Homeless camp extension

The homeless camps in Medford are being extended until the end of the year. The camps opened on July 27 and were expected to close on September 30.

Posted: Oct 2, 2020 6:30 PM

MEDFORD, Ore.--- The homeless camps in Medford are being extended until the end of the year. The camps opened on July 27 and were expected to close on September 30.

The goal of the camp was to get people off the Greenway to reduce fire hazards. It was meant to be a temporary solution to get through the wildfire season, but now it may turn into a long term place for the homeless to go. The camp is currently located off Biddle Road right next to Crater Lake Ford.

Not only has this camp site given people a safe and warm place to sleep but it is also providing support to anyone willing to take it.

"Probably the most positive thing is that they are getting folks into the next step which is the Kelly Shelter," Medford chief of police Scott Clauson said. "Which is more of a focused environment, cased managed environment."

Executive director of Rogue Retreat Chad McComas said people at the Medford campsite are accepting the provided help.

"We keep moving people from the campground to something better," McComas said. "I think everyday we're moving somebody out to something else. And that can even be recovery. We sent somebody out to portland to do some rehab."

There are currently 40 tents at the campsite. Chief Clauson said with the success of the campsite there has been talk of keeping the model.

"The city and Rogue Retreat realize that there is a need to for a more tents and more beds so the future operation and the future locations we're looking at would allow for expansion," Chief Clauson said.

Chief Clauson and Director McComas said they hope to make the camp site bigger-- possibly even doubling the amount of tents.

"I think we could double this and still be somewhat short.," Chief Clauson said. 

McComas said there needs to be more places for the homeless to go. He believes more campsites like the current one would be a win for everyone.

"It's just a community effort and we're working with so many partners in the community to make it work and we're just honored to do that," McComas said.

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