A year ago, KLOVE radio interviewed our founder, Dr. Bill Lane, for National Reentry Week. Bill explained what the problem our culture faces with men coming out of prison and what we do to combat that problem. It's a great listen if you click on the link to the audio at the bottom of page.
As the Director of Freedom House USA, Jason oversees the day to day operation for each living environment. He conducts the initial intake of the clients into their living arrangement, approves all residents for the Transitional Living Homes, submits all discharge paperwork, develops transition plans for all residents, facilitates groups and one-on-one sessions and carries a caseload of 18 men.
Born in 1955 and adopted to first generation Americans, Jonathan Todd Gottlieb, AKA “Jason”, was in trouble very early in life. Placed as a ward of the court at age 13, he was a constant resident of juvenile facilities, boy’s homes, ranches and the California Youth Authority. In 1980, he participated in the taking of a human life as an associate shot a man at his own home. Faced with the death penalty he pled nolo contendre and was sentenced to 17 years to life in state prison. As an indeterminately sentenced prisoner, Mr. Gottlieb worked hard to change himself and secure his parole and thus his liberty to become a constructive and positive citizen. After serving 25 years, 5 months and eight days he was paroled to southern California. His parole term was for five (5) years of which he did every single day successfully cooperating until an honorable discharge was given September 3, 2010. His Central file is now collecting dust in archives in Sacramento.
As a formerly incarcerated person, one of Gottlieb’s strengths is being able to recognize and dialogue with the many who are struggling with identity and coping with decision-making. Mr. Gottlieb, who has been clean and sober since 1987, thirty-one years to date, has the motivation and credibility to assist in the lives of at-risk individuals and people suffering from the disease of addiction along with the cycle of incarceration. As part of his journey to freedom, the Board of Paroles granted Mr. Gottlieb parole four (4) consecutive times, at the time the only such case in California correctional history. Governor Schwarzenegger ultimately affirmed the fourth parole decision on July 26, 2005. Mr. Gottlieb’s wealth of experience in the correctional system enables him to communicate a unique perspective of the road from incarceration to rehabilitation.
Mr. Gottlieb is now employed at Freedom Through Education as a Director of all Freedom House USA properties. Along with this he provides clinical work as he facilitates curriculum on such topics as Male Accountability, The Male Role Belief System, Re-entry and Socialization, Life Skills, Addictions and Violence Prevention. The many participants who attend his presentational sessions view these sessions as a vehicle to attaining an insight into who they are, where they are and where they dream to go. Having committed himself to the goal of attaining maturity and self-empowerment following entry into the California prison system at age 24, Mr. Gottlieb demonstrates that the incarcerated can make meaningful and lasting changes. An individual’s focus on goal setting and having a no-compromise attitude concerning integrity lends credence to sobriety, educational achievements and liberties of the mind. Attaining the wherewithal to be able to discuss and confront one’s own checkered past in a humble and accepting way toward contrition and amends making follows a time-tested path of forgiveness and enlightenment. “Change is possible” is Mr. Gottlieb’s message of hope. Jason Gottlieb now resides out in the community of Elk Grove, California with his wife Denise.
Today Freedom Through Education launched their new initiative to help those who wish to support our cause stay in touch with what we are able to do with their help.
The new logo springs from the family of current marks for the parent and subsidiary programs already in place: Freedom Campus, Freedom House USA, and Freedom Recycling. Symbolism in the mark show
This Spring we opened what many see as the best house for transition and sober living in not just Sacramento, California, not just in California, but in the entire USA.
It is a godsend to the men we serve in many ways. Not just because it's a duplex that allows us to serve 12 "special needs" men, nor for the the safe beds we provide to each resident, nor for the beauty of the building with 10' ceilings, marble floors, gorgeous kitchens, and other fine appointments, but also for the unique programming that we have developed exclusively for this group.
Part of that unique programming allows us to help the men help themselves become citizens again after many years of incarceration. One way we do this is involve them in keeping the house in pristine condition so they are proud to live there and the neighbors are glad to have them there as well. Many unique and wonderful talents the men have exhibited are fostered - such as a love for landscaping, vehicle maintenance, and even refrigeration.
Our desire is to make each man know his value. We invite you to pray with us about that powerful need for this population that has been told otherwise by so family, friends and authorities.
In April 2016 Craig C. paroled to Freedom Though Education's Freedom House USA main facility in South Sacramento, CA where he joined over 30 other residents.
Craig responded right away to all of our (and WestCare's) in service treatment plans and remained at the top of the class in all he pursued that we offered. It came as no surprise to see him quickly get employed in the construction field - working two jobs at times - always saving for the day he would transition out from under our care.
After nearly a year of living with four men in one of our apartment units, working his program and saving, Craig expressed the desire to move to one of our self-pay houses to continue the safe environment, save for more living options, and gain some positive rental history.
The new environment is different than our apartment facility.in several ways:
Today Craig has obtained his Class A drivers license and is driving for a trucking firm based in Sacramento.
Our mission statement says "we cannot control the choices men make, but we can expand the choices they have". Craig continues to exemplify that statement working very well.
On a cold Saturday morning in February, 2018, Freedom House USA, a division of Freedom Through Education - Director Jason Gottleib gathered 10 volunteers from our Transitional Living and Sober Living 36 bed apartment complex on the corner of 46th Ave. and MLK boulevard to work our 3rd monthly “Be Real Neighbors” project. These men worked tirelessly side by side with Jason and other Freedom House USA staff members in South Sacramento accomplishing the backache challenging process of gathering, lifting and transporting 4 heaping pickup loads of TVs, mattresses, landscaping debris, and you-name-it trash to local landfills.
The good things are many. One is we had other volunteers join us, something one doesn’t see so often anymore. Another is the district manager, Monty Hall, has generously pledged his support for this project by ordering landfill passes for us and a dump truck to be used monthly by our team. We can’t thank him enough for helping us in this way. His support will enable us to continue this fine work on our next Be Real Neighbors this April.
Not everything came up roses for us. We were not received by all in the neighborhood with accolades. Some had jeering comments asking why we would bother doing such a thing. e only answer is “because we are your neighbors and take pride in this area.” Thankfully several neighbors were supportive enough to make us want to do this again and again. ere are real costs involved with clean-ups - mattresses and TV’s etc. cost more than normal junk to deposit at landfills - hence these items being discarded regularly in our neighborhoods. It all adds up to a sizable investment for a non-profit to take
One thing we witnessed first-hand is that the four streets we cleaned that morning were refilled within a day or two with even more debris and trash than before. This may happen for some time as we get the area used to what a clean street and environment looks like.
These are actual words of our residents about the experience:
“We want to...inspire those that live here to care as well. I personally enjoyed going street to street cleaning up and having people come out of their homes to thank us for the job we’re doing....” Jeff S.
“I took time out of my (school) schedule to help clean up. Hearing people drive by in cars beeping their horns because they like what we are doing in the community (is fantastic). People in the community said they want to help next time.” Michael B.
“I realized during this project that we have to be consistent to make the impact needed in the neighborhood and truly make a difference.” A. Nonymous
“The things we learn here (at Freedom House USA) are irreplaceable life skills - like the way we donate time and effort to pick up trash in our neighborhood, showing all the residents we care. Hopefully our efforts will grow and more the the community will join in.” William R.
We invite other communities to join us in the beautification of our neighborhoods in this manner. For details on what it takes to accomplish this with the least amount of stress, contact our director Jason Gottleib at Jason@ftecampus.com. To know more about our enriching program, contact Delia Ortiz, our tireless intake specialist at Delia@ftecampus.com.