Ashland council awards grants to help the homeless and people with low incomes

The Options for Helping Residents of Ashland Resource Center at 2350 Ashland St. OHRA photo
April 24, 2022

Options for Helping Residents of Ashland, The Maslow Project and Rogue Retreat receive funding

By Holly Dillemuth, Ashland.news

Ashland City Councilors voted Tuesday to award Community Development Block Grant (CDBG) funds to three organizations offering support services for homeless and low income people.

Linda Reid, housing program specialist for the city, said the city advertised the availability of CDBG funds in January, in addition to the remainder of available CDBG funds the city received for the COVID-19 pandemic. The city received two applications for the 2022 CDBG funds: one from Options for Helping Residents of Ashland (OHRA) and one from The Maslow Project. OHRA also applied for remaining COVID-19 related grants, as did Rogue Retreat.

Options for Helping Residents of Ashland (OHRA) offers access to social service resources to help low income people build better lives by encouraging them along a path to self-sufficiency.

The Maslow Project helps homeless young people. Rogue Retreat serves homeless and unsheltered people in Southern Oregon. Both are based in Medford.

City councilors held a public hearing during Tuesday evening’s council meeting, and talked extensively about the nuances of the recipients and awards. 

The vote by councilors was in line with the Housing and Human Services Commission’s staff recommendations: 

  • $128,266 to OHRA, to assist in converting an existing hotel into an emergency shelter, with the goal of serving upwards of 100 houseless individuals and at-risk populations. The funds are also slated to help provide case management and resources to remove barriers to employment and housing.
  • $25,000 to Maslow Project school-based services, providing basic needs and case management to improve stability to approximately 50 homeless youth.

The Commission and city staff also recommended approval of $40,673 in remaining COVID-19 funds to OHRA and $40,674 to Rogue Retreat, which operates the Ashland Community Shelter.

“This process is so challenging because there’s always more need than there is money,” said Linda Reppond, co-chair of the Housing and Human Services Commission. “That’s the dilemma that we face every single year.”

Reach Ashland.news reporter Holly Dillemuth at hollyd@ashland.news.

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Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.
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OHRA mission: Moving people from crisis to stability

Options for Helping Residents of Ashland purchased an underutilized Ashland motel and transformed it into The OHRA Center: a year-round low-barrier shelter with 52 rooms for guests; a resource center with a professional staff of six to assist anyone seeking help with rent, jobs, utilities, benefits and more; and a permanent home for the shower trailer.

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