In 2020, Providence partnered with numerous community-based organizations and invested nearly $300,000 to support families affected by the housing crisis in the communities Providence serves in southern Oregon.
The housing shortage in southern Oregon was a challenge even before the 2020 wildfires. After wildfires raged through town after town, housing availability in Medford and surrounding communities dropped to less than 1%. The fires destroyed 2,357 structures, including 1,748 mobile homes and apartments. Of the 3,000 families displaced, most were Hispanic or low-income seniors.
Rogue Retreat is one of the organizations Providence partners with to provide a range of housing options, from temporary shelter and transition facilities to permanent residential options. Rogue Retreat follows a Housing First model that enables participants to focus on life skills. Their weekly life skills classes and case management/peer support services help participants become self-sufficient and acquire permanent housing.
Southern Oregon’s Health Equity Coalition (SO Health-E) is another community partner that is working with Providence to help undocumented Hispanic families find stable housing after the fires. They shared this story:
SO Health-E staff received a call about a mother and child fleeing domestic violence. They were undocumented and had been harassed at the shelter where they were staying and again while staying with another family. They desperately needed a safe space while they looked for permanent housing and mental health support. SO Health-E provided a three-week hotel stay, clothing and groceries for the woman and her son, Jose. They now have safe housing in Jackson County and have accessed local services. Jose recently shared a photo of his first day at his new school, smiling with new friends.