Support Perennial Warming Shelters for the Homeless Population in Medford

Support Perennial Warming Shelters for the Homeless Population in Medford

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Michael Velasquez started this petition to Residents of Medford and

Support perennial warming shelters for the homeless population in Medford Oregon. Frigid temperatures in Medford can drop below freezing and can become life threatening.

People suffering from homelessness in Medford and Jackson County Oregon do not have adequate resources in the wintertime. Medford would greatly benefit from having perennial warming shelters. There are only three adult shelters in Medford that provide consistent shelter for those living in homelessness in the community. This lack of resources has directly contributed to homeless deaths in the area. In 2017 a local man was found dead after he froze to death outside of a homeless shelter (https://ktvl.com/news/local/medford-homeless-man-passes-a-glimpse-at-his-life  

We are looking to interrupt the inequity of homeless shelters in Medford, Oregon. Instead of leaving the problem for the religious and charity organizations, we would like to see the City of Medford take a stronger leadership role in our growing homeless crisis. At the end of the day, those sleeping in the elements are part of our greater community, and where they sleep at night reflects of where we are at as a community. The city has a Homeless Initiative, but it does not discuss any short-term solutions. Our proposal to the city would be a part of a short-term solution. It would allow for our most vulnerable residents to have a warm place to rest, to relieve themselves to not have to risk their health or lives in the cold weather. We understand that there are emergency shelters in place when it comes to homelessness and severe weather, but why does the weather have to be considered severe for our city to warrant these services? What message are we sending our homeless community with that policy? 


Some may say that we have shelters, but we would like to point out that our shelters are regularly at capacity or have barriers for individuals to access them. For example, having a positive drug test for marijuana should not be the deciding factor on if someone has a place to stay, when the State has legalized it, yet in Medford, Oregon it still is a deciding factor. 

With affordable housing waitlists being anywhere from 2-6 years long in Jackson County and shelter options being limited our homeless crisis will only continue to grow. We are asking that the residents of Medford support us in asking the City of Medford to start a warming shelter. 

We need to act now as a community to bring awareness and encourage the City of Medford to take initiative and invest in humanity by supporting funding for a perennial warming shelter. In signing this petition, you support the initiative where the City of Medford will distribute or redirect grant/tax funding for a perennial warming shelter.    

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