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Founded in 1970, Pivot Ministries is a residential treatment program located in Bridgeport and Norwalk, CT. The Pivot process is faith-based. We are a nonprofit agency with four decades of successful experience assisting men challenged by alcohol and substance abuse. Pivot’s mission is to treat drug and alcohol addiction as a spiritual problem and return the men to their families usefully whole.

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Pivot Ministries serves approximately 250 men per year. The Ministry reaches men throughout the Northeast and beyond. Pivot Ministries is an integrated service delivery system, which includes three phases of living (Crisis, Stabilization and Transitional).

Helping men with alcohol and substance addictions requires a combination of services. Pivot addresses both immediate physical needs (such as shelter, food) and long-term stability (through counseling, healthcare assistance and job skills training). The core of Pivot’s programming however is treatment of addiction as a spiritual problem. Pivot is known as a safe place, a sanctuary for men in trouble. Through acceptance, discipline and structure, men gain the emotional and spiritual confidence to meet the challenges of life without depending on drugs and/or alcohol.Pivot runs a very structured program whereby each participant is expected to follow a rigorous schedule of daily activities, which includes: personal counseling, a bible based curriculum of study, life skills training, educational tutoring, AA meetings and chore duties. Each resident is assigned a pastoral counselor with whom they meet six sessions per month.

At Pivot, our programs are designed to focus on recovery and on prevention. In over four decades of providing critically needed services, Pivot has developed a sustainable model based on past success. Our programs serve social justice by providing aid to men who often fall through the public safety net. Providing shelter is critical. The Connecticut Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services (DMHAS) calls safe housing for its consumers “severely limited in all regions and communities across the state” and “the greatest barrier to treatment and ongoing recovery from mental illness” in most Connecticut regions. This shortage is a systemic weakness. DMHAS says that “supportive and transitional housing” have “the greatest potential to move persons into recovery.” One of Pivot’s current priorities is to access funding which can help us address the critical issue of housing. We have a formula that achieves results. Our vision is to expand the capacity of the Pivot program in order to assist a larger population of struggling men. We would like to be in a position to offer selected access to soon to be released incarcerated men. We are mindful of the fact that our program succeeds best for those who want it, not simply for those who need it.

Like any faith-based organization conducting re-entry and/or substance abuse treatment programs, we know how difficult it is train, employ and retain employment for individuals who face the barriers and stigma of incarceration and/or substance abuse. Pivot has therefore designed innovative employment skills initiatives, such as our Pivot Green job-training program for agriculture, horticulture and other green businesses. Pivot also has active partnerships with the Department of Mental Health and Addiction Services, The WorkPlace and participates in the Bridgeport Re-Entry Roundtable, the Bridgeport Continuum of Care and other structured initiatives. Additionally, Pivot has partnership with various ministries, including Refocus Outreach Ministries, Bridgeport Rescue Mission, Teen Challenge USA, and Family ReEntry. We also seek to generate additional funding to help us broaden our job training and educational programs (GED tutoring).

One vitally important part of any recovery process is health. In addition to guiding the men to develop spiritually, Pivot also holds regular dietary classes from a nutritionist and consultation with a registered nurse. Finally, as part of an overall wellness program, we provide a regular exercise/fitness program for the men. Regular attendance at the Bridgeport Community YMCA is part of Pivot programing.

Our ideal objective is to build future leaders. The executive staff at Pivot consists entirely of men who have graduated from the program. They serve as models of example to the students in the program. If we can successfully bring our proven model to a broader audience we can effect change within homes and in the community at large.