Spirit of Hope 2018 Supports Liberation Programs' New Health & Wellness Center
Liberation Programs is proud to announce its new Integrated Health & Wellness Center
in Bridgeport, coming in 2019
Liberation Programs is building a new health and wellness center in Bridgeport for the treatment of substance use and mental health disorders. As we observe in the news, there are too few licensed centers offering high quality integrated behavioral health services in lower Fairfield County. As a result, we continue to have preventable overdose deaths and significant suffering.
By building the new Health & Wellness Center, we will be able to expand the array of evidence-based treatment options for those addicted to opioids and other substances, which our community needs now more than ever. According to the Office of the Chief Medical Examiner, there were a record-breaking 1,038 overdose deaths in Connecticut in 2017. Of those, 144 deaths occurred in Fairfield County, with 35 percent being residents of Bridgeport.
When we first offered services at 399 Mill Hill Avenue in 2004, our goal was to have sufficient space to serve 185 patients – which we now exceed by three times each week. In addition to being overcrowded with little to no waiting room seating, the building lacks enough parking for our clients. Most importantly, we have no room to house other essential services that are necessary to help people live a life of full recovery.
Our new Health & Wellness Center will have sufficient space under one roof to offer additional critical holistic services, such as family therapy, domestic violence and sexual assault support, and vocational services. We will continue to provide medication-assisted treatment options for those with opioid addiction, as well as individual and group counseling. While located in Bridgeport, people from the surrounding communities of Trumbull, Stratford, Shelton, Fairfield, and Easton will be able to access services at the Center, as well.
The typical person Liberation Programs serves has an annual income of less than $10,000, making
the cost of transportation to and from multiple appointments a hardship, adding to the challenges of securing appointments for critical services that commonly have long waiting times. The new Center will enable
us to increase the number of individuals we serve weekly from 600 to 800.
Our current clinic at 399 Mill Hill Avenue (left) and the adjacent property at 419 Mill Hill Avenue
Liberation currently owns two adjacent properties, 419 and 399 Mill Hill Avenue, located close to Bridgeport Hospital. At a construction cost of $2.6 million, our plan is to demolish the building located at 419 Mill Hill Avenue in early spring 2018 and begin a 10-12 month build-out of the new 11,200 square foot center. During construction, we will continue to provide program services at 399 Mill Hill Avenue. Operations in the new building will commence in early 2019, at which time we will complete our site plan by knocking down our current service facility, more than doubling our available parking spaces.
We need your help to do the right thing.
With no state or federal support, we are building this center with the generous support of private donors who understand that increasing treatment availability and options is the right thing to do.
Liberation’s board of directors has steadily improved its fund development work over the last four years and this has made it possible for us to make an $800,000 down payment on the $2.6 million dollar build-out. Work has commenced. Based on solid financial operations, Liberation was able to secure a construction-to-mortgage loan in the amount of $1.8 million.
Our goal is to raise $420,000 at the 2018 Spirit of Hope Gala. By doing so, we can reduce the amount of debt financing the agency is required to take on in order to build. Borrowing less for brick and mortar allows us to offer services to a greater number of uninsured working people – those who make too much money to qualify for Medicaid and too little to purchase coverage on the health care exchanges, even with ACA subsidies.
Now is our chance to improve the lives of our whole community – by lifting up our neighbors in Bridgeport.
Please join us.