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March 8, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
March 8, 2011

In 1993, as a member of Leaderhip Berks (a training group preparng volunteers to serve on not-for-profit boards), I first visited Opportunity House. At the time, it was known as the Reading Emergency Shelter.
I was touched by the compassion and determination of the staff in trying to meet the
needs of the homeless.
I have served as a board member almost continuously since the. Opportunity House has grown to a full service agency, providing food, shelter, training, case management, child care,heath care and housing for men, women and children.
Without this agency, people would be living and dying on the streets. With it, people are fed, sheltered, clothed and given a "hand up" toward better lives

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

seeing client go from the street to living on their own. The pride and sense of worth they developed s readily apparent.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

ensure a funding stream that would allowmore clients to be served.

March 3, 2011

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Review from Guidestar
March 3, 2011

Opportunity House is one of the best examples of how a non-profit should run. If a person finds themselves in a homeless situation, and wants to change their circumstances, this is the place for them. At Opportunity House, they don't just have people come and go, using the shelter like a hotel. Opportunity House has counselors for each person, providing referrals and support to them as an individual. Because of this, people aren't pidgeon-holed into a shelter situation. They are helped to become independant citizens of our community, once again. This is just one of the many facets of Opportunity House.

Additionally, Opportunity House's Second Street Learning Center provides 24/7 child care for over 300 children. This gives parents who do not have traditional 8:00 - 5:00 jobs the flexibility to take shifts that one normally couldn't have with other child care facilities. In a city like Reading, where there are many more businesses who require 3 shifts, it is imperative that parents have an alternative.

The Children's Alliance Center is another tremendous component to Opportunity House's programs. The CAC provides a safe environment for children and their families, where the child is able to tell their story one time. In the past, childrent would need to tell the physician at the hospital, the police, the DA, a social worker and any other number of people that are there to ensure all the procedures are covered. At the CAC, the child is interviewed by one person, while the other pertinent people watch from another room on closed circuit TV. One may ask "How vital is this program? How often is it utilized?" The sad answer is, since it's doors opened in 2004, the CAC has served over 800 children (per www.opphouse.org).

As a volunteer, it is a pleasure to work with the employees of Opportunity House. Because of their professionalism, commitment to their mission, and the difference they have made in the community, volunteering is easy. Most of Opportunity House's committees have people on them for years, making them a well-oiled machine. It never ceases to amaze me the number of people who will volunteer to make meals for the residents of the shelter, from church groups, scouts, businesses from the community and individuals, knowing they are making a difference.

This organization is a family, and I am glad to be an extended part of it!

The Great!

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As a volunteer for the Souper Bowl committee, I have witnessed this event from the beginning, making several thousand dollars - to now, its 9th year - making nearly $50,000. What a pleasure to work with such a fantastic committee, who make this a priority in their lives.

Ways to make it better...

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

I do not think there is anything I would change, as far as how it is run, or what they provide. They do a tremendous job with their resources! Opportunity House is always looking for what opportunities their community needs, and has kept up with them over the years that I have known them. I am sure they will continue to grow.

More feedback...

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

What one change could this group make that would improve your volunteer experience?

Believe it or not, after 9 years I feel the area I volunteer in (Souper Bowl), is so well run, each of us knows what we need to do, that I would not change anything about my volunteer experience!

How did this volunteer experience make you feel?

I feel like I am part of a family.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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