A Stable Source of Support – Stroll Schuylkill

What is the mission of Open Hearth? Open Hearth, Inc. is a leader in resource coordination and community-building efforts, providing innovative programs to support and empower people to end the cycle of homelessness, acquire affordable housing, a means of transportation, workforce opportunities, and achieve financial stability.

Debbie Dundon

Why was the organization started? Open Hearth was originally formed in 1989 as a local grassroots committee to assure equal housing opportunities for people who are traditionally isolated and systematically denied opportunities due to mental, emotional, or physical disabilities. Headquartered in Phoenixville, Open Hearth, Inc. received its  501(c)(3) tax-exempt status in April of 1991. Over the years our organization has grown and evolved to serve members of single parents, displaced families, those dealing with drug and alcohol dependency, and all income-eligible populations who come from diverse racial, cultural, and geographic backgrounds.

We believe our greatest strengths are staying abreast of emerging issues and best practices and then developing programs and effective partnerships to meet the needs of the community we serve. Because of this, as community needs have changed we have expanded our services to include asset building, financial education and coaching, transportation solutions, and case management, believing that the answer lies in prevention and education.

Our work at Open Hearth spans a continuum—from providing temporary housing for someone experiencing homelessness to providing a savings match for someone planning to purchase their first home. Our participants can rely on our staff to support them as they work to attain financial and housing stability.

What is your role with Open Hearth? As the office manager, I am primarily responsible for all of Open Hearth’s operational support including facility management, accounts payable/receivable, and serving as the point of contact for our IT consultant. I started with Open Hearth in March of 2006 and was a program coordinator for a year. I then shifted to the office administrator role and also served as the coordinator of the monthly Phoenixville Area Resource Network meetings for ten years.

Any other information you would like to include? I’ve been excited to watch the growth of Open Hearth over
the last eighteen years including our move from our rented office space in Spring City, to our property in Phoenixville, to the growth of our programs and staff. Debbie has lived in Schuylkill Township at SpringMeadows at Valley Forge for 14 years. Her parents both had roots in Phoenixville and she grew up in the borough. She currently lives with her fur babies: dog Kona (4), and cats Frankie& Freddy (4). Her adult daughters, MaryBeth and Amy, both live locally.


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Jams and Generosity

Join us on May 23rd for Jams & Generosity as we blend fun and philanthropy with live music!

This is a family-friendly event that will be held on the grassy area of our one-acre property in the center of Phoenixville. Visit our food trucks and bring your own lawn chairs, blankets and/or lawn games.


Roadhouse Redeemers

Cliff Hillis

Hepner’s Rebellion

Paul Matecki

Food Trucks:

Petrucci’s Ice Cream & Water ice

Sly Fox Brewing Co.

Fitzwater Station

Get your ticket today! GiveButter.com/JandG

View our Flyer

Spring Personal Finance Workshops

All workshops are on Wednesdays from 6:00pm-8:00pm via Zoom. Registration is required at Tinyurl.com/nrec939

April 3 – Finances for a LifetimeA daily money manager will go over

  • Financial well-beinga
  • Steps to attain financial success
  • Budgeting & tracking expenses
  • The affordability index
  • Compounding
  • What kind of spender you are

April 10 – Good Credit: How to Get It – A financial coach will:

  • Explain how the credit system works
  • Provide tips on how to establish good credit quickly
  • Discuss ways to improve your credit score
April 17 – Banking & Budgeting basics – A bank branch leader will:
  • Provide an overview of the basics of banking
  • Assess your budget and savings plan
  • Lay out ways to build and repair your credit

April 24 – Budgeting and Debt Reduction –
A financial coach will review:
  • Budgeting
  • SMART goals
  • Debt reduction
  • Credit card interest
  • Managing debt
  • Saving money

May 1st – Meet a realtor – A realtor will discuss:

  • How to find and select your homebuying team (i.e., realtor, mortgage officer, etc.)
  • Important tips on how to find the right home for you
  • All the steps leading up to settlement day

May 8th – Car buying: Put Yourself in the Driver’s Seat – An auto broker will help you:

  • Learn how to research the kind of car you need, want, and can afford to buy
  • Figure out how to pay for a car
  • Understand all of the steps of the car-buying process
May 15 – Paying for College – A financial officer will:
  • Explain the cost of schooling
  • Explore the various ways to finance your or your child(ren)’s education via government loans and grants, as well as private scholarships and loans

May 22 – Buying Your First Home – A mortgage officer will cover:

  • How to choose the best – and most affordable – mortgage for you
  • The components and consideration of a mortgage
  • House hunting
  • The mortgage application process

May 29 – Save Like a Millionaire – A certified financial planner will:

  • Provide you with tips on how to develop a financial plan
  • Explain the difference between savings vs. investment accounts
  • Teach you how to take advantage of the principle of compounding
  • Coach you on ways to save and invest