ashland.news
February 22, 2024

Community invited to connect and learn at homelessness summit

The OHRA facility on Ashland Street at the former site of a Super 8 motel was renovated with the help of state funding through Project Turnkey. Drew Fleming photo for Ashland.news
January 21, 2024

Tickets available for daylong discussion Feb. 3 at Ashland Hills

By Morgan Rothborne, Ashland.news

The Southern Oregon Homelessness Summit is an opportunity to learn how services work and what is being done to address homelessness throughout the region, said Cass Sinclair, executive director of Opportunities for Housing, Resources & Assistance

“The whole point of the summit is for community members to learn from leaders at the national, state and local level, from stakeholders and local leaders about the causes of homelessness and how to work toward addressing homelessness,” she said. 

Curious community members can attend for $25 — a cost that includes a “nice lunch” — from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday, Feb. 3, at Ashland Hills Hotel. 

The event was born of a conversation, Sinclair said. Jordan Pease — founder of the Rogue Valley Metaphysical Library — joined the board of OHRA and came to Sinclair with questions about how social services are provided to alleviate and address homelessness. From that conversation, Pease offered to find grant funding to sponsor a summit event to bring learning and connection around homelessness issues to the wider community. 

Attendees will learn what drives homelessness and how those involved in addressing it work together, she said. Many of those in social services, healthcare and mental health are trying to wrap around the same individuals. The public can gain a better understanding of how these agencies and organizations corporate. Industry terms such as “continuum of care” and “coordinated entry” are increasingly coming into public use but are often left undefined. 

Community partners and individuals involved in addressing homelessness have already been invited to table and attend the event, but other interested parties are still welcome to attend or table the event, Sinclair said.

The day’s slate of speakers and panelists includes: Oregon state Rep. Pam Marsh, D-Ashland; Housing Authority of Jackson County Executive Director Jason Elzy; OHRA Shelter and Resource Center Executive Director Cass Sinclair; Maslow Project Executive Director Mary Ferrell; U.S. Deptartment of Housing and Urban Development Director Brian Guiney; Jackson County Director of Human Services Stacy Brubaker; city of Ashland Housing Program Specialist Linda Reid; ACCESS Support Services Director Melanie Doshier; Community Works Executive Director Barbara Johnson; executive coach on leadership and development and author Libby Gill; and OHRA Board President Dennis Slattery.

To learn more about the event and how to attend, visit the OHRA site

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

Jan. 22: Added specifics on speakers and panelists.

Bert Etling

Bert Etling

Bert Etling is the executive editor of Ashland.news. Email him at betling@ashland.news.

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