ASHLAND, Ore. – An Ashland group hopes to use the model of a Portland homeless camp to help people living on the streets in Southern Oregon.
The Dignity Village homeless camp in Portland is being used as an example for a solution to homeless problems in Ashland, but organizers say they need to gather support from the city, and from the homeless population.
There have been many suggestions over the past few years on how to help the homeless population in Ashland. Now, advocates want to take what they’re calling a successful model from Portland, and apply it to Southern Oregon. A pair of homeless advocates recently traveled to Portland to get a first hand look at dignity village, which is a city recognized homeless camp that houses 60 people.
Dignity Village requires that its tenants follow a list of rules, including no drug use, no violence, and a requirement to contribute to the village operation. The village offers the homeless tenants showers, donated food, and access to education and counseling. Organizers in Ashland say the model would bridge gaps between homeless people and the many services trying to help them.
Over the next few weeks, organizers will be presenting their plans to gain support from city leaders and the city’s homeless population. The leaders of Portland’s Dignity Village will be coming to Ashland on Wednesday, September 19th at the United Methodist Church. They will be holding a public forum about possible plans for Ashland.