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Berks Women in Crisis Domestic Violence Shelter

255 Chestnut Street
Reading, PA 19602
610-373-1206




Class of Housing: domestic violence shelter, safe house, and transitional housing for women in crisis.

General Information:

Office Hours: Monday through Friday, 8AM until 5PM closed on most major holidays

Provides a domestic violence shelter, safe house, and transitional housing for women in crisis.

BWIC provides free emergency shelter for women and children at a safe, secure facility. We don't share the address with anyone but the women that we serve, making sure that it is a place where you can go and be safe. Here are the services provided at our shelter:
- Safe, secure location with security cameras on premises
- Easy access to public transportation and community resources
- Friendly caring staff available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week
- Room for 26 women and children for up to 30 days
- Professional counselors available to all clients
- Children's advocate on-site for counseling and planned activities
- Educational group meetings.

"New Beginnings" Transitional Housing; the Sojourner Truth House, the Hilbert House and the Emma Lazarus Place

The name "New Beginnings" represents the chance for women and their families who have fled homes where domestic violence threatened their lives and emotional stability. Often these women need an opportunity to start over, by learning how to be own their own, making their own decisions and securing a new home.

Berks Women in Crisis has several apartments and townhouses to help our clients who meet the criteria to qualify for transitional housing. Women who are residents of the BWIC shelter have precedence in the selection process.

Criteria

In order to participate in the BWIC Transitional Housing program applicants must:
- Be a victim of domestic violence and a client of BWIC
- Maintain full-time or part-time employment or have other income sufficient to cover housing fees
- Be willing to comply with responsibilities of the entire program
- Work with a case manager to establish and regularly evaluate a self-sufficiency plan
- Attend support group and housing meetings
- Participate in individual counseling at the BWIC offices
- Participate in life skill education opportunities

Goals of the Program

New Beginnings aspires to establish stability in our clients' lives. Some of the goals of the program include:
- Work to understand the effects of domestic and sexual violence
- Maintaining part-time or full-time employment
- Developing money management skills
- Enrolling in an education or job-training program
- Building self-esteem and self-awareness
- Creating a safe environment for the women and children.

Other Requirements

Requirements differ depending on the specific apartment or townhouse available at application time. Some units are eligible for Section 8 Housing and others are part of the Next Step program. Details are available from the transitional housing office to our clients.


Website: http://www.safeberks.org/

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Helpful Definitions For Berks Women in Crisis Domestic Violence Shelter:

Transitional housing is affordable supportive housing designed to provide housing and appropriate support services to persons who are homeless or who are close to homelessness. The transition is to help them be more self sufficient to move towards independent living on their own. Transitional housing locations are oftentimes called Halfway Houses. The naming of the two (Halfway House OR Transitional House) is oftentimes interchangeable.

Many Transitional Housing programs are subsidized and are income based. Income based transitional housing generally charges 30% of your income for rent when you do have income. Contact the transitional housing facility to see if this applies.

Services provided at transitional housing facilities varies from substance abuse treatment, to psychological assistance, job training, domestic violence assistance, etc. The assistance provided varies, but it is generally affordable and low cost housing. Read the descriptions of each of the transitional living locations for more detailed information. Transitional housing facilities also may or may not assist with alcohol and/or drug substance abuse treatment.



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