SCRANTON, LACKAWANNA COUNTY (WBRE/WYOU) — A 24-hour ‘sit-down’ wrapped up this morning in the Electric City. it’s to raise awareness about how the community can rally around those experiencing homelessness.
The unusual sight of a couch and canopy was seen in front of the Lackawanna County Courthouse for a full 24 hours all for a cause.
“When you think of homelessness, there’s a lot of stigmas that surround it and we wanted to spill those myths and provide facts and truths to what we see as an agency,” said Ryan Buchanan, Director of Development, Keystone Mission.
As part of Keystone Mission’s 3rd annual ‘Real Talk’ event, Buchanan and Executive Director Justin Behrens invited Scranton Mayor Paige Cognetti to engage with the community with the hopes of educating them on homelessness.
“The homeless could be your brother, your sister, your mother, your father, and they all have a story to tell. It’s not just that they’re drug addicted, it’s not just that they have mental health, but there are stories and issues behind them,” Justin Behrens the Executive Director and CEO of Keystone Mission.
Keystone Mission helps people who are homeless, like Andrew Poklemba by sharing their message and connecting them with resources in the community.
“My first taste of alcohol was when I was 12 years old and I fell in love,” said Andrew Poklemba who is facing homelessness.
Poklemba tells Eyewitness News it’s hard to talk about his life as a homeless person, but support from the community and Keystone Mission gives him a purpose.
“If you really love the person and you know that person, don’t give up on them because the miracle could happen it has for me,” Poklemba added.
Poklemba is scheduled to look at an apartment to rent.
The 24-hour event ended at 10 a.m. But “Keystone Mission officials, say they are still accepting donations to continue their efforts in helping the “homeless community.”