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Wilkes-Barre transformation center to get men back on their feet

There's a new effort in Wilkes-Barre to help men transform their lives.

WILKES-BARRE, Pa. — Under a neon cross, Scott Wills leads a group in prayer, blessing Keystone Mission's new transformation center on Parkview Circle in Wilkes-Barre.

The center includes a commercial kitchen, common spaces, and bedrooms.

"Everybody has a caddy with all their toiletries in it that they can walk right into the shower room with," employee Marybeth Romero said.

There's enough space for 10-15 men to come and get back on their feet.

"One of the challenges of working with the homeless is you want to provide needs to them, basic needs. But there's also the fine line of enabling them to maintain the lifestyle they're stuck in," Scott Wills, program manager, said. 

"So what we want to do again is find people who are ready to really make life change, and we're going to try to put them through this intensive program to teach them how to live independently again, so that's kind of what we're trying to accomplish here," Wills said.

Folks who will start that journey said this transformation center is a godsend.

"Just being able to have the opportunity to come here and to focus on, you know, getting myself right, you know, and becoming a productive citizen and, you know, focusing on God and what's important. It's an amazing opportunity, and it means a lot to me," John Thibodeau, a client at Keystone Mission, said.

"Each resident will have kind of an individual path in the program. So there's no set definite end date. It's going to depend on each person. And once one graduates, we'll have another come in, and those graduates we're hoping will come back and help us continue on in the process," Wills said.

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