Robin Sheppard has been on the streets for about five years. She’s been working at Southern Oregon Linen Services Inc. since July, and is currently staying at the Medford Gospel Mission on Bartlett Street.
But due to the mission’s opening and closing hours Sheppard can’t go to work at her scheduled shift of 4:30 a.m.
“I’m feeling pretty shut out like I’m stuck between a rock and a hard place,” she said. “I don’t want to be on the streets and I don’t want to lose my job.”
The mission understands her situation but says they’re also in a difficult position.
“If I were to put someone on a shift at night when very rarely someone would come in that would be somebody that I would be putting on a shift that could help people during the day and help people make progress on the challenges that they face,” Jason Bull, executive director at the Medford Gospel Mission said. “It’s a matter of putting people in position to help people the best.”
Bull says their goal is to keep people safe.
“If we had an open door where people could wander in and wander out it would be a safety and security issue.”
He says many other shelters have limited operation hours. The mission currently closes its doors at 9 p.m. and opens at 6 a.m.
Sheppard says she plans to keep her job and will most likely leave the shelter soon.