Medford could ease the way for temporary shelters

MEDFORD, Ore. — Changes to Medford city code could allow for more warming and cooling shelters.

The city is looking at allowing temporary shelters in commercial, industrial and possibly residential zones. They would have to be run by a public or private non-profit or religious organization.

Rogue Retreat’s executive director Chad McComas says the Kelly Shelter has helped get people off the street and wants to make it full-time.

“We got 30 people housed in three months, so that’s pretty amazing,” lauded McComas. “So if we can get them off the streets on a regular basis, we can start solving the homeless problem one person at a time and that’s what we really want to do.”

The city also looked at the potential to add more transitional housing, modeled after Hope Village.

While councilors liked the idea, the problem is state law, which only allows for two parcels of land to be used. Those are already being used by Hope Village.

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