POTTSVILLE, SCHUYLKILL COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — The only overnight homeless shelter in Schuylkill County has opened its doors for business.
“It’s been rough. We’d stay in the car, in parking lots… Just trying to get through the night,” said Mark Marks.
Mark Marks is one of the first people staying at the new shelter in Pottsville. The shelter offers 13 beds… A much more comfortable option than sleeping in a car or on the street.
“It’s warm,” described Marks.
He says the shelter is helping him get back on track with an early bed time and an early start to the day. The shelter operates out of the United Presbyterian Church in Pottsville and is run by My Father’s House — a nonprofit program helping the homeless.
In exchange for a warm bed to sleep in, guests must enroll in the day program at My Father’s House. There, they’ll start setting goals and working to achieve them.
Tiffany Jackson knows first hand the need.
“We literally went from having everything to having nothing,” said Tiffany Jackson.
About a year ago, her family lost their home. She says she swallowed her pride, and enrolled in the program. Because there was no shelter then – she and her fiance were put up in a hotel while they worked on finding jobs. They now have income, their own house and now Tiffany volunteers at the center.
“I’ve never had so much hope and faith in my heart until I walked through this door,” said Jackson.
Now that the shelter is open, the group believes they’ll be able to help more people turn their lives around.
“I’m very grateful and feel lucky,” said Marks.
Right now, the shelter is only taking in men. Women are being housed in a separate unit until more space becomes available.
My Father’s House is in need of donations, both monetary and food. To contact the homeless center and find out more about the programs and housing available, click here.