Ashland group working to find shelter for homeless

ASHLAND, Ore. – Governor Kate Brown’s ‘Stay at Home’ order was set to make people safe from coronavirus, but not all Oregonians have a home to go to.

“You know this is a global pandemic we are in this together, it affects everyone,” said Gina DuQuenne who is on the Housing & Human Services Commission for the City of Ashland.

That’s where Options for Helping Residents of Ashland comes in.  The organization is partnering with ACCESS, the City of Ashland, and the United Way of Jackson County to fund hotel rooms for Ashland’s most vulnerable.

“It’s the best case scenario because they’re in their own space. So it’s safer for everybody,” said Michelle Arellano, the Executive Director for OHRA.

Three hotels are housing some homeless and so far, they’ve filled up over twenty rooms. For people with underlying health conditions and/or older adults it’s important to have that security even if the weather is warm.

“Short term, right now with COVID-19 it is so important for us to do everything that we can to help them be as safe as possible,” said Arellano.

The hotels are giving discounted rates to OHRA, but the community is looking for more.

“I’m hoping that more people who have who have hotels and motels and BnBs will also open up their places of business,” said DuQuenne.

If you or someone you know would like to donate space or money to help a person in need contact OHRA at helpingashland.org.

NBC5 News reporter Katie Streit comes from her hometown, Las Vegas. Katie went to the Hank Greenspun School of Journalism & Media Studies at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas. While in Las Vegas, Katie won a Student Emmy for her coverage of the Las Vegas Shooting Anniversary. She also hosted and produced the university's political news show, where she interviewed Nevada Governor Steve Sisolak and Congresswoman Dina Titus (NV-1). Her passion for politics turned into a coveted internship at the US Capitol in Washington D.C. In her final months working in the Las Vegas area, she was recognized for her journalism achievements by the Nevada Broadcaster's Foundation. Katie is excited to tell the stories of local Southern Oregonians and Northern Californians. Feel free to contact her at [email protected]
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