Liberation Programs Inc.

Meeting People Where They Are Since 1971

Norwalk, CT   |


Liberation Programs is one of Fairfield County Connecticut's leading behavioral health organizations specializing in treatment for substance abuse. We help individuals and families overcome addiction in order to restore their lives and ultimately strengthen our communities. In operation since 1971, the agency has sites in Greenwich, Westport, Stamford, Norwalk and Bridgeport that serve over 2,400 individuals a year.

Notes from the nonprofit

Nothing hurts us more than to learn someone has lost their life to addiction.

It means that regardless of the circumstances, someone whose life was at one time full of hope and promise—someone who had everything to live for—has lost their battle. A family mourns and friends cry. A precious life is gone.

At Liberation Programs we fight to help each of the more than 2,000 people we serve every year find recovery because we believe recovery is possible for everyone. It is our top priority. Each one is equally important. Recovery for life—a life saved. Recovery for life—a life that is long, fulfilling and happy.

At Liberation Programs, our philosophy of treatment is unique because we understand people try and fail—and keep trying. So do we. They are always welcomed back because we know and understand that it may take more than one attempt for a person to overcome their addiction. What is important is to keep trying until they succeed. We see the strengths and assets each person has and we build upon them – not tear them down. We help each person rediscover their gifts, talents and skills and help them develop these qualities through positive reinforcement. It is part of our credo and the work we do each day in saving lives.

Ruling year info


President & Chief Executive Officer

Mr. John Hamilton

Main address

129 Glover Avenue

Norwalk, CT 06850 USA

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NTEE code info

Alcohol, Drug and Substance Abuse, Dependency Prevention and Treatment (F20)

Addictive Disorders N.E.C. (F50)

Counseling Support Groups (F60)

IRS filing requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

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Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Overdose deaths in Connecticut continued to increase in 2019, with an 18% increase in deaths from 2018; in Fairfield County, deaths rose by 18.5%. However, resources for those seeking recovery remain limited, as state funding has decreased several years in a row leading to too few licensed centers offering high-quality integrated behavioral health services in lower Fairfield County. For low-income individuals who have limited access to the resources that are available, there are only 99 providers of substance use treatment for uninsured and Medicaid clients in CT with only 28 providing lifesaving evidence-based Medication Assisted Recovery (MAR). The CDC reports that since the beginning of the pandemic, 13.3% of surveyed adults have “started or increased substance use to cope with stress or emotions related to COVID-19”. This includes Connecticut, which saw a 22% increase in overdose deaths from Jan to May 2020 (531 deaths) compared to the same five month period in 2019 (435 deaths).

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

Families In Recovery

A live-in treatment program for pregnant and parenting women with substance use problems and their children. This program ensures prenatal care for moms-to-be, helps mothers re-build self-esteem and teaches parenting skills.

Population(s) Served

A treatment program for adolescents and their families who are experiencing problems due to alcohol and/or drug use. This program promotes early prevention education and conducts workshops, presentations and parents' forums to deter youth from engaging in at-risk behaviors.

Population(s) Served

Over the course of 4-6 months, counselors help men devise a treatment plan to address their addiction, physical and spiritual needs. This residential program encourages men to set personal goals, build vocational skills and participate in community volunteer activities.

Population(s) Served

Liberation Programs provide 24 units of permanent supportive housing for families . Gini’s House in Norwalk offers 18 units with support services in place for families at risk of homelessness and in need of help maintaining their mental health and/or recovery.

Population(s) Served
Social and economic status
Working poor
Low-income people

Outpatient care enables people to maintain their day-to-day lives while receiving treatment for substance use problems. Our care program incorporates psychological evaluations and vocational skills development as part of each individual's treatment plan.

