Part of United Way’s mission is to ensure that the basic necessities of life are available for those in need. United Way’s partnerships and funded programs provide a crucial safety net for vulnerable populations to quickly access help and receive the necessary support to help them have a better quality of life, both now and in the future. Agency Partners and their supported programs in the area of Safety Net Services are listed below.

Community Collaboration
  • 211 Information and Referral: The free 211 service provides people with information about essential human services, such as child care, quality care for aging parents, basic needs or job training programs. 211 centers are staffed by trained specialists who assess the callers’ needs and refer them to the help they seek. Call center specialists also facilitate calls and questions from those interested in volunteering or donating items. 211 is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, in a number of languages. Online search is available at and assistance via text is available by texting your zip code to 898211.
  • Oakbrook Collective Impact Council: UWBC has convened a group of stakeholders to address needs and empower residents in the Oakbrook community. These efforts include a Summer Reading program conducted in partnership with Berks Community Health Center, Customers Bank, Reading Housing Authority and the Reading School District. To learn more about our efforts in Oakbrook, visit Oakbrook Collective Impact Council
  • Reading Cares: As a proactive response to the large numbers of individuals migrating from Puerto Rico and other parts of the Caribbean to Berks County in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria, UWBC partnered with Centro Hispano to lead the organization of community efforts to support these displaced individuals.
United Way Grants

Visit the Grants Overview page to learn about the local community organizations and agencies that have received United Way grants.

United Way Agency Partners and Supported Programs
American Red Cross Tri-County ChapterDisaster relief services providing immediate emergency needs. Transportation for local veterans to receive healthcare.
Boyertown Area Multi Services, Inc.Supportive services for older adults. Basic needs assistance to individuals and families in need.
CATHOLIC CHARITIES, Diocese of AllentownCase management and counseling services for veterans and their families.
Centro Hispano Daniel Torres, Inc.Bilingual and bicultural information and referral services to help members of the Latino community gain self-sufficiency. Parental education and support to improve children’s school readiness through “Abriendo Puertas”.
Family Promise of Berks County, Inc.The U-Turn program serves homeless teens and young adults up to age 22 with advocacy, case management, shelter, permanent housing, and a Drop-In Center.
Friend, Inc. Community ServicesInformation and referral to community resources for people in the Kutztown area. Food pantry and emergency assistance with utilities and other financial needs.
Jewish Family Service: A program of the Jewish Federation of ReadingServices to help individuals and families with food, transportation, case management, and information and referral services.
MidPenn Legal ServicesLegal representation for low-income clients to help them access basic needs.
New Journey Community Outreach, Inc.NJCO operates the largest Soup Kitchen in downtown Reading and a weekly Food Pantry that focuses on the immediate and long-term health implications of receiving a nutritious daily meal and supplemental groceries.
Opportunity HouseEmergency shelter services for men, women, children, and families. Child care at the Second Street Learning Center provides early care and education services for infants, preschoolers, and school-age children. Services to reduce trauma for child sexual abuse victims at the Children’s Alliance Center.
Safe BerksCrisis intervention for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault, including a 24-hour hotline in English and Spanish. Emergency temporary shelter for victims of domestic violence and their children. Individual and group counseling related to sexual violence for adults and children.
The Berks Coalition to End Homelessness, IncEmergency assistance with utility and rent costs to prevent homelessness.
The Salvation Army: Reading CorpsEmergency assistance programs to help with utility costs, rent costs, prescriptions, food, and clothing. Supportive Housing Program helps homeless and disabled individuals find permanent solutions to their homelessness. Educational programming for youth and adults through the Learning Center.
The Salvation Army: Service Extension UnitCrisis intervention, disaster services and emergency assistance to individuals and families in need in Northern Berks.