Northwood Residents Fight Zepf Recovery Housing for Women

The Zepf Center purchased a house along Curtis Road in Northwood. It's going to be used to house 8 women who are rebuilding their lives in recovery from addiction. Residents in the area don't want it in their neighborhood and city council is considering a zoning change.

"I have grandkids and kids in the neighborhood and don't want anything to happen to them if somebody has a problem," says Larry Ziegler who lives down the road. Randy DeLuca lives a few houses away and says "I wouldn't want it here, not on this side of town. Maybe down by Great Eastern or where the old Woodville Mall used to be."

Northwood City Council is focusing on the zoning of the land which is residential. Zepf says that the only requirement for recovery housing. City Administrators are going to be voting on a zoning change. Bob Anderson is the City Administrator and says "We're also adding a section that says basically no drug or alcohol rehabilitation housing." Anderson says this would more clearly define zoning in this area. "Most of the reason is to keep things in a proper place. Try to keep compatible housing in an area with other compatible housing."

People who work in Wood County recovery services say the need for residential housing is huge. "You could have somebody three doors down that's an addict and you don't know about them and they're more dangerous," says Belinda Brooks, the program director for the Addiction Response Collaborative in Wood County.

"Right now, we have one facility for women and when those beds are full then we have to go out of our county," says Brooks. "Most of these people want to be there. They're doing an intensive outpatient program and they're staying on track so they're not really a threat to the community."

A public hearing on the matter will be scheduled in the next couple of weeks.