So, who is George Borg and why does he get his own day? Great question! George Borg is the founder of El Centro de Libertad/The Freedom Center. For years, George was known in the community as the owner of a successful auto repair shop. Most did not know the struggle he had on a daily basis. Then, in 1985, the unexpected happened. After nearly thirty years of addiction to drugs and alcohol, George entered and completed the Alcohol and Drug Rehabilitation Program at Sequoia Hospital. Instead of fixing cars, he decided to spend his life helping people find and maintain recovery. “You have to experience recovery to want more of it”, he said. George understood that the gift of renewal he had received required him to give it back to those seeking a better way to live.
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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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