El Centro de Libertad


The latest from El Centro de Libertad and our impact on the community.

From The Most Difficult of Times, Comes an Exciting Future for El Centro de Libertad!


I’m Jeff Essex, El Centro’s new Executive Director. I came on board May 1st, of this year, in the middle of a global pandemic, and at the beginning of a national movement demanding the end to systemic racism.  There is nothing like jumping in head first!  As anyone in recovery will tell you, change is never a welcome thing; always preceded by fear and anxiety. Not just for the person arriving to the leadership position, but the existing team is often anxious about changes in their daily lives.  Soon after I arrived, we all found our rhythm and got to work in a spirit of collaboration rarely seen.

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Time to Say Good-Bye

My last day at El Centro is May 1 (May Day, how appropriate) and Mr. Jeff Essex has been selected by the Board of Directors as Executive Director.

I have been involved with El Centro since around 2005 or so, and assumed the top leadership role in 2015. I leave a 2020 El Centro a somewhat different place than when I found it, but yet we have stayed true to George Borg’s vision: abstinence-based individual and group counseling services are still the core foundation of the agency, we still use the Steps as tools towards recovery, and we still make sure nobody is refused services because of inability to pay.

Supporting county and agency partners and still providing services during any emergency is part of the job, but it becomes (and will continue to be) a bit tricky during a pandemic; however, even now, new opportunities are emerging and relationships are being forged.

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Celebrating 25 Years!!

El Centro de Libertad is celebrating our 25th anniversary of service to San Mateo County. 1994 to 2019: How long has it been since yesterday anyway? It seems like a blink of an eye, yet so much has happened!

When George Borg saw that there were no outpatient programs that low-income families, those most in need, could afford he opened El Centro de Libertad, a bilingual substance abuse recovery center for people who needed help but also who needed to go to work or go to school or even just needed to take a break.

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News From El Centro; Fall 2018

I read somewhere that The old order changeth yielding place to the new….

Nothing remains constant, no matter how grand it has been. But a new world always rises again and is always as captivating as the old world. I would say the same has always been true about El Centro de Libertad.

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First there was George!

I am the second Chief Executive Officer of El Centro de Libertad/The Freedom Center which for over two decades has provided substance use treatment services to rural and urban communities of San Mateo County; however, the fact that El Centro has long enjoyed a strong reputation for providing services to low-income communities in a compassionate and effective manner, and is held in high regard for our “Sobriedad con Dignidad” (Recovery with Dignity) approach, has little to do with me.

First, there was George.

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Are You Looking to Serve?

Are You Looking to Serve?

El Centro de Libertad/The Freedom Center is looking for new board members. Serving as a board member can be a fulfilling way to give back to the community. Prospective board members come from all walks of life and bring differing experiences to the Board they serve, such as knowledge about agency administration, legal or financial options, marketing or program assessment.

The goal of the board of directors is provide the passion and stewardship that moves the agency towards fulfilling the mission.

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Your Support Helps

Make a gift to support the agency or one of our programs! El Centro de Libertad/The Freedom Center is a 501(c)3 non-profit agency and all donations are tax-deductible as allowed by law.

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