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Budget, Education & City Services

Freedom Institute request for support of their proposed addition to their current outpatient substance abuse programs: an after-school program for adolescents. All services would be at their existing location, 515 Madison Avenue

WHEREAS, Freedom Institute is a non-profit organization that has offered substance abuse counseling and education on an outpatient basis to individuals and families, founded in 1976, and operating for the last 24 years at 515 Madison Avenue, 21st floor, without incident; and

WHEREAS, Freedom Institute provides counseling services in this location, to address the needs of families, not simply identified patients, and to date has focused on the adult and young-adult identified patients; and

WHEREAS, Freedom Institute requests approval to expand their program which is regulated by the state licensing authority — the Office of Alcoholism and Substance Abuse Services (OASAS) — to adolescents during the after-school hours; and

WHEREAS, Freedom Institute operates prevention programs now in the Independent Schools, and anticipates serving this population in its after-school programs; and

WHEREAS, Freedom Institute's current services are comprised of counseling, education and psychotherapy, with approximately 1000 people served annually, and generally a maximum of 36 at a given time, in offices of 7300 square feet; and

WHEREAS, Freedom Institute's landlord is supportive of their leasing additional offices of 7400 square feet (doubling their program space), but they propose to add adolescent patients incrementally, beginning with a few and reaching a maximum of 50 adolescent patients at a time; and

WHEREAS, Freedom Institute has already had adolescents participating in family therapy sessions, with no complaints from neighbors; and

WHEREAS, Freedom Institute noted that five adolescents in Independent Schools have died from substance-related causes this year, adding to the urgency of their expanded services; and

WHEREAS, Neighbors were notified and no complaints or concerns were heard by the committee; therefore be it

RESOLVED, Community Board Five approves of the proposed addition of adolescent programs to the substance abuse counseling provided by Freedom Institute at 515 Madison Avenue.

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