June 17, 2024

Ashland emergency shelter to stay open at least through March

Governor signs new emergency order providing additional state funding
By Morgan Rothborne, Ashland.news

The city of Ashland emergency shelter at 2200 Ashland St. has received state funding to stay operational until March 31.

Oregon Governor Tina Kotek signed an extension to the emergency declaration on homelessness — executive order 24-02 — Jan. 9, making additional funding available and allowing the Ashland emergency shelter to remain operational, according to a post on the city of Ashland’s website.

The Ashland severe weather shelter, which offers overnight shelter depending on conditions, is a separate program at the same site, and is not affected by this order.

Kotek first signed executive order 23-02 Jan 10, 2023, establishing an emergency declaration on homelessness which was originally set to expire Jan. 10, 2024.

The emergency shelter opened on Nov. 1 and has provided shelter to 30 individuals through an application and screening process. The nonprofit organization Opportunities for Housing, Resources & Assistance has operated the shelter through a contract with the city of Ashland. Individuals at the shelter are receiving “wraparound” services to assist them in becoming housed, according to the city website.

Jackson County will receive $1.5 million in funding through executive order 24-02, according to the city post.

The state of Oregon had the highest rate of homeless families, the fourth highest rate of unsheltered homeless people nationally and, from 2017 to 2022, the prevalence of homelessness increased by 39%. The Jackson County Continuum of Care saw a 132% increase in homelessness from 2017 to 2022, according to the governor’s executive order 24-02.

Email Ashland.news reporter Morgan Rothborne at morganr@ashland.news.