The Safe Berks Board of Directors, Interim CEO Angel Helm, and Chief Operating Officer Beth Garrigan are closely monitoring new updates concerning the coronavirus (COVID-19). In order to protect the public health, as well as the health of Safe Berks residents, clients and staff, several temporary changes have been made.
Despite the current challenges, Safe Berks continues to provide free, confidential services to local survivors of domestic violence and sexual assault 24 hours each day. All services are available in English and Spanish.
“The social distancing and family isolation required to reduce the spread of COVID-19 can be dangerous to adults and children who live with an abuser,” said Angel Helm, Interim CEO. “We ask that the community be aware that not everyone has a safe home to go to. The Safe Berks staff are working hard to ensure that free help is still available 24 hours a day to local survivors. We are very grateful to the community for your support of Safe Berks as volunteers, donors and advocates, and we ask for your continued support during these challenging times.”
How to access free services from Safe Berks:
For victims of domestic violence and sexual assault who are seeking crisis services, please call the 24-hour hotline at 844-789-SAFE (7233) or text SAFE BERKS to 20121. Crisis services, including requests for shelter or medical advocacy, will flow through the hotline and text line. Anyone in immediate danger should call 911.
For Legal questions and concerns, please call 610-373-1206, ext. 107, and leave a message. Messages will be checked frequently by Legal Advocates, who will call clients back.
All Counseling Support Groups are postponed at this time, but free individual counseling is still available. For requests for Counseling, or questions specific to Counseling, call 610-373-1206, ext. 606, and Counselors will call you back.
Safe Berks staff continue to work closely with Tower Health/Reading Hospital, Penn State Health St. Joseph, and Berks Community Health Center to provide medical advocacy and support for victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. For questions about medical advocacy, please contact Beth Garrigan, Chief Operating Officer, at [email protected]
Any public events involving the Safe Berks Education and Outreach Department are canceled at this time. For questions specific to Education, email Lisa Tumbleson, Director of Education & Outreach, at [email protected]
Safe Berks will limit the number of people who enter our building to residents and staff. Volunteers are asked not to visit Safe Berks at this time.
Safe Berks is temporarily not accepting donations of used goods. We are seeking only the following new items: hand sanitizer, antibacterial soap, no contact thermometers, chicken, beef, fish, tuna, rice, potatoes, nonperishable food, snacks for children, drink mixes, gift cards to restaurants, gifts cards for gas (WaWa, Sheetz), and Wal-Mart gift cards. Items can either be shipped to: Safe Berks, 255 Chestnut St., Reading, PA 19602; or contact Francine Scoboria, Communications Coordinator, at [email protected], to make other arrangements.
Safe Berks will continue to update the community through traditional media, social media – Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn and Twitter, the website www.SafeBerks.org, and other communication channels. Everyone at Safe Berks is grateful for the support of the Berks County community, and we send our best wishes to everyone for your continued safety and good health.