Safe Berks is in the process of adding a second office in Reading.
When the Safe Berks facility on Chestnut Street in Reading opened in 2012, while still known as Berks Women in Crisis, it marked the first time all its services were offered under one roof.
However, due to the growth of the organization, a new location has become essential, Safe Berks officials said in a press release Thursday.
The new office will be located at 147 N. Fifth St., and will primarily house the Safe Berks legal services team and some administrative staff.
While the official opening date is not yet known, some staff are currently in the process of moving and the office will be fully operational before the end of the year, the press release said.
“In the past nine years, our services to survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault have expanded greatly as we work every day to save lives,” said Beth Garrigan, Safe Berks CEO, in the emailed statement. “Due to the expansion of our services, we have created and filled many new positions. Through all of this, we realized we have just simply outgrown our home at 255 Chestnut Street.”
“The Legal Services team will be closer to the Berks County Courthouse, where they spend much of their time serving survivors. We are truly grateful to Penn State Health St. Joseph, John and Lisa Gallen, and the Ethosource team for their assistance with donating, delivering, and setting up the furniture for these new Safe Berks offices.”
During the past few years, some of the new positions at Safe Berks include sexual assault response team coordinator, legal support coordinator, several bilingual community educators, grant writer, manager of medical advocacy partnership program, an additional MAPP specialist, two MAPP/rapid response advocates, economic and housing specialist, and director of human resources.
“Every day I am amazed by the dedication of our staff,” Garrigan said. “They are constantly enhancing the services we offer survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault. This second location will allow our staff the space needed to continue their lifesaving work.”
Safe Berks provides free and confidential services for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. All services are available in English and Spanish, and translation will be utilized for any other language needed.
Safe Berks services include shelter, counseling, legal services including assistance with requesting protection-from-abuse orders, medical advocacy and education.
For crisis services, including requests for shelter or medical advocacy, call the 24-hour hotline at 844-789-SAFE (7233) or text SAFE BERKS to 20121. To request Safe Berks Legal Services, please call 610-373-1206, ext. 107. Anyone in immediate danger should call 911.
Source: Berkshire mont