Lawmakers announce four grants to support programs, projects in Berks County

READING, Dec. 11 – State Reps. Tom Caltagirone and Mark Rozzi as well as state Sen. Judy Schwank announced the approval of four grants for projects and programs in Berks County by the Pennsylvania Commission on Crime and Delinquency Wednesday.

“Each of these grants will have a direct and positive impact on our community, supporting programs and services to make our neighborhoods safer places to live,” Caltagirone said.

  • Clare of Assisi House will receive $103,656 in federal Byrne Justice Assistance Grant funds to support programs and services designed to help female ex-offenders reenter society and avoid a relapse in criminal behavior.
  • Council on Chemical Abuse will receive $101,954 in state Substance Abuse Educations Demand and Reduction Category One funds to implement a new project to increase opportunities for adults to be connected with vital prevention, intervention, treatment and recovery services. The project aims to stop stigma associated with opioid/substance disorders and end opioid overdose deaths.   
  • Berks County Commissioners will receive $101,926 in federal Paul Coverdell Forensic Science Improvements funds to support recertification and reaccreditation, as well as the purchase of three pieces of laboratory equipment. The funds will increase digital evidence that can be processed in a shorter time, and support training on equipment. 
  • Opportunity House will receive $47,000 to help support staff and resources to continue to meet National Children’s Alliance standards and remain an accredited center. The Children’s Alliance Center of Berks County, Opportunity House, provides comprehensive services essential for child sexual abuse victims and their families.

“These grant funds will help these outstanding organizations address a variety of pressing issues in Reading and Berks County,” Schwank said. “From tackling addiction to addressing recidivism, we are fortunate to have a such solid network of human service and government agencies working together for the benefit of our community.”

Rozzi added: “Berks County is fortunate to have men and women who are dedicated to bettering the community. The grants announced today will help them on that mission.”

The Criminal Justice Advisory Committee finalized approval for each of the grants.