Rick Barclay is the Program Manager of Safe Point, Franklin County’s comprehensive harm reduction and syringe services program. He leads a team of 7 staff members and numerous supportive volunteers to provide primary and behavioral health care to improve the lives of people who use drugs (PWIDs) through direct and coordinated, linked services. Safe Point was founded in 2016 as a partnership between Equitas Health and Columbus Public Health. In 2017, Safe Point was recognized as Agency of the Year by the National Association of Social Workers – Ohio Chapter and in 2019, Safe Point was named a community partner for Franklin County’s Overdose Data to Action grant, supported by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
Rick grew up in Los Angeles and was addicted to drugs from the ages of 12 to 18. After dropping out of school twice to go to treatment, and eventually entering a court diversion program, he became and remained abstinent since July 27, 2002. He is the first person in his family to graduate from college and earned a BA in English from California State University, Long Beach. He then worked in digital marketing and outreach for 449Recovery in Orange County, CA before finding his way to Columbus, OH and helping to establish and eventually run Safe Point. He has spoken at community events, conferences, hospitals, fundraisers, and in classes at OSU about harm reduction practices and philosophies, program development, drug policy, and public health. Rick also serves on the Franklin County Office of Justice Policy & Programs Reentry Advisory Board to provide guidance on matters relating to those leaving jail, prison, or other correctional institutions.