Emergency shelters in JaCo preparing for cold weather

JACKSON COUNTY, Ore. —With the cold wet weather across the region, there’s a lot of concern about the local homeless right now. Ashland is opening the doors to its emergency shelter Monday night. But it’s open with limited hours because it doesn’t have enough staff.

Medford says it will open its facility once the temperature hits below 32 degrees.

“We didn’t imagine it would be this cold the first week in November,” said Avram Sacks, Ashland emergency shelter coordinator.

Ashland is preparing for the cold weather by opening its emergency warming shelter Monday night. It’s at Pioneer Hall at 73 Winburn Way in downtown Ashland.  Non-profit, Jobs with Justice is running the shelter with its volunteers.

“Normally we open from 5 pm till 9 in the morning but right now we don’t have the volunteers we need for an overnight,” said Sacks.

Instead, it’ll be open each night this week from 5 to 8 pm, all the way through Saturday night. Then it will reopen from  7 to 10 am to provide warm meals.

“They can get out of the cold, get warm, get a warm meal which can really help, and go to the library once it’s 10:00,” said Sacks.

Medford’s Severe Warming Shelter hasn’t opened yet. The city says it will open once temperatures hit below 32 degrees. When it comes time, it’ll be located at the Kelly Shelter on 6th street.

Access will run the low-barrier site, offering food, bedding, and a dry place to store belongings. Both Medford and Ashland say their sites rely heavily on volunteers to stay open.

If you’d like to volunteer with Access at its Medford site, email [email protected]

In Ashland, you can call Avram at (541)-220-7307. Ashland is also hosting a training for volunteers on November 17th at Pioneer Hall.

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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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