TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - While many shared flowers and cards Wednesday with their loved ones, Toledo Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz is asking for citizen's to extend their families.
"Right now we have over 1,000 kids in our care and custody that need love," said Robin Reese, the Executive Director of Lucas County Children Services.
Lucas County Children Services is asking for 400 foster families. Reese said they're exhausting all of their options at this time.
"Children cannot sleep in this building, so on any given day we are calling someone that is already full saying, could you please take in another one?," said Reese.
Many of their foster families are at maximum capacity, or are aging out of the system.
The agency is being hit hard by the opioid epidemic, with these children being the silent victims. In September of 2017, 56 percent of the children in their care, had addicted parents or guardians.
Reese said, neighbors might not notice the need, even if a foster child is in one of their kid's classes.
"These kids are in our neighborhoods, they are in the same schools with other children, they don't have signs on them that say I need a foster home," said Reese.
Mayor Wade Kapszukiewicz met with Children Services on Tuesday, and not even 24 hours later, he's calling on Toledo families.
Reese said she's thankful for his push.
"The Mayor really wants to be a part of helping promote that and we thought what better day than Valentine's Day to urge loved ones to think about maybe adding a loved one to their family," said Abby Arnold, the Mayor's Deputy Chief of Staff.
Toledo Fire Chief Luis Santiago is also chiming in about the push, calling the need dire.
"When you look at what the family structure should be, for hundreds of kids in this community they don't have that structure, how is that going to be effecting their later lives?," said Santiago.
Reese said they can make training available just about wherever, whenever. Whether it is weekends, quick training, or going out in the community, she says they are will to do it all.
"These are just kids that need a family at this point. They need somebody to love them until their parents can get themselves together, and that's just the bottom line," said Reese.
Anyone interested can contact LCCS can call (419) 213-3336, or visit their website.