Neighbors speaking out about proposed treatment facility location

Neighbors speaking out about proposed treatment facility location
(Source: WTOL)

TOLEDO, OH (WTOL) - A proposed location for a treatment facility addressing the opioid epidemic is receiving some backlash. Neighbors are pushing back as the location is in an area already populated with them.

This is off Jefferson Avenue, near Collingwood Boulevard in the Old West End.

"This is where the problem is, so let's put the treatment where the problem is," CEO of Unison Health Jeff DeLay said speaking on how a Sheriff's Deputy described it to him.

Unison Health leaders call this area a healthcare corridor and think patients are best served here.

The Women of the Old West End wrote a letter to City Council asking for disapproval of this location.

Democratic Councilman Nick Komives believes these complaints are legitimate, but says the need is more important.

"It is very valid what they are saying, but the important thing to remember is we are talking about people's lives," Komives said. "People are literally dying everyday as a result of not having access to a bed and that opportunity,"

Right now, Toledo City Council is considering whether or not they will go against Toledo Municipal code and allow another group home within 500 feet, two group homes are within this radius for the facility.

This needs approval along with a need for a special use permit and a zoning change.

DeLay says everyone he's spoken to says this isn't about Unison Health.

"It is about other things, whether it's a zoning question, or whether it's a perception that this is going to lead to something to hurt the community," DeLay explained. "I understand the concerns that they have, but Unison has been a very good partner in the community,"

Komives says even with the concern, he has confidence in what this location could do. He believes moving forward the city needs to plan better on locations of these facilitates.

This treatment facility would have 16 beds. It would be post detox and allow residents to live and also receive treatment in the same place.

"It's really about reintegrating folks into society and once they've completed their treatment, getting them back on their feet," Komives explained. "This is a unique opportunity, it's different than what other facilities are doing in this area,"

Unison Health leaders are paying for the facility through gr ant funding from state and local groups, as well as fundraising efforts on their own.

If City Council approves the measure Tuesday, Unison Health leaders say they plan on opening the doors to patients within 90 days.

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