DECEMBER 2018
News from Liberation Programs
Improving Access to Treatment
A Message From Our CEO

Liberation Programs has always had a special place in my heart. I served as Senior Vice President from 1996 to 2006 and I’m thrilled to be back. It’s like coming home.

We know that 174 people die every day of a drug overdose. When we factor in alcohol, that number rises to 415. However, only 10 to 15 percent of the population in need of treatment receives it. Although there are countless obstacles that prevent people from seeking treatment – including stigma, shame and lack of insurance – one that is fairly easy to change is access to treatment. 

Liberation is fully committed to increasing access to treatment for those in lower Fairfield County in the following ways.

Community Engagement
We are adding recovery coaches to our team. A recovery coach helps individuals gain and maintain recovery by partnering with them to address their needs and provide support. They also engage with the community to encourage individuals who would benefit from treatment, but are hesitant to do so, to start the process.

Liberation believes in meeting people where they are, meaning we focus on doing whatever we can to keep a person alive. Many programs require a person to abstain from substances and alcohol in order to receive treatment. Instead of forcing abstinence on a person, Liberation offers a glimmer of hope and encourages them to start or continue with the recovery process. We do this by building trust and treating every person with dignity and respect. 

Increasing Our Capacity
There are too few licensed centers offering high-quality integrated behavioral health services in lower Fairfield County, which results in preventable overdose deaths and needless suffering. Our new Health & Wellness Center in Bridgeport will help serve more people in need of treatment. The center will enable us to increase the number of individuals we serve on a weekly basis from 600 to 800.

At the same time, in Stamford, the state has recognized the needs in the community and approved additional beds at Liberation House . This will increase our capacity by six percent.
As we close out the year, I’m excited to embark on our new initiatives in 2019. Our goal is simple: we want to save lives. No matter what stage of treatment a person is at, we will be there for them. 

Warm regards,

John Hamilton, LMFT, LADC
President and Chief Executive Officer
How You Can Give to Liberation Programs
We want thank everyone who has supported Liberation Programs. As you gather with friends and family this holiday season, we would like to remind you of all the ways you can give. Of course, monetary donations are greatly appreciated and help fund our programs and services, but volunteering enriches the lives of our recoverees.

Make a Feast and Have Some Fun!
Gather your circle of family, friends, fellow parishioners, classmates or co-workers to provide an evening meal for the men at Liberation House . Volunteer once a month, once a quarter, pick a holiday or just come when there is an opening in the meal provider schedule. Add in a dose of whimsy with a fun activity. A game of Pictionary, Charades, or an easy project like creating greeting cards for friends and family at the holidays offers the chance for quality time spent with recoverees who need and appreciate your company.

Share Your Talents
Are you a visual artist? Whether you paint, draw or make jewelry, we would love for you to share your talent with our clients in the  Families in Recovery Program (FIRP). FIRP provides inpatient treatment for 10 pregnant and parenting women and their children.

Organize a Collection of Basic Needs Items
It is not unusual for someone to come into inpatient treatment with little more than the clothes they are wearing. Even among our outpatient recoverees at the Bridgeport facility, many don’t know where their next meal is coming from. We are always in need of healthy, non-perishable snacks for our outpatient programs as well as basic personal care items.
Volunteer Spotlight
Thank you to members of the Faith Tabernacle Missionary Baptist Church Greeters Ministry who provided a pre-Thanksgiving Dinner for our recoverees at Liberation House.
News and Updates
New Grant
The City of Stamford Community Development Block Grant program awarded funding to Liberation to support bilingual outreach on the West Side of Stamford. 

The bilingual Behavioral Health Crisis Counselor will be able to assist those in need of substance abuse and mental health treatment. The goal of this program is to reduce overdose deaths, reduce emergency room visits, reduce wait time for treatment and improve quality of life for program participants.
New Board Members
In 2018, Liberation was please to add a number of board members, each of whom offer a wealth of experience and expertise.

Laura W. Beck, Esq.
Principal, Cummings & Lockwood, LLC

Cynthia J. Shaw
Rehabilitation Therapist, St. Vincent’s Behavioral Health Services

Brigitte Van Den Houte
Vice President, Global Talent Management, Pitney Bowes
A special thanks to our entire Board of Directors for all of their work throughout 2018 to help our recoverees take steps toward better lives.