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Scranton's Friendship House plans major expansion

Newswatch 16's Courtney Harrison shows us where the Friendship House will provide a one-stop-shop for patients.

SCRANTON, Pa. — The Friendship House recently bought the Murray Building on Biden Street, the adjacent Davidow Building on Wyoming Avenue, and a parking lot across the street in Scranton.  

CEO and President Alex Hazzouri says the organization is taking huge steps forward to provide mental health and substance abuse care. 

"Friendship House is mission-driven. And our mission includes serving children, adolescents, and adults and for behavioral health, and we need to create this so that these folks are served," Hazzouri said.

The Friendship House plans to convert the former office space into a space to provide "whole-person" care.  

The organization also partnered with Scranton Primary Health Care Center to provide primary care at the downtown center, and there are plans to provide pharmacy services.

"And it's evidence-based, folks, a lot of folks that suffer from mental illness or substance abuse are not taking care of their bodies, and they're going for this type of behavioral service, but they're not making it to their medical doctor. They're just or their physician," Hazzouri said. 

The biggest benefit of the Friendship House opening a multifaceted center in downtown Scranton is giving its patients the convenience of having everything all in one place.

"We're at a corner where 17 of the 23 bus routes in Lackawanna County go by this facility every day. We're within a quick walk to the University of Scranton to Lackawanna College to so many elderly high rises or other apartments," Hazzouri added.

The retail stores on the street level of the building will remain, and the facades will be spruced up along with the renovations.

Friendship House anticipates opening the doors of the new facility in January 2023.

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