Grants Pass City Council addresses homelessness, calling for community support

The Grants Pass City Council is tackling one of the city’s biggest issues — homelessness. Council members say this problem can’t be solved without community reinforcement.

Posted: Jan 6, 2021 7:52 PM

GRANTS PASS, Ore. -- The Grants Pass City Council is tackling one of the city’s biggest issues — homelessness. Council members say this problem can’t be solved without community reinforcement.

City council members say this needs to be a community-led effort, so they’re asking for local religious organizations and service providers to offer up their space for homeless people.

Ward 2 Representative Valerie Lovelace says the city can provide zoning, but they need a nonprofit to manage a shelter and provide other resources.

The Gospel Rescue Mission in Grants Pass currently serves this purpose, but Lovelace says the city needs more options available.

“Anybody who wants that help, I think deserves to have the opportunity to get out, find a different way to live, and I think that's really important to people in our community," Lovelace said. "Like all people say, we want them to have the opportunity to better themselves, and if that opportunity is not provided, then it needs to be."

Rogue Retreat will use the old Grants Pass clinic as its temporary shelter. Lovelace says the building can fit up to 50 people, including families and couples.

It also comes with essentials, including a kitchen and showers. More importantly, the building has space for counselors and caseworkers to assist people.

Lovelace says they're leaning on Rogue Retreat's expertise to help them move forward.

“So, why not work with an organization that has kind of worked through some of those things and kind of has that part of the system down?" Lovelace said. "I think that's why we're looking at Rogue Retreat as a means by which to get that core sort of assistance.”

The temporary warming shelter will go through a 90-day trial period. Lovelace says she hopes the location will be up by this summer and operating through the end of the year.

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