Liberation Programs, a Substance Misuse Treatment organization in Fairfield County, has received a $5,000 COVID Resiliency Grant from United Way of Western Connecticut to support programs in Stamford including Liberation Clinic and Lib House. During the COVID19 Pandemic, Liberation Programs saw increased expenses related to purchasing PPE, enhancing sanitation protocols, hiring additional frontline staff, and utilizing telehealth for virtual therapy. Liberation Programs’ Stamford Outpatient Program, Liberation Clinic, is the only federally licensed methadone clinic in Stamford and serves approximately 1,100 individuals per year. Lib House, the inpatient residential program for men in Stamford, has a capacity to serve 65 individuals at a time.
When the COVID-19 pandemic began, the United States was in the midst of an Opioid Epidemic which has been exacerbated as the pandemic has continued. In 2020, Connecticut experienced 1,378 drug overdose deaths, up 14.3% from 2019 (1,202). Data from the Connecticut Chief Medical Examiner Dr. James Gill shows that between January and June 2021, there were 547 confirmed overdose deaths and numerous pending deaths are suspected overdoses. Fairfield County saw a dramatic 26.3% increase in fatal overdoses in 2020. This continued tragic climb is indicative of the increased demand for services through an unprecedented time where people are turning to substance use as a coping mechanism.
As more people experience a greater need for treatment in Fairfield County and nationwide, Liberation Programs has experienced a steady demand for its services. Fiona Wilkes, Director of Development and Communications, says “Thanks to our supporters, such as United Way of Western Connecticut, we will continue to provide life saving services to those who need us most. This funding allows us to maintain our high level of programming while increasing capacity to meet the needs of the community.” Liberation Programs is currently celebrating its 50th Anniversary.
ABOUT UNITED WAY OF WESTERN CONNECTICUT
United Way of Western Connecticut improves the lives of hard-working, struggling households by mobilizing the resources of local communities to create lasting change. United Way helps residents across Northern Fairfield County, Southern Litchfield County and the City of Stamford by focusing on the vital building blocks for a good life: education, financial stability and health. It is particularly focused on a population identified as ALICE® (Asset Limited, Income Constrained, Employed). By leveraging the collective power of the community, we are focused on creating an environment where individuals and families are self-sufficient and can achieve financial independence. For more information about United Way of Western Connecticut, please visit: www.uwwesternct.org. Like us on Facebook. Follow us on Twitter. Follow us on Instagram. Watch us on YouTube.