Servants to All, a nonprofit organization in Schuylkill County, is pioneering “My Father’s House” – a project designed to provide temporary housing to homeless men, women and children, as well as arm them with the resources to regain their dignity and get back on their feet.
Albert Nastasi, executive director of Servants for All and CFO of Simon Kramer Cancer Institute, began plans for the project more than a year ago. As of January 2015, there are estimated to be around 30 homeless people in the Pottsville area.
“I made it my mission to learn the stories these men and women have to share,” said Nastasi. “Most of these people have no issues resulting from drugs and alcohol. Rather, they are everyday men and women who lost their jobs or fell victim to serious illness. My Father’s House will provide them with the tools to build back a foundation.”
Social enterprises are working and there’s proof. According to a study by The Roberts Enterprise Development Fund (REDF), total income from government assistance dropped from 71 percent to 24 percent with the majority of clients continuing employment after they left the social enterprise.
My Father’s House will contain a storefront bakery, which will employ the homeless men and women and provide them with career training. Yuengling’s Ice Cream will be served in the bakery.
“We’re excited to be involved with My Father’s House,” said David Yuengling, president of Yuengling’s Ice Cream. “We feel it’s the type of thing that’s needed in our area – a place to help homeless people get off the streets and back on their feet. We’re proud to be involved with an organization that’s pioneering such a worthy project.”
My Father’s House will provide a day program from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m., and will provide two meals per day. The project will regularly screen for drug and alcohol use and abuse. The program will join all social services at a single location, allowing for the counselors and staff to work together to help the clients rebuild their lives.
The building – which was purchased and finalized in December – is located at 4 South Centre Street in Pottsville.