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Homeless Help On Hold

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ASHLAND, Ore. — More than two months after Ashland offered a $50,000 grant to create a homeless resource center, no groups have stepped forward to run it.

As the cold has set in the past few weeks, community groups have stepped up to run overnight homeless shelters. Pioneer Hall opened its doors last Thursday, but a homeless center to provide counseling, laundry and other services, has been shut out so far. In November, the city proposed giving a $50,000 grant to an organization that wanted to run the homeless resource center, but so far, there has not been any progress.

The Salvation Army was initially interested in running the center, and still thinks it’s a good idea, but says right now it would be too expensive to operate. Volunteers at the Rogue Valley Unitarian Universalist Fellowship, which helps run the pioneer hall shelter, said they would be willing to help make the resource center a reality.

“We may look to participate on that level as well, to help provide that service. With cooperation with the city would be great,” John Wieczorek of the R.V.U.U.F. Church.

The Ashland City Council is holding a study session over the next two days to talk about the resource center, and ways to get the project off the ground. That meeting begins Monday night at 7 p.m. at the Ashland Civic Center.