MEDFORD, Ore. – Temperatures will drop to single digits in some parts of Southern Oregon on Tuesday night and those cold temperatures can be deadly for people living on the streets.
During these winter months, the Medford Men’s Gospel Mission is reaching out to those who call the streets of Medford home. The Men’s Gospel Mission opens its doors to anyone when it hits 32 degrees. The snowflake outside of their window lets those passing by know that they will not turn anyone away.
“If anybody see’s anybody out there that’s cold especially around night time, you might want to point them our way,” said the Mission’s Associate Director, Jason Bull.
Police believe the cold weather may have contributed to the death of a 29-year-old homeless man found dead on the railroad tracks on Monday.
“Don’t know who the individual is or even if we’ve seen him in the past,” Bull remarked, “and I’m kind of interested to find out who this person was, and is this a person somebody we’ve reached that maybe didn’t know about us.”
Detectives are still investigating his death, but the Men’s Gospel Mission believe alcohol could also be a possibility.
“From what I understand, when people drink a lot, they have a feeling that they’re warm, and they might start shedding their clothes and in their minds, they think they’re warm but in reality they’re freezing to death,” Bull explained.
When it hits freezing temperatures, the organization opens its doors to anyone, even if the person is intoxicated or banned from the center before.
“The door is always open,” said Bull. “We never run out of room, we have a dorm upstairs that sleeps about 120 people. If we run out of room in our dorm, we will clear out chairs in our chapel and put cots on the floor.”
During these freezing nights, pointing someone to the Gospel Mission could save a life.
“You never know. If you are able to help somebody just by giving them a kind word and say, ‘Hey! You know you can stay at the mission and stay warm,’” Bull said.
The Grants Pass Gospel Mission also said they’ve seen about half a dozen more people coming in these last couple of days. In Klamath Falls, where temperatures will be extremely cold, the Gospel Mission said it’s been slower than usual.
As for the 29-year-old transient man who died on Monday, officers are trying to locate his family. His name is not being released.