Local Group Helps the Homeless

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MEDFORD, Ore. — A small group of community members is helping the homeless and less fortunate in southern Oregon.  Giving Back in Southern Oregon got its start on Facebook at the beginning of the year, and since then has helped close to 500 people.

Every month the group gathers supplies ranging from toothpaste and toiletries to water and snacks, and they take them to Hawthorne Park where they hand out them out to the homeless.  The founder of the program, Trish Johnson, said she got the idea during Christmas.  She wanted to give back to the community so she created a Facebook page and started collecting donations.

The program started out in the garage of her house, but it grew to the point where Johnson had no other choice.   She had to move it into a storage unit.    Johnson said the homeless people who accept the donations are grateful.

“They just swarmed us… like we were giving away money, and it was more to them than money… it was giving them something to help them out a little bit,” said Johnson.

Without the donations, some homeless said they would have to resort to dumpster diving because their food stamps do not cover all of their needs.  Giving Back in Southern Oregon not only helps the homeless, but they also help any family in need.  To contact the program, go to their Facebook page.

The program said it plans on becoming a non-profit organization sometime in the next few months.


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  1. Lisa welch says:

    This woman Trisha johnson obviously is helping people, but also she is taking from people. She promises people things and changes her mind. She promised me help and never got back to me. I asked one of the girls again for help and they told me that I didn’t need help that my facebook picture doesn’t look like I am handicap. I was shocked and it took everything out of me not to say what I felt. I’m done. It’s all about taking care of yourself. I don’t want this group of mean girls helping me.

    1. Amber Schatz says:

      Lisa Welch,
      We keep record of all the people we are in contact with, whether it is receiving donations, handing out items or when individuals request items, we have it all documented. We have no record of you requesting anything? What all did you request? Maybe you were placed on the waiting list for something and we still haven’t got it. We help as many people as we can with what we have. Sometimes we don’t have the items people need at the time but we all try our hardest to find the item for them, until the item is found they are placed on a waiting list for it.
      P.S. No need for name calling. We are just trying to help as many people as we can with what we have, unfortunately we cant please everyone.

  2. A Friend says:

    As in all situations judgement should never be made based on appearances or stories alone. This group doesn’t take from anyone, they are given things by people who are looking to help others but do not have the time or resources to do it themselves. Being good stewards of those gifts is important. Very few questions are asked by the group when providing for those who ask for help and sometimes that backfires. These ladies give of their time and their own resources to make this work. Is the system perfect? Not yet. But for a group that is in it’s infancy they have provided desperately needed help from Ashland to Grants Pass and are committed to continuing their mission.

  3. brittani clark says:

    This group is amazing. They all have there own lives and jobs and kids and for them to take all the time they do to run this group is amazing. I think all the girls in this group have real true hearts. Using there own personal money to be sure everyone has what they need. Just wow amazing and I think they should be annouced about more often on the news. Thank you lady’s.

  4. Jodi says:

    Hi there Lisa, these ladies are amazing and are here to help people who really need the help. Not people who are looking for a handout or people wanting to get free stuff and sell it on another site. I do believe the group told you where you could go to get access to a wheelchair. They help a lot but they don’t have super powers. They can’t get everything for everyone. I know Trish on a personal level and she is 110% nice. She isn’t mean at all. Not everyone can please everyone.

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