Homelessness affects people of all ages, races, genders, and ethnicities, and has a variety of causes, including chemical dependency, unemployment, and domestic abuse. For this reason, the YMCA of Reading and Berks County has a number of housing programs which serve a variety of populations. Each program provides case management in an effort to address the root causes of homelessness. Program participants learn living skills, budgeting and employment skills as they work towards self-sufficiency.
- Homeless or sleeping in an environment not suitable for occupancy.
- Chemically free for at least 5 consecutive days.
- Interested in achieving financial self-sufficiency.
- Motivated to “live life on life´s terms.”
- Willing to participate in counseling and case management.
- Committed to development of a self-sufficiency action plan.
- Able to participate in outpatient counseling.
Programs are collaborative projects of the County of Berks, City of Reading, Department of Public Welfare, Council on Chemical Abuse, Service Access Management, Inc., Housing and Urban Development, Federal Home Loan Bank, and Berks County Probation Department. The Bridge Houses and SAFE Houses are funded, in part, through the Pennsylvania Department of Health, County of Berks and the Single County Authority.
Reconnection Program - 610-378-4758This program covers transportation costs for homeless individuals and families to help them reconnect with supportive services and loved ones outside of the Berks County area.
Men’s Bridge House & SAFE House - Bridge House 610-378-4706 - SAFE House 610-378-4750Designed in a group home setting with 24-hour staff, the Men´s Bridge House is a thirteen bed unit for chemically dependent homeless men. The Men´s SAFE House is designed to assist chemically dependent homeless men who are involved with the Berks County criminal justice system to continue Staying Addiction Free and Employed. The recommended length of stay for both programs is six months.
Single Room Occupancy (SRO) Units - 610-378-4758The YMCA offers rooms for rent to single men. Residents are exempt from the program eligibility requirements, although the YMCA strives to maintain a recovery atmosphere.
Women’s Bridge House & SAFE House - 610-378-4747In these programs, chemically dependent homeless women receive support and assistance in maintaining sobriety and becoming self-sufficient. To be eligible for the SAFE House, women must also be involved with the Berks County criminal justice system. Residents may stay in these programs for 6 - 9 months.
Twin Peaks - 610-378-4716The Twin Peaks program is a supportive housing program designed for homeless men who are chemically dependent with a co-occurring mental health disorder. Applicants must be stabilized on their medications and able to abide by program guidelines. Program length varies from 6 to 18 months based on client limitations and barriers to success.
Y-Haven - 610-378-4781This program is for 12 homeless, single women with one child, who are working towards independence from the public welfare system. The maximum length of stay is two years. Y-Haven is designed in a group home setting to provide support and education to young mothers.
Y-Passages - 610-378-4706The Y-Passages program is designed for homeless men who are in need of added support to fully achieve their goals. Residents may stay in this program for 6 - 9 months.
Honor House - 610-378-4716The Honor House program is for up to six homeless veterans who are chemically dependent. To be eligible for the Honor House program, applicants must be deemed as a benefit eligible veteran through the Lebanon VA.
DUI-II Program - 610-378-4703 (Men) - 610-378-4781 (Women)This program is designed specifically to meet the needs of individual men (16) and women (3) who have been charged with their second Driving Under the Influence offense. A two-phase program, Phase I mandates partial confinement in our housing program for 90 days and aftercare participation for 4 months. Family members are involved in both components.
Our Mission: To put Judeo-Christian principles into practice through programs that build healthy spirit, mind, and body for all.