ASHLAND, Ore.– Church camping has been officially approved in the city of Ashland. The council approved a second reading of the ordinance during a meeting Tuesday night.
It lets churches open up their parking lots to people living out of their cars. The Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Church was the first to try it out and showed the council its success over the last two years.
The First Presbyterian Church in Ashland was also considering the move last year but decided it would be better to put its resources towards the seven nights a week shelter during the winter.
Now with this ordinance passing, churches like the First Presbyterian will take another look and see if they have the resources to use it.
“I have a couple of folks who I know that have been impacted by the one at the Unitarian Universalist church and it made a difference for them,” said Pastor Dan Fowler. “She was able to find work and he was as well and if it wasn’t for the parking program they would be camping somewhere.”
Under the ordinance, churches would be allowed up to three parking spaces a night and must have a bathroom available. That bathroom would include portable toilets.
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