In 2009, the Opportunity House in Reading received at $25,000 grant to pay for site commissioning for the expansion of the Second Street Learning Center, and a $500,000 loan toward the construction.
Since 1984, Opportunity House, located in Reading, Pennsylvania, has provided services to homeless, formerly homeless and low-income families and individuals with the ultimate goal of self-sufficiency.
The Second Street Learning Center is the Opportunity House childcare center. It is the only 24-hour per day, seven-day per week licensed child care center in Berks County. The Second Street Learning Center, originally established to meet the needs of homeless clients, has been inundated with requests for childcare from families in the community. Within the first three months of operation, they accumulated a waiting list of 150 children who needed flexible childcare services. In order to meet the needs of these children, the Second Street Learning Center started an expansion project that was completed in July 2011.
Included in the expansion was a new Technology Center that Opportunity House hopes will eliminate the “digital divide” that currently exists between low income and middle/upper income students. The Technology Center will provide both access to technology and a curriculum to teach the required skills to properly use and understand it.
An important aspect of the new facility is that it is a “green” building. With the addition Opportunity House was able to expand the Second Street Learning Center’s capacity and allow for more children to be taken in. The program now serves over 300 children in the community and has the potential to continue to grow.