Oral history interview with Carlos Pagan, 2015


Pagan, Carlos (El Regreso founder) (Interviewee)
Murphy, Kristin L (Interviewer)
Oral history interview with Carlos Pagan, 2015
In the first session, Carlos Pagan discusses his initial involvement with Phoenix House and his role in founding the program. He explains how he joined Efrén Ramirez's rehabilitation program after years of chronic drug abuse and details how that initial program grew in membership and gradually evolved into Phoenix House. Pagan credits the creation of Phoenix House to the support group of six found ing members that he maintained, and a move from Hart Island to Manhattan, which put the group out on their own. In the second session, Pagan discusses the dynamic that existed between the original six members of Phoenix House, as well as his childhood upbringing in Williamsburg as a young Puerto Rican immigrant. Pagan details the beginning of his drug use in the mid-1950s, due to his gang involvement and his subsequent bouts with incarceration. He explains how he joined Efrén Ramirez's program to rehabilitate and how he met the first few members of the Phoenix House program there. He then documents the acquisition of the first house and subsequent expansion
Collection Name
Phoenix House Foundation oral history collection
Executives; Therapeutic communities; Substance abuse--Treatment; Drug abuse--Treatment--United States; Drug addicts--United States; Imprisonment--United States; Gangs--New York (State); Williamsburg (New York, N.Y.); Pagan, Carlos (El Regreso founder); Phoenix House (Organization)
oral histories
Physical Description
147 pages
Note (Biographical)
Carlos Pagan is the founder of the rehabilitation program El Regreso (Project Return) and a former resident of Phoenix House
Interviewed by Kristin L. Murphy on August 11, 2014 and March 3, 2015
Note (Provenance)
Carlos Pagan, Gift, transferred from Columbia Center for Oral History Research 2016
Library Location
Columbia Center for Oral History, Columbia University
Browse Location’s Digital Content
Catalog Record
Also In
Oral History Archives at Columbia
Persistent URL
Related URLs
Available digital content for this interview.