Grants Pass explores the possibility of warming shelter this winter

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — With colder weather coming into the area, warming shelters are opening all over the Rogue Valley, but right now in Grants Pass the homeless have nowhere to go. People came together tonight to weigh in on the issue and provide their opinions.

People say this wouldn’t be as a long term solution to homelessness in the area but a way to provide for some of the most vulnerable during winter.

“You are actually taking care of an emergency need, you’re not looking at setting up a shop or a long term activity,” Community Action Network COO, Kelly Wessels said.

At a public forum Wednesday, most of these people agree the homeless need to have a place to go and soon, but they keep running into an issue.

“Really its all about finding a facility it’s about finding a building that we can lease and operate an emergency response type of effort,” Wessels said.

They’re working to find a way to fix this problem. Grants Pass city councilors say they want to help but establishing a center isn’t something the government can do – it’s up the community.

“We need to step up and solve the continuum problem but we have to have to have an entrance point, so having the ability to get people in out of the weather and just a safe place people is important and its a beginning,” Grants Pass city councilor, Valerie Lovelace said.

There was no vote tonight, it was just a discussion. Neighboring cities like Medford and Ashland already partner with local churches and volunteer organizations to provide warming shelters for the homeless.

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