$500k in funding helps Rogue Retreat find financial footing

MEDFORD, Ore. —The Medford City Council voted Thursday night to approve up to $250,000 in state funding for Rogue Retreat. That’s on top of another $250,000 from the city, just last month.

Ever since the departure of its leader back in August, the organization has been working on getting financially back on its feet. The Interim Executive Director says this funding will allow them to do just that.

The Medford City Council voting Thursday to approve up to $250,000 for Rogue Retreat. This funding comes to the city, from the Oregon Health Authority.

“We’re very grateful for the city council for this state pass-through fund this is going to be able to provide funding for our emergency shelters our transitional housing and other related services,” said Rogue Retreat Interim Executive Director, Bill Ihle.

It comes on top of another $250,000 approved by the city, just last month. The non-profit operates Medford’s new homeless navigation center, urban campground, Hope Village, and more.  Ihle says the funding will allow them to continue operations.

“We provide services 24/7 good days and bad days, 7 days a week so that takes a lot of money,” said Ihle.

In August, the non-profit said goodbye to its longtime founder and Executive Director pastor Chad McComas. This came after questions were raised about his alleged connection to gay conversion therapy, earlier this summer The non-profit says it found no evidence of discrimination or harassment toward anyone, by Rogue Retreat staff, participants, or by chad Mccomas himself.

“Duh. That sounds terrible, but we knew that going in that there was no discrimination. We have staff and we have participants from all different walks of life. They’ve all been treated exactly the same,” said McComas back in August.

The non-profit also said back in august its current budget will not sustain the current size of its workforce. It says, as a result, it let 25 people go. McComas told us in the summer that rogue retreat was having financial issues, but claimed it was not a result of poor management.

“A lot of it stems from organizations outside Rogue Retreat that owe them major amounts of money that have not paid. The biggest one’s the state of Oregon. When I was still there, they owed him $700,000. And I don’t think they’ve been paid yet. How do you have cash flow without $700,000? So there are some major issues. It’s not my management, it’s others not paying,” said McComas.

Ihle says the $500,000 will help stabilize the organization and is a step in the right direction, with more to come.

Ihle says he expects the board to make an announcement in the new few weeks about its leadership. It’s been looking to hire a permanent leader.

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Jenna King is the 6pm and 11pm anchor for NBC5 News. Jenna is a Burbank, CA native. She graduated from the University of Oregon with a degree in Broadcast Journalism and a minor in Sports Business. During her time at Oregon she was part of the student-run television station, Duck TV. She also grew her passion for sports through her internship with the PAC 12 Network. When Jenna is not in the newsroom you can find her rooting for her hometown Dodgers, exploring the outdoors or binging on the latest Netflix release.
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