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Just Believe Recovery Center facing eviction

A Lackawanna County judge ruled the center in Carbondale has until May 10 to get out and find an alternate location to help more than 80 patients.

CARBONDALE, Pa. — Cynthia Bellino, the CEO of Just Believe Recovery Center, says the future of the place in Carbondale is in jeopardy. An ongoing battle with the property owner has put the recovery center on the brink of eviction. A Lackawanna County judge ruled it must be out by May 10.

"I expected that, you know, we would be able to get this day. My question to the courts were, we're paid up till June. Here's an $80,000 check that my attorney has. I'll pay him in advance to let us leave at the end of October, and everything would have been smooth. OK, who's that going to hurt? You're paid up to the end of June with my credit from the courts. And here's another $80,000 you get now. Do what you want with it. Just leave us alone till the end of October, and we'll be gone," Bellino said.

The Patrick J. Kelly Family Trust owns the former Marian Community Hospital. The attorney for the trust says Just Believe hasn't paid what's owed since March 2021 and is past due on more than $40,000 in county taxes.

He also told Newswatch 16, "The move-out date is more than 30 days, which will allow those in treatment currently to complete it. We have no intention to disrupt participation in addiction treatment by those who are receiving services at the property."

Bellino says this is a battle she's willing to fight, especially for the 80 patients seeking help, and she doesn't want to leave them hanging.

"My priority is getting somewhere where I can get these people in ASAP because the longer they're out there, the reality is as more of them are going to die. That's today's reality."

Bellino is appealing the ruling by a judge in Lackawanna County Court. Meanwhile, Just Believe is in the works of securing another location not far from here. Bellino hopes to be up and running at that place by June.

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