Population(s) Served

Where we work


CARF 2013

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

Four powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

Liberation adopted a new Strategic Plan in September 2020 that will help guide the agency through the end of Fiscal Year 2024. The Strategic Plan calls for the organization to “broaden community awareness and support; explore partnerships and joint ventures; be looking for ways to incorporate telehealth and harm reduction philosophies and practices throughout Liberation Programs’ system of care; and find new ways to educate legislators and increase visibility out in the community.”

Grouped into four main sections, Governance, Community Outreach & Awareness, Access & Expansion, and Financial Sustainability, the Plan positions Liberation to remain a cutting-edge de facto leader in substance use treatment and prevention in Fairfield County. This will be completed through broadening community awareness, private funding, and advocacy for the vital services Liberation Programs provides, providing more individuals and families with evidence-based prevention and treatment services in order to save more lives, and securing resources to fully support the Liberation Programs’ annual operating and capital needs

On a month-to-month basis, Liberation evaluates each program by compiling its performance in a dashboard which compares its success rates against internal benchmarks, similar programs in the agency, and past program performance. If a program is underperforming, potential programming issues are analyzed and corrective steps are taken by the Senior Team, the Director of Quality, Compliance, and Implementation, and appropriate Program Directors in order to improve performance for the next month’s dashboard and beyond. Liberation also compares success percentage rates against the Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) established treatment benchmarks.

On a year-to-year basis, Liberation Programs follows the National Outcome Measures established by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA). Although individual goals may vary, overall, the goals are grouped into four primary areas:
1. Abstinence from substance use and successful completion of treatment
2. Improved stability, which may include housing/employment/education
3. Access to services and social connectedness
4. Resolution of issues with criminal justice system

•In Fiscal Year 2020, we served 2,449 Recoverees for substance use and mental health disorders—often co-occurring—and provided education and prevention services to 2,705 students.
•Liberation’s expertise in the field of substance use treatment was recognized most recently by a three-year accreditation from the Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities (CARF), its highest honor.

The Pelletier Wellness Center is our response to meet an ever-growing need for substance use treatment. Designed to be open and stigma-free, the space is a $1+ million, 11,000 sq. ft. state-of-the-art substance use treatment center in Bridgeport, Connecticut’s most populous city, that provides substance use treatment and expanded services including primary medical and dental care through a partnership with Southwest Community Health Center. The Center has also served as home to Connecticut Community of Addiction Recovery (CCAR) Recovery Coach Academy trainings and National Acupuncture Detoxification Association trainings for staff. The Center had its Grand Opening in September 2019 and served 15.1% more Recoverees in its first year of operation than the year prior.

The Mobile Wellness Van offers outreach services to help Recoverees where they are in the community. Stationed in Bridgeport two days weekly and Stamford two days weekly, the Van offers prescriber services, a Recovery Coach, referrals, recovery supports, syringe exchange, overdose education, and NARCAN kits. The Van breaks down an initial barrier for those in the community who cannot physically get to Liberation’s clinics, bringing lifesaving services to them instead. The Van and its Recovery Coach saw over 500 clients in the first quarter of Fiscal Year 2021 between the two cities and helped distribute harm reduction supplies, facilitate intakes, and provide information about Liberation and its services to the community.

Our goals for the future include expanding our capacity to serve more individuals. This will happen through an expansion of telehealth services which is crucial for individuals without easy access to treatment. Additionally we aim to add an additional Mobile Wellness Van to our fleet to meet more folks in the community to provide treatment and diversion from the criminal justice system. We will also expand our relationships with local hospitals and police departments to provide real-time treatment and resources.


Liberation Programs Inc.

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The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.


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Connect with nonprofit leaders


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  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

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Liberation Programs Inc.

Board of directors
as of 12/1/2020
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Debra Hertz

The Strategy Group

Term: 2020 -

John Bassler

David Morosan

Kwame Moses

Allison Milne

Steve Fogarty

Sallyan Pelletier

Cynthia Shaw

Brigitte Van Den Houte

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations? No
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? No
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? No
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? No
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? No