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Photo: N/A, License: N/A, Created: 2018:10:05 00:04:01

STAFF PHOTO/C.J. MARSHALL A ribbon cutting was held on Friday, during the grand opening of Endless Mountains Extended Care, a half-way house recovering drug addicts and alcoholics. From left are Leo Vergnetti, Commissioner Tom Henry, Mike Donahue, Arianne Scheller, Barbara Landon of Wyoming County Cares, and Stephen Scheller.

Wyoming County will soon have another tool to help rehabilitate recovering alcoholics and drug addicts.

Endless Mountains Extended Care, LLC, the former Lithia Valley Manor, located about two miles west of Factoryville, will soon provide transitional housing for a younger audience.

Located at 1042 Lithia Valley Road in Clinton Township, the facility will serve as a 90-day non-hospital residence for male adults ages 18 to 50, who are recovering from drug addiction or alcoholism.

The facility, which held an open house on Friday, is the brainchild of three people - Arianne Scheller, who is the clinical director, her father Stephen Scheller, and Leo Vergnetti.

Stephen Scheller explained that he has been in recovery for 21 years. He and Vergnetti initially wanted to start a sober house that would give people with addiction problems a place to stay. But then they decided that - with the right programs - the facility could offer a great deal more.

“I asked my daughter to come in with us and take charge,” Stephen Scheller explained.

Through Arianne Scheller’s efforts, Endless Mountains Extended Care is now a 90-day Pennsylvania State Licensed Drug and Alcohol facility.

She explained that she has provided therapy to recovering addicts in the Scranton area for the past 10 years.

The reason she decided to help establish the half-way house, Arianne Scheller said, is because she wants to help her father make it a success.

“He’s my best friend,” she said.

She also explained that she has seen many of her friends she knew in high school become addicted to drugs, and wanted to do something to help.

Vergnetti said he has been sober 36 years, and also has seen five of his children in recovery. He said that although it’s not something a person normally brags about, he is proud of the fact his sons and daughters are in recovery.

Through the years, Vergnetti has helped people by providing counseling while they are in treatment, as well as after they finished treatment.

“We want people not only to get into recovery, but to stay in recovery,” he explained.

Endless Mountains Extended Care purchased the building when it was still the Lithia Valley Manor.

Arianne Scheller said they waited for the remaining manor residents to move before converting the building.

“Wyoming County was so very welcoming. The people are just wonderful,” she explained about why they chose the area to set up the facility.

The facility will soon take on its first clients, as soon as some insurance matters are processed. Arianne Scheller estimated the facility will be ready within two to four weeks.

Clients will be referred through county contracts, medical assistance, and the county drug court, as well as private payments.

According to a brochure supplied at the open house, facility will utilize three tracts - drug and alcohol; adventure therapy; and life skills curriculum.

Drug and alcohol will include daily 12-step meetings and lectures both on and off site; plus individual and group counseling.

Life skills include learning daily living skills; job searching and career coaching; anger management skills; and personal hygiene.

Adventure therapy includes learning team work; hiking; gardening; and running and biking.

Clients must be non-violent offenders, Arainne Scheller explained. Another criteria is they must not have been involved in child abuse. The facility is also not equipped to handle cases involving severe mental health issues.

“Nobody on more than two psychiatric medications,” she said.

Residents will also be provided with food, a place to stay, and transportation while staying at Endless Mountains Extended Care. Arianne Scheller said she would offer various types of therapy, including hypnosis, yoga, and meditation.

“I think it’s wonderful,” said Mike Donahue, director of Wyoming County Human Services. “I think this is something that Wyoming County has needed for a long, long time.”