Community Outreach

The “Pay it Forward” Campaign features ten non-profit organizations that have been recognized for making a difference in the lives of the individuals and the communities they serve. Four of those ten will receive a $2,500 prize to support their organizations’ missions. The greater community can vote daily until November 13th to support the agency that they feel is most deserving of the $2500.

Center of Hope is an award winning, local non-profit that helps students pass state tests, adults find and keep employment, and families navigate the juvenile justice/child welfare systems.


Zepf Center Awarded a $900,000 Opioid Workforce Expansion Grant
from U.S. Department of Health and Human Service
Zepf Center in Toledo, Ohio was recently awarded a three year grant through the U.S. Department of Health and Human Service: Health Resource & Services Administration (HRSA) Opioid Workforce Expansion Program (OWEP) Paraprofessionals. Zepf Center is partnering with Owens Community College to train 70 individuals per year in as para- professionals in the behavioral healthcare field.Paraprofessionals provide assistance with living skills, development skills,health maintenance, medication administration, personal care andbehavioral health.
Deb Flores, CEO Zepf Center states “Zepf will work in a coordinated manner with Owens Community College in developing a strong Community Experiential Learning/Internship component that applies the behavioral healthcare classroom instruction.” Zepf Center has partnered with various community partners including behavioral healthcare organizations, workforce development services, targeted recovery housing organizations, and Peer Operated services to provide guidance in the development of this new training project.
Recent policy changes expanding access to mental health and addiction services for millions of Americans are increasing demand for behavioral health services and reshaping the behavioral health workforce. According to SAMHSA, the demand for behavioral health services exceeds the supply of the workforce, with 55 percent of counties reporting that they do not have behavioral health workers in their counties, and 77 percent of counties reporting unmet behavioral health needs within their communities. Paraprofessionals play a key role in mitigating provider shortages, which has created increased attention to the value of peers and paraprofessionals in behavioral health care delivery.
Individuals may have the opportunity to attain Peer Support Certification and Chemical Dependency Counselor Aide Certification along attain course work needed to be considered Qualified Mental Health Professional. It is expected training will start in mid-November 2019. To attain further information contact Craig Gebers, Vocational Director at

Northwest Ohio Syringe Services Celebrates its Second Year of Service


Today marks the second year of service for Northwest Ohio Syringe Services (NOSS). Syringe Service Programs (SSP) provide anonymous syringe exchange to prevent the spread of HIV and viral Hepatitis, primarily serving people who inject drugs.  SSPs are required, by law, to provide HIV and Hepatitis C testing, education, and referral.  NOSS is also required to offer referral to substance abuse treatment.  NOSS provides these services, along with unrestricted syringes and injection supplies, Narcan training and kits, fentanyl test strips, and biohazard containers.  Screening, Brief Intervention, and Referral to Treatment (SBIRT) are offered through Motivational Interviewing performed by the NOSS staff.


In total, 336 unduplicated participants have visited NOSS.  Secondary exchange has expanded over the last year, allowing one person to pick up syringes and injection supplies for several others in their using network.  Providing unrestricted syringe access is best practice, which has increased syringe distribution from 19,578 in Year One, to 94,687 throughout Year Two.  NOSS has also seen an increase in syringe collection; 10,087 syringes returned in year one, and 45,580 returned in year two.


NOSS continues to screen for human trafficking as a Partners against the Trafficking of Humans (PATH) agency.  Over the last year, NOSS has experienced an increase in pregnancy testing and prenatal care referrals.  NOSS has expanded the distribution of safer sex supplies to include female condoms.   


Fentanyl test strip distribution has almost tripled over the last year.  NOSS distributed 473 Narcan kits.  This year, participants have reported being the first responders to 156 opioid overdoses, tooled with Narcan provided by NOSS; which more than doubled from year one.  New partnerships with the Lucas County Sheriff’s Office have led to expanded Narcan distribution through the Lucas County Corrections Center and the Drug Abuse Response Team (DART).


NOSS continues to provide Harm Reduction services from the following fixed locations, 6 hours a week:


St. Paul’s United Methodist Church           Talbot Clinical Services, Inc.

1201 Madison Ave.                                              732 Main St.

Toledo, OH 43604                                                Toledo, OH 43604

Tuesdays, 1-4 p.m.                                                  Thursdays, 1-4 p.m.



NOSS is excited to announce a third fixed location for Syringe Services.  The new location, First Unitarian Church of Toledo, in South Toledo, is tentatively scheduled to start providing services on Wednesday, September 4, 2019.

For additional information, please call the NOSS line at 419.213.2655 or visit

Opioid Addiction Hotline

If you or someone you love has an addiction to pain medications, is using these medications in a way that puts them at risk of addiction, or has an addiction to other substances there IS help available.

If you or someone you love is having a mental health crisis or is in need of someone to talk to you can text for help.

  • CRISIS TEXT LINE: Text 4hope to 741741 and a trained crisis counselor will text you within five minutes to confidentially assist
  • Signs of Overdose

    Signs of overdose include the following:

    • No response when you shake the person or call their name
    • Not breathing
    • Slow or shallow breathing (less than one breath every six seconds)
    • Pinpoint pupils
    • No response when you shake the person or rub their sternum with your knuckles
    • Choking, snoring, or gurgling sounds
    • Blue, grey, or ashen lips and fingernails
    • Slow, irregular pulse
    • No pulse
    • Vomiting
    • Seizures