MEDFORD, Ore. — A new initiative by the Medford Police Department is already showing signs of success. One month ago, its so-called “Livability team” was put into action to address drug use and homelessness in the downtown area.
The team was approved by the city council in June. It’s meant to crack down on criminal behavior downtown and along the greenway. The department posted a photo yesterday on their Facebook page sharing how they’ve helped three women find more permanent housing. They say they’re building trust and meeting people at their needs.
“There are people that are homeless by choice and there are people that are homeless by circumstance and so we’re trying to connect with every one of them and see what kind of things we can do to help them with their situation,” Lt. Trevor Arnold said. “Physically bringing them to appointments, taking them to housing appointments, taking them to ACCESS, taking them Vincent de Paul so that they can actually interact with these individuals and kind of connect the resources together.”
The team is made up of officers on bicycles, foot patrols, and even an ATV that’s on loan from Jackson County Parks.
The city is also looking at potentially creating a homeless court to help take care of outstanding fines as well as combat some other barriers homeless face.
NBC5 News Multimedia Journalist Rayvan Vares was born and raised in Honolulu, Hawai’i. He graduated from Southern Oregon University with a degree in Communication. While attending SOU, he studied abroad in Japan.
When he’s not reporting, Rayvan enjoys working out, dancing hula, and traveling. Feel free to email him with story ideas, [email protected]