© 2020 | Jefferson Public Radio
KSOR Header background image 1
a service of Southern Oregon University
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
Poverty and Homelessness

Few Resources In Rogue Valley For People Seeking Warm Shelter

April Ehrlich | JPR News
The scene at Southern Oregon University in Ashland Tuesday morning.

Snow is billowing across the Rogue Valley and temperatures are predicted to dip into the 20s this week. So, where can you go if you need a warm place to sleep? The answer isn’t easy to find. 

City administrators with Ashland, Medford and Grants Pass say it’s not their responsibility to ensure there are warm shelters during dangerously cold weather.

Instead, they rely on churches and nonprofits. And who’s organizing what isn’t clear.

Permanent homeless shelters across the valley are full. A volunteer group in Ashland is cobbling together a temporary warming center, but it’s BYOB: bring your own bed.

“It will be staffed by trained volunteers,” said Jason Houk of Southern Oregon Jobs with Justice. “People will be allowed to sleep. But there’s no sign-up sheet or waiting list. We’ll take anyone who comes in the door.”

Houk says its location will likely change throughout the week, from the Ashland library to various churches.

Rogue Retreat staffers say their permanent shelter in Medford is full, and they’re telling people who are homeless that there isn’t another place for them to go to seek warmth.

Meanwhile, there aren’t any temporary warming centers in Grants Pass.