The City of Ashland has been awarded a $300,000 grant from the State of Oregon for Emergency Shelter Grant-CARES act funding to help address the need for non-congregate shelter for homelessness households to prevent the and mitigate the effects of COVID-19. The grant from Oregon Housing and Community Services will allow the City to partner with Rogue Retreat, a non-profit homeless services provider, to establish and run and urban campground on the South end of the Rogue Valley. Rogue Retreat offers a variety of emergency shelter and transitional housing and support services targeted to alleviating the issues of homelessness in Medford and Grants Pass, and currently runs the urban campground located in Medford.
The City of Ashland in partnership with Rogue Retreat and in coordination with Options for Helping Residents of Ashland is proposing a multi-pronged approach to offering non-congregate COVID safe sheltering options for homeless individuals and families. This project includes the purchase of ten pallet shelters which would be placed in a temporary sanctioned and regulated campground located on the South end of the Rogue Valley. The campground will utilize the coordinated entry and HMIS systems to identify and prioritize residents to be welcomed into the camp, as well as referrals from law enforcement and partner organizations, such as Option for Helping Residents of Ashland. Rogue Retreat will oversee the camp and utilize their existing case management model to connect campers to additional community resources and work toward transitioning them to more permanent housing. The City and Rogue Retreat have yet to identify and secure a location for the campground but are in the process of vetting possible locations and hope to secure one the next couple of months. The City and Rogue Retreat are hoping to be able to open the campground in June 2021.