Medford, Ore.– Residents in an East Medford neighborhood have been concerned about the amount of homeless foot traffic in the area. Recent concerns have been voiced over social media where photos of homeless and transients can be seen digging through trash.
The problem has seemed to be getting worse over the years, according to some residents and they believe one of the reasons for this increase may be due to the methadone clinic located near the neighborhoods.
The methadone clinic, Allied Health Services, which provides treatment services for drug addiction, has been in it’s location at the corner of Murphy Road and States Street for over several years.
Audrey Dean, a resident who has lived in an apartment complex a couple blocks away from the clinic for three years now, say’s she has had multiple encounters with transients that were less than hospitable. At one point, one man even started yelling and cursing causing Dean to worry for her own safety.
Dean says she understands both sides of the issue and feels sorry for the transients that come through the neighborhood.
“It’s understandable because they are in a really tough spot and you do feel for them,” she said. “But at the same time, you don’t know who you’re walking down to. You don’t know who they are, you don’t know what they’re capable of. So it’s just been a little bit more scary up here lately. ”
According to the website, Crime Mapping, since July there have been 68 reported crimes within a 1/2 mile radius of the clinic. At least 25 percent of cases were reported from Rogue Regional Medical Center, however, 23 cases were recorded in residential areas around Allied Health Services.
Medford Police Department said it’s aware of the clinic and smaller incidents that have occurred in the past but that it was unaware of any major problems. The department did not have specific numbers about crimes related to the clinic either.
Dean says she understands that it’s not all of the clinics fault. It’s there to help people but the employees can only do so much.
“I think they do the best that they can, it’s just that, unfortunately, those unsavory characters coming up here and messing with things, is a part of having [clinic] here,” said Dean. “”They can’t really help what people do outside of the clinic. I don’t think they’re really, per say, to fault for what other people do. They’re just trying to help people.”
Dean recognized that Medford’s population has been increasing over the years, potentially playing some part in the rise of crime. She isn’t sure what best solution might be but wishes the police would step in more.
“Maybe if they just patrolled a little bit more up here it might be more of a deterrent for people to be hanging around up here and doing things they shouldn’t be doing.”
NBC-5 News reached out to Allied Health Services for comment but was unable to reach anyone.