WEST PITTSTON — Unity in the Community 8 has served as a wellness center for those with special needs, but the center is now looking for a new home.
At a zoning board hearing Thursday, it was approved that the premises at 602 Luzerne Ave. will be sold to Crest Quality Dry Cleaner, whose owner filled out a zoning application for the property in March .
The dry cleaning business currently operates at 36 Luzerne Ave.
Nicole Chromey, owner of Unity in the Community 8, learned about the issue when she found a zoning hearing notice from the borough posted near the entrance of the building.
She pays rent for the building in which her business operates, but she does not have a signed lease which puts her in a “state of limbo,” she said.
“Nobody has told me anything right now,” she said.
During the zoning board hearing, Chromey and Michael LaNunziata Jr., owner of Crest Quality Dry Cleaner, said they’ve spoken about trying to come up with a compromise to help her in the transition.
LaNunziata empathized with Chromey, and offered to let her operate her business out of the same building until she finds a permanent home.
“I want to try and give her as much time as I possibly can for her to stay there,” he said. “I went to her, Nicole, and she came to me very upset, and I was trying to see if there was a way that we can both utilize the same space. I was going to do my best to accommodate her, which I have, and to help her out as well as helping myself out.”
As of now, Chromey is unsure of when she will need to vacate the building.
“That’s the problem; I’m in this limbo state,” she said. “At this point, I know he’s willing to work with me, and I’m empathetic, but I can’t run a community center in it.”
Chromey opened Unity for the Community 8 in January 2017, offering those with special needs a place to express their inner artist.
Programs include physical exercise such as ballet class, yoga and other therapeutic events. Participants also do art programs to showcase everybody’s handy work.
“Each month, we have an artist of the month and showcase their art,” Chromey said. “I’m a full-time social worker, as well, and it incorporates my therapeutic events for special needs.”
Unity for the Community 8 does fundraising for places such as Candy’s Place and Volunteers of America.
Community blood drives and other activities scheduled to take place through June are now in limbo, as well.
Chromey left the zoning board meeting with residents, including Sean Carroll, giving her their contact information and offering to help her find a new place.
“This is never an easy thing,” Carroll said to her during the meeting. “What I think you do in that place that you’re in right now is God’s work, frankly. I wanted to let you know that, as a community here in West Pittston, I know for myself I will do whatever I can about another location for you.”
Reach Jimmy Fisher at 570-704-3972 or on Twitter @SD_JimmyFisher