LUCAS COUNTY, OH (WTOL) - The heroin addicts here in Northwest Ohio is just hurting addicts, but their children as well. Without voter's support, the Lucas County Children Services could lose $10 million in helping kids whose parents are struggling to get clean.
Wednesday, community leaders gathered at One Seagate Center to show their support for Lucas County Children Services and Issue 20, with their growing need because of the heroin epidemic.
"It's something Lucas County must vote for, and the imagination of it not happening is horrendous," said Theresa Gabriel, Toledo City Councilwoman.
During the first quarter of this year, leaders saw the largest percent increase of children entering their custody because of parent's drug abuse.
The levy would increase the existing one from $1.1 million to $1.8 million. Funds would go towards providing support and protection for these children.
"They need a hand, and we adults are the ones that should be helping them to advance and they are our future," said Gabriel.
Robin Reese, executive director of Lucas County Children Services, says children are often the first victims of drug addiction.
She says funding is needed to be able to continue to provide them a lifeline such as proper food, clothing, and even qualified foster parents.
If the levy does not pass, Children Services would have to reduce their yearly spending by nearly $8 million, as well as lay off more than 75 staff members.