and adults and children from low-income households, including people from households living below the federal poverty level.

“For more than 35 years, Opportunity House has been serving the needs of the people of Berks County,” Rozzi said. “COVID-19 and the current health pandemic has illustrated how inequitable many of our systems and services are, but this health emergency has also cast a spotlight on the lifesaving work and services Opportunity House provides in our neighborhoods to empower people, including children and working-class adults.”

Opportunity House provides meals, housing, life skills, children’s programs, human services, assistance for veterans, computer access for children, weekend childcare, infant childcare and more.

“This grant, along with matching funds from Berks County, will be used to take a blighted property that has been vacant for 30 years and convert it into a two-unit condo,” Opportunity House President Modesto Fiume said.

The condo will be used as one-bedroom and studio apartments with off-street parking and a backyard and patio space for low-income, working people.

“Since 1984, Opportunity House has focused on improving the lives of those less fortunate,” Fiume said. “We empower individuals to improve their lives by providing safety, security, stability and a sense of community. Programs available at Opportunity House include a homeless shelter, licensed childcare center, veterans services, supportive housing, retail/reuse program and a community garden.” 

State Rep. Manny Guzman, D-Berks, added: “I’m grateful for the work being done at Opportunity House and for Representative Rozzi’s willingness to work behind the scenes in order to ensure this grant earned final approval. The people of Reading have benefitted and will continue to benefit from the excellent work being done at Opportunity House.”