“If we do more, we can save more lives”

In March 2022, the Senate passed a Fiscal Year 2022 omnibus spending bill that included Congressionally Directed Spending items. We are excited to announce that 2 projects Liberation Programs applied for was included in that bill. President Biden signed the bill into law on Friday, March 11th. We are grateful to Senator Richard Blumenthal for pushing our projects through and championing our life saving work.

The first project to receive funding will provide Family Recovery Coaching at the Pelletier Wellness Center in Bridgeport. These family-focused Recovery Coaches will conduct group sessions and work with Recoverees and their families during treatment and after discharge to connect them to recovery supports and impart their recovery knowledge as a peer. A support network that involves family is vital in ensuring successful long-term recovery. Family therapy groups will allow Recoverees and their families to communicate in a recovery-friendly setting and learn how to support one another while addressing pre-existing issues. The Coaches seek to have the family become a recovery-friendly unit to both aid their loved one in recovery and to recover for themselves, as families recover independently of their loved ones.

Coaches will also aid Recoverees and their families during treatment and after discharge to ensure they continue to receive necessary recovery support, especially during the first year of treatment and the first six months after discharge. The Coach will act as a source of support and encouragement to Recoverees and families, serving as a mentor with lived experience of recovery’s challenges and complexities. They may attend recovery and medical meetings with Recoverees, help the Recoveree secure work and housing, and assist families in their own recovery process through tailored service and support during their loved one’s treatment and after they discharge.

The second project is part of our response to the pandemic. We hired more frontline staff to help stagger shifts and reduce overall exposure to potential COVID-19 infection. This led to the need for increased office space which was created by refurbishing the lower level of the Pelletier Wellness Center to provide more offices. In addition to the necessary increase in office space, this funding allowed us to construct a gender-neutral bathroom for staff to utilize in the lower level.

On April 14th, Senator Blumenthal visited the Pelletier Wellness Center to announce the approval of over $150,000 for these projects. We had the opportunity to show the Senator and News12 Connecticut our program as well as our Mobile Wellness Van which provides harm reduction supplies and connections to care throughout Lower Fairfield County. Our goal is to do whatever we can to save lives and keep people alive until, and if, they are ready for treatment. As Joanne Montgomery said, “If we do more, we can save more lives”.

You can see more of the story here.