What comes next: Local nonprofit helps homeless get back on their feet after buying hotel rooms

MEDFORD, Ore. — On Tuesday NBC5 News first brought you the story of a local couple buying out hotel rooms for the homeless. 

Now a few days later, it has some wondering… what comes next for these people?

“You want to catch a break,” said Michael Cushman, “that’s all you ask for when you’re homeless is to catch a break.”

A break is exactly what he got. After finding out people were sponsoring hotel rooms for the homeless this week, he got to escape the cold and snow Wednesday night.

“I’m glad that I got tagged and got notified about this,” Cushman said, “because last night there was four or five people this morning that were out in the street last night that had no idea about this program going on.”

The non-profit behind the effort, Compassion Highway Project, said they got an outpouring help from the community. Restaurants like Hawaiian Hut and Little Cesar’s donating food for the guests, others calling to ask how they could sponsor a room.

“I don’t know what it was that sparked the magic, I guess you could say, in our community for their outpouring,” said Compassion Highway Project founder Melissa Mayne.

Whatever it was, it gave CHP a chance to connect the homeless to resources that can help.

“It gave me a little break off the street for a minute,” Cushman said, “gave me a shower, got me somewhere to eat and stay warm for a night and help me figure things out.”

And a chance to give people like Michael, a fresh start.

“I found out the night before last actually, or before I got notified about this program, that I was able to go to Bend and get out of here and get a place to stay,” Cushman said.

“It’s been an amazing few days of all the love that’s been shown for so many different of the families and the people here,” Mayne said.

“Even if it’s just a month off the street, still… anything helps,” said Cushman, “and to have a friend reach out and help me like this… I don’t even know how to put it in words, but I feel lucky though.”

If you want to help sponsor a room or give donations, you can email America’s Best Value Inn on Riverside and contact the Compassion Highway Project.

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