Medford, Ashland emergency shelters in ‘big’ need of more volunteers ahead of winter storm

ROGUE VALLEY, Ore — With dangerously cold weather and looming snow impacting the Rogue Valley, several local shelters are preparing to open but need volunteers to assist.

Bellview Grange in Ashland has been designated as an emergency shelter. The building, which is located near Tolman Creek road and Siskiyou boulevard, will be opening beginning Thursday night until next Tuesday morning.

The building may not be able to stay open longer unless it has enough volunteers.

“The other shelters in town are at capacity which means people that are sleeping and camping out, don’t have anywhere to go,” Avram Sacks, a community volunteer who’s helping with the shelter, told NBC5. “So we opened these shelters up. If we have the volunteers for it, we’re going to let people stay possibly till 9 or 10 in the morning.  That way we won’t have to kick them out at 6:30 in the morning.”

ACCESS’ warming shelter on Market street is also in critical need of more help. The City of Medford declared a severe weather event, which will authorize the shelter to be open Christmas night on Saturday until next Monday night.

RELATED: Day after homeless man’s death, Medford/Access expand emergency overnight shelter

“We’ve been blessed with the support of the community thus far,” Melanie Doshier, support services director with ACCESS said. “But as the weather is presenting itself, [volunteers] are definitely our biggest need.” 

Bellview Grange can hold up to 50 people, which Sacks believes will be enough to house anyone that needs shelter. His goal is to ensure the homeless have a warm place to stay and a hot meal.

“I would tell [the community] to, treat our brothers and sisters that are out on the street with love and dignity, that’s the most important thing,” Sacks said. 

Anyone interested in volunteering in Ashland can call Sacks: 541-220-7307

Anyone interested in volunteering with ACCESS can email: [email protected] or call 458-488-1242

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