History and Highlights

Open Hearth, Inc. is located in Spring City, Chester County, Pennsylvania.  Open Hearth was originally a housing committee of another organization.  In 1991, Open Hearth was formed to target the housing needs of people with developmental disabilities.  Over the years, Open Hearth has evolved and grown in order to expand our services and programs, striving to meet the current needs of all people as they work for independence.

  • In 1996, Open Hearth formed the Phoenixville Consortium to Prevent Homelessness, which includes: Open Hearth, Orion Communities, and St. Mary’s Franciscan Shelter.  The Consortium draws upon our collective strength to provide short-term shelter, transitional housing, social service referrals, and employment assistance to individuals and families. 

  • In 1997, Open Hearth’s Goal Achievement Program (GAP) was chosen as the county-wide model for transitional housing in the Continuum of Care Plan set forth by the Chester County Department of Community Development.

  • In 2001 Open Hearth launched the Family Savings Partner Program (FSP) to build saving habits for income eligible individuals and families by providing a cash match of their savings. 

  • In 2003, Open Hearth was awarded a National Achievement Award, issued by the National Association of Counties for our Financial Insight and Resources Management program (FIRM). FIRM provides budgeting, economic literacy training, and supports the development and growth of family’s and individual’s financial assets and resources.

  • In 2004, Open Hearth, Residential Living Options, and Habitat for Humanity of Chester County completed building a fully accessible home for a Chester County income eligible family that both have MS, the husband requiring a wheel chair and the wife using a walker. This successful Housing Initiative Project (HIP) was Habitat’s first partnership with another agency, and the first accessible home they had ever built.

  • In 2005, Open Hearth partnered with Phoenixville Community Health Foundation to create, and publish “The Help Book”, a health and human services guide, as a resource for agencies, organizations and individuals to connect their needs to area services.

  • In 2007, we updated and republished our health and human services guide, “The Help Book II”,  printing over 42,000 copies, and distributing them by mail into over 30,000 households and performing public distribution of the remaining copies.  Over 2,000 copies of The Help Book II were published in Spanish to serve the needs of our area’s growing Latino population.