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Does First Step serve only women?
- NO. First Step serves ALL survivors of domestic and sexual violence regardless of gender, gender identity, age, race, religion, ethnicity, or socio-economic status.


Can I bring children and/or pets to the shelter?
- Children under 18 are welcome in shelter with a legal parent or guardian who is at least 18 years of age. First Step has a policy that allows for Emotional Support Animals and Service Animals, ask advocate for details. At this time we cannot support pets in shelter.


Do I need to reside in shelter in order to receive services?
- NO. First Step provides community-based services to many of the survivors that we work with. All programs and services available to those residing in shelter are available to those who have safe, alternative housing options.


How much do services cost?
- $0.00, First Step provides all programming and services, including emergency safe shelter, at no cost to survivors and their children no matter how much or how little they access any of the services or programs.


What can I do if I am concerned a loved one is experiencing abuse?
- We encourage family, friends, and co-workers to call our shelter at 419-435-7300 for support and guidance.


Who can I call if I am homeless but not experiencing domestic or sexual violence?
- United Way’s 2-1-1 is a free service provided to the public and operators can assist with finding shelter, food pantries, financial support options, and much more. Just dial 2-1-1 to reach them.


Is First Step available to present to groups, organizations, schools or businesses?
- YES! We love spreading awareness and educating the community at large about domestic violence, who we are and who we serve, and how we can all be integral in creating a society that no longer tolerates violence. Call 419-435-7300 for more information or email


What can I do to provide support to First Step?
- Financial assistance is the most crucial to ensure that programs and services remain available at no cost to survivors and their children. Online donations can be made by visiting our website and clicking on the “donor” link or by mail at First Step PO Box 1103 Fostoria OH 44830.


What types of items can be donated?

- Any basic personal care items such as shampoo, conditioner, liquid laundry detergent, toilet paper, paper towels etc. All items must be unopened. We also maintain an Amazon wish list of items needed.


What types of items cannot be donated?
- Due to limited storage space, First Step does not accept clothing, shoes, furniture, books, or toys unless there is an immediate need. We do accept limited donations of household items based upon need, call First Step at 419-435-7300 to inquire.


How do I drop off items for donation?
- All drop offs must be made by appointment, Monday through Friday from 9 AM until 4 PM. To make an appointment call 419-435-7300. Items cannot be accepted outside of these hours and should not be left on premises. Items left outside are subject to weather damage and theft.

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