New Upper Darby Shelter at Capacity as Services Expand

A man paints the walls of the Breaking Bread Community shelter in Upper Darby prior to its opening in December 2022
Image via Breaking Bread Community Facebook page
Putting the finishing touches on the Breaking Bread Community Shelter in Upper Darby before opening

A new homeless shelter, Breaking Bread Community, in Upper Darby has only been open a month but has already reached its maximum capacity of 17 beds, writes Marcus Biddle for WHYY.

Breaking Bread Community is working now to build community connections so it can offer more services to its residents.

The shelter is unusual in that it allows couples to be housed together and it allows pets. 

Residents recently received free haircuts from the shelter’s new partner, Nic Grooming Barber Shop in Center City.

 “I think it’s just something that’s kind of like you’re cutting away all of the past,” said Joseph Berardi, owner of Nic Grooming . “You’re moving into the future. You look in the mirror and you just see the best of you at that point in time. And that’s what I love to do.”

Samantha Bonhan, who is 29 and expecting a baby in March, said the haircut allowed her to “become my all good self again.”

Breaking Bread Community started as an initiative led by Villanova University Law professor Stephanie Sena, and the Student Run Emergency Housing Unit of Philadelphia (SREHUP) at Villanova.

Staff are working to find permanent housing for the current occupants.

Read more about the ongoing work of Breaking Bread Community at WHYY.

Bloomberg Q’uicktake looks at how to fix America’s worsening homelessness crisis.

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