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Medford church hopes to offer a warming shelter for homeless

For the homeless, this winter weather can be deadly.

But a Medford church feels inspired to save lives

“I believe that the snow had a vote in our deciding to do this,” Pastor Linda Tucker said.

Record-breaking snowfall Tuesday night led to a decision Pastor Linda Tucker is very proud of.

She’s hoping to offer up the basement of Church of the Rogue (also known as First United Methodist Church) as a warming shelter for those without homes.

“It’s very consistent with who we are. We’re a progressive Christian church and so for us to be open to all people is exactly what we want to do,” Tucker said.

Tucker approached Rogue Retreat with the idea.

The organization has been wanting a warming shelter in Medford for years.

“I mean think about last night with all that snow. If you were sleeping on the streets, how would that have affected you? Could you have stayed warm? Probably impossible. Could you have stayed dry? Probably impossible. And then the next day when you have no place to go or get warm or dry, what do you do?” Executive Director Chad McComas said.

According to Tucker, the homeless would have their own space, enclosed by several doors.

Complete with a kitchen, bathroom, and heating.

“I’m guessing it’ll be a great spot for families,” Tucker said.

But there’s only one problem keeping them from opening the warming shelter.

The city says in order for people to have the ability to sleep, they need a sprinkler system.

Rogue Retreat is hoping a generous group or organization will step up to install that system before the end of winter.

“What we find is if you give people hope, their lives change. When people have a warming shelter to go to, they won’t feel like they have to do some of the same old behavior they’ve done in the past,” McComas said.

If you’d like to help in making the Medford warming shelter possible, visit https://www.gofundme.com/warming-shelter-sprinkler-system

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