MEDFORD, Ore. — The City of Medfod has given the green light to a plan that would see the development of a temporary camp site for the houseless population, many of whom currently bivouac along the Bear Creek Greenway.
The proposed campsite represents a concerted effort between Medford and several nonprofit organizations to bring the local houseless to a more centralized location with greater access to resources.
Under the proposal, the small patch of land just north of Crater Lake Ford will have a fenced-off area for about 25 tents, with portable toilets, garbage cans, and handwashing stations on-site. Food and medical services will also be available.
For Medford, the campsite means a reduction to the risk of fires set along the Greenway, as well as reducing trash and improving safety. For nonprofits who serve the houseless in the area, like Rogue Retreat, it means a more reliable way to keep in contact with people and get them the resources they need to get back on their feet.
Medford Police Chief Scott Clauson said that his agency will now begin clearing the land, with the goal of having the campsite up and running by the end of July.
Clauson stressed that the campsite is a temporary measure and is not intended to be a long-term option. For him, stopping Greenway fires through the summer and ensuring safety during the coronavirus pandemic is the biggest goal.
At the end of June, multiple local agencies and nonprofits partnered on a clean-up along the Greenway with particular emphasis on outreach, coinciding with the germination of the urban campground idea.