With funding from the Northeast Behavioral Health Care Consortium, Trehab has plans to open a community recovery and resource center in Tunkhannock.
The community action agency that serves seven counties has purchased a two-floor space on 104 Warren St. which is set to open this spring, according to Trehab Executive Director Dennis Phelps.
Trehab will move its Tunkhannock outpatient drug and alcohol treatment office into the second floor and use the first floor as the community recovery and resource center.
“The purpose is to provide support for individuals in recovery,” Phelps explained. “Oftentimes, that includes people involved with drug and alcohol treatment services in the county, but it’s also a safe landing for people to come together and receive support for themselves and their families.”
Phelps said he hopes the Tunkhannock center can mirror the Trehab center in Montrose, which has volunteers in recovery environments coordinate support groups and activities such as game nights and yoga.
He also hopes to replicate reentry efforts in Susquehanna County for individuals leaving incarceration to provide support groups and employment training so they could build successful lives on the outside.
“The purpose of (Trehab) is to work with community leaders to address unmet needs in the community and to the best of our ability, try to address services and programs to assist in alleviating social problems to meet unmet needs,” Phelps said.
The county commissioners are “firmly behind” Trehab’s efforts in Tunkhannock, and opposition has come “primarily from people who don’t understand what we’re trying to do,” he said.
“Sometimes people will misunderstand what we’re doing and don’t understand the purpose of the center is to provide support for individuals and families in recovery,” he said.
He noted that this involves providing employment opportunities, as the goal is to have certified recovery specialists, who are people in recovery trained to provide support and assistance to others in recovery, working in the center.
Commissioner Tom Henry said the recovery center has the full support of the county commissioners.
“It’s such a great thing they’re doing,” he said of Trehab.
Phelps also denied that the center will include a synthetic heroin dispensary program.
Henry said incorporating medication-assisted treatment was originally in the plans, but this is no longer the case due to public feedback.
Michael Donahue, who helps lead the Hope Coalition, said there’s a need in the community for what Trehab has planned.
The Hope Coalition is an organization aimed at combating the opioid crisis in Wyoming County, which has plans to support the center once it opens.
“It will help support those individuals who are committed to recovery by giving them a place where they can hold meetings, maybe get some additional outpatient counseling and support for their decision to stay drug free,” Donahue said.
Trehab has been a cornerstone for people staying sober in other areas, he noted, and it will be great to have local recovering individuals work in the center.
He stated a saying from Alcoholics Anonymous and Narcotics Anonymous, “You only keep it by giving it away.”
“The more you help other people maintain their recovery, the stronger your recovery becomes,” he said. “I think it will be a major asset to the people of Wyoming County to have their own recovery center where they can go in and feel the love and concern for them as individuals.”
Trehab’s new space on Warren Street has undergone some construction and there’s still a little more work to be done, Phelps said. A soft opening may be planned toward the end of April, with a grand opening to follow.
“We hope to be responsive to the needs of the recovery community and we hope it grows from there,” he said.