I am writing this letter to you with great news. The Keystone Mission, for 15 years, has been pursuing to build a homeless shelter in Northeastern Pennsylvania. Through strong discipline and faith in Christ, Keystone Mission is proud to announce that we will be building a shelter. I believe you must be one of the first to know.
The board has approved funds to renovate our Wilkes-Barre location to convert and equip the building into a 15-bed male Transformation Center. This center will take in 15 men who face homelessness and work to transform their lives—to become substantial members of society. We are also opening a Day Center at our Olive St., location in Scranton—allowing transformation to happen in the community.
How will the transformation happen in both locations? The Keystone Mission transformation program is based on five pillars. The first pillar is the Genesis Program. The program is a faith-based, evidence-based program intentional about initiating lasting heart (brain) changes, thus bringing healing to what drives destructive behavior rather than just coping with it. Our staff is trained and certified with this program. The second pillar is Spiritual Training. Each individual will attend Real Hope Church, which uses our Wilkes-Barre facility on Sundays. Our goal is for the guests to be shepherded by churches, to find their own home church in our community, and start building relationships that will last forever. The third pillar is Job Readiness. This program will allow the residents to earn their GED, crafts, and trades from local experts and work therapy. Our goal is to build the guests and send them out into a profession that will sustain them long-term. The fourth pillar is Life Skill Training. The program will help the residents learn those things you and I take for granted. One example is budgeting, where we will teach them how to budget, take care of themselves, and more. The last pillar is Self-Care. Each resident is an image-bearer of God. Therefore, Keystone Mission will be partnering with community agencies to get the residents connected with health, mental health, and drug/alcohol professionals. Our goal is to see them free from their addiction and receive the proper care on their transformation journey.
The Life Transformation classes is not a cookie-cutter program but a client-driven program to help the residents move forward in their lives. We expect each guest that enters our program will spend 7–8 months with us to learn all the skills to better themselves. Keystone Mission’s goal is to partner with the community to solve homelessness, focusing on building relationships. Again, thank you for everything you have done for the Keystone Mission and continue to do.
Thank you & God bless,
Justin V. Behrens, LSW
CEO & Executive Director