Amid SCOTUS ruling, Grants Pass feels need for homeless shelters

GRANTS PASS, Ore. – The highest court in the nation’s Friday ruling on a Grants Pass camping ban is sure to have its effects felt across the country, but what shelters are available now to the people facing homelessness in Grants Pass?

Friday’s Supreme Court ruling and the changes it is sure to bring are shining a light on the need for shelters and services for those facing homelessness.

Grants Pass Gospel Rescue Mission serves Josephine County as one of its only homeless shelters, though it’s not without it’s own rules and barriers to entry.

“There’s no other place here in Grants Pass,” says 4-month resident, Roter Marrs.

Besides we’re particular who we take and there’s no other shelter, besides the sobering center, but like I said, they won’t take your dog and you can’t take all your stuff in. 

“You’ve gotta go by the rules,” says Manny Vasquez, another resident.

There’s some rules here, you gotta attend the chapel, and do your chore every day, plus your regular work, that’s our routine every day.  

Homelessness is far from a one-size-fits-all solution problem, but residents say the program has made all the difference for them.

“I used to sleep in my car, and I came here I got a bed every day,” Vasquez says, “I feel like a brand new man, thanks to the people around me.”

Despite their own successes…they say the supreme court’s decision will only make matters worse.

Maars says, “They’re gonna fill our jails up and they’re gonna make these people owe mass money.”

That decision, it should be the whole community because a lot of people there, they just need a place to stay besides the park. 

But they agree that finding a solution is not easy.

We can’t fix it, it’s gonna be there, and it’s gonna be the ugly thumb in grants pass, and they’re gonna try to put it here or put it here and they’re just gonna get deeper in debt and deeper into the drugs because they’re so depressed. 

The executive director for the mission says the decision will be good for Grants Pass and cities all across the country, though the work is far from done. 

“We still have lots of work to do for homelessness and we’re gonna continue to do that,” says Executive Director, Brian Bouteller.

We’ll be here when those people need somewhere to go and when they’re ready to make that change.

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NBC5 News reporter Kade Stirling was born and raised in Idaho. Kade graduated from the College of Southern Idaho with a degree in Digital Media. He started his broadcast career as a Master Control Operator at KMVT in Twin Falls, ID. He's a bookworm, Lego fanatic and an animal lover. As an outdoor enthusiast, Kade loves Southern Oregon. He spends his free time hiking with his fiancé and dog.
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