New year-round shelter set to open in Medford

MEDFORD, Ore. — A new year-round shelter for the homeless is set to open in Downtown Medford on Thursday.

Medford’s non-profits, ACCESS, and Rogue Retreat teamed up to help tackle homelessness by opening the new facility.

The new Kelly Shelter is located on 6th and Ivy in Downtown Medford. ACCESS purchased the building in June. The non-profit helped take the lead on funding and renovations and Rogue Retreat will help with running operations.

“This is a very humbling thing to have this shelter become a reality,” said Chad McComas, Executive Director of Rogue Retreat. “In the last three years at the Kelly Shelter when we were just in there for seasonal, we helped over 70 people move on to more permanent housing.”

“We just couldn’t be more proud of how it turned out, it’s a beautiful facility,” said Pamela Norr, Executive Officer of ACCESS.

The new shelter cost well over a million dollars. It has bunk beds, lockers, showers, and washers and dryers.

One thing that separates this facility from the rest is there aren’t restrictions on sobriety. However, there are limits on how long someone can stay. McComas said people can stay in the shelter for a maximum of six months.

“If they can get along in the community, we’re glad they’re here,” said McComas.  “We do have case management services to help them if they have some kind of addiction or mental health issue that needs some help, we’re going to try to get them to that help.”

Case Manager Jennifer Covarrubias says unlike the previous Kelly Shelter, which was only open in winter and was in the First United Methodist Church, the new one is open year-round.

“There were quite a few successes last year at the Kelly Shelter and I anticipate they’ll be even more this year,” said Covarrubias.

The new Kelly Shelter is already full with a waiting list. ACCESS said they’re in talks with other cities like Ashland to possibly open up an emergency center that’ll be open for everyone when temperatures drop low.

Additionally, they said if you would like to help, warm meals and toiletries are needed.

You can find out more information by calling Rogue Retreat at (541) 499-0880

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