I lost a dear friend recently with the passing of Ed Pollak, a long-time Board member of Liberation Programs. But more than my loss of someone I admired and respected, our community lost one its greatest unsung heroes. For those of us who call lower Fairfield County home, many may not be aware of what an incredible, indefatigable asset he was in helping make our neighborhoods and communities work. Few would deny that Ed often times seemed like a bit of a grump — that was the exterior Ed. Inside, his heart and actions spoke volumes and his belief that you needed to invest time and energy into the community you lived in was witnessed everyday by his actions.
He was a passionate supporter of Liberation Programs, stepping in to serve, pro bono, as the executive director while a search for a new leader was conducted. That new leader turned out to be me and Ed was an inspirational mentor. I am not saying we didn’t occasionally butt heads, it wouldn’t have been Ed if we didn’t; however the critical issue of addiction and how it impacts our communities — Ed’s community — was something he never lost sight of. Serving also as Chair of the Board, Ed helped solidify the financial stability of the agency during a challenging time. He was deeply moved and saddened by the fact that over 300 people lost their lives to addiction in Connecticut in one year. It fueled his desire to take action and he was tireless in his work for Liberation Programs because of its “importance to humanity.”
He immersed himself in everything he did from being a husband and father, to a leader in a major corporation, to serving on the boards of non-profits, to simply exploring and enjoying everything he could consume. His zest for life was boundless. He enjoyed the theater, politics, was an avid baseball fan, and even went to a think tank in Wyoming. If there was something that intrigued him — that would enlighten him, or challenge him — he dove right in, finding the time to enrich his life and our lives in countless ways. The side of Ed I saw was caring, compassionate, and understood that truly being a part of a community was a walk that took you farther than your own block. He was a man with a huge heart, admired, beloved and respected by all who knew him. He is missed.
Alan J. Mathis
President & CEO
Please take a few minutes to listen to some inspiring stories as told by Liberation Programs Recoverees
Thank you to Bright Horizons Foundation for creating a brand new Bright Spaces® play area for our Families in Recovery Program
Bright Horizons Foundation for Children partnered with Liberation Programs to create a wonderful new play area for children staying with their mothers at the Families in Recovery Program. Bright Spaces are designed to provide children in shelters or other agency programs for people in crisis with a dedicated warm, enriching area to play and learn.
Studies have shown that children of all ages thrive when they have a safe place in which to explore the world around them, filled with books, toys and activities that are developmentally appropriate and provide an opportunity for them to discover the magic of childhood. Children experiencing stress especially need access to these kinds of child-friendly spaces.
The Bright Space at Liberation Program is a warm,inviting space for children whose parents are in treatment for substance abuse and addiction. It will be used by up to 20 children per month, ages infant through 9 years old, both with staff and volunteers as well as their parents. The Bright Space at FIRP features a dramatic play area, block/truck area, art cart and infant area, as well as comfortable adult seating, all made possible by Bright Horizons volunteers and supporters.
The new Bright Space is a cozy gathering place for children at FIRP.
With a little tender loving care from Bright Horizons, the new Bright Space is open for play!
LPI President and CEO Alan Mathis gets a little help welcoming guests at the ribbon cutting ceremony.
A Message to Our Friends
At Liberation Programs people are taking concrete steps towards leading happier, productive and substance-free lives. Women, who all too often have few treatment options, have turned to our Families in Recovery program to begin a new journey. Our team helps pave the way for people to rebuild their self-esteem, to learn to value their abilities and to make healthy decisions. Everyone deserves the opportunity for a fresh start; we provide the tangible support and services to improve their lives. Just as we work to empower mothers in our residential program, we are here for you, and we believe you too can achieve phenomenal success on your path to a better life.
As one of our community’s largest behavioral health providers, we help bring thousands of individuals and their families’ hopes and dreams to life!
Welcome to our website. We hope you enjoy learning more about how we help strengthen Fairfield County. If you like what you see, and you want to join our essential mission, please visit our Contact Us page to learn how you can make a difference or donate now.
Photo, Family in the Park, Courtesy of Chaiwat/FreeDigitalPhotos.net
Liberation Programs' Residential, Opioid (Methadone) andOutpatient Treatment Programs are CARF accredited. CARF, the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities provides accreditation services worldwide. Providers that meet CARF standards have demonstrated their commitment to being among the best available.