As the temperatures drop in Reading, PA, fighterfighters have reported the dangers of old, uninhabited houses and the risk they pose to the community. With hundreds of dilapulated houses scattered throughout the city, some in alleys and away from busy roads, firefighters search for a solution.
"If it's not secured properly, people may just try to seek shelter inside on a night like tonight, when it's cold," said Reading Fire Marshal Jeremy Searfoss. "They're just trying to find a dry, semi-warm place to sleep."
While searching the towns abandon homes and buildings, firefighters are not just accessing risks, they are also addressing another issue: homeless persons seeking shelter.
"Our biggest motivation at that point in time is to find that person a place where they can go and lay their head, where they're going to be in a better place," Searfoss said. "They can get something to eat, and they can get a shower."
While city officials and firefighters try to address the issue of safety in a humane manner, they have made it adamantly clear that they will prevent those seeking shelter from entering abandon homes and buildings. Heat and shelter will have to be aquired by other means.
There are currently 4 homeless shelters in Reading, PA. These shelters are not funded by the city and depend on the community for assistance.
Homeless Shelters in Reading PA
There are currently 3 shelters:
Reading, PA 19601 610-375-4224 SAFE HAVENYear round emergency shelter program that offers food, clothing and shelter for up to 85 men daily.
Reading, PA 19601 610-374-4696 Homeless Shelter is provided for 40 men and 35 women and children.
Reading, PA 19607 610-603-8010 Our goal is to provide temporary housing, while assisting the young women to coordinate counseling, education and quality prenatal care.