MEDFORD, Ore. — After Medford's city council voted to approve a new prohibited camping ordinance earlier this month, Rogue Retreat has been discussions with the City about adding an additional urban campground to the existing site on Biddle Road.
The urban campground expansion could come to fruition if approved by the Medford City Council. Under the proposal, the new location would also be on Biddle Road, right across from the current site.
If passed, the new campground could help Rogue Retreat house 50 more people. The urban campground houses more than 70 at present.
“So, if they're a couple, they can come in as a couple, which will increase that number past 50. It'll open up more opportunity for people as they progress forward,” said Justin Hon, the operations manager for Rogue Retreat.
The new campground will have on-site case managers to help those who are homeless get back on their feet.
“Sometimes they just need a spot to rest their head, and connect with services — like a home base, where service providers can come find them,” Hon added.
This week, Rogue Retreat also welcomed 14 wildfire survivors into the new Project Turnkey Housing program, which will see the Redwood Inn motel on Riverside converted into emergency housing.
The non-profit has been working with Oregon DHS to help house those who have been displaced by the September Wildfires.
“New units will provide people that were fire survivors a place where they can decompress, de-escalate. And ideally, with case management support, find their way back into permanent housing into the community,” said Matt Vorderstrasse, Program Director for Rogue Retreat.
Vorderstrasse said that renovations on the Redwood Inn are expected to begin in May. When the transition is complete, the new shelter is expected to provide 47 apartments with kitchenettes for families and individuals in desperate need of housing, with Rogue Retreat operating the facility.