Ashland Winter Shelter opens

This year, the Ashland Winter Shelter will be in one place for five months. Last year, it rotated to different churches that opened their doors for for a few nights a week to make sure people have a place to go every day of the week.

Posted: Nov 4, 2019 11:13 PM

ASHLAND, Ore. -- Ashland isn't new to housing some of its homeless in the winter. Volunteers have made sure there was a place for them to go every winter night for the last 10 years. The only problem was the shelter was at a different place every night. Those in need of a place to stay had to remember where to go every day of the week. This year is different.

"We're able to provide much more hope," said the shelter's founder Heidi Parker.

This year, the shelter is at the old Rogue Valley Church every day. The 45 guests it houses will be able to sleep in the same bed for the next five months. Volunteers won't have to break down and reset up shop in anymore.

"It allows our guests stability where we are coming to them," added Options for Helping Residents of Ashland's (OHRA) Executive Director Cass Sinclair.

Since OHRA is now involved, guests will have access to more than just a place their heads for the next five months.

"We have a shelter navigator and case workers so guests can get connected to services and resources, jobs, health insurance. Getting connected in that way so it really is about moving people from crisis to stability. Housing being the base of all of that," Sinclair said.

About 200 people are volunteering their time this winter.

The shelter is open from 7:30pm-7:30am. The guests are bussed in and out every morning and night. This will go on until March 31st.

Sinclair said they could always use more volunteers. To find out how you get involved, head here.

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