Grant Pass community members discuss need for warming shelter

KTVL / Jennevieve Fong

Temperatures are dipping into the low thirties, but many cities including Grants Pass do not have a warming center for the homeless.

A coalition of local government officials, nonprofit workers and faith-based organizations gathered at the Newman United Methodist Church Saturday afternoon. Their goal was to gauge public interest in this service and discuss different ideas to meet this particular need.

"I think we feel from our hearts that it's cold out there and that people shouldn't be out in the cold, but it takes more than that feeling," community activist Nancy Yonally said. "It takes a lot of action."

Yonally said they are brainstormed options for a location, interested volunteers and supply of resources.

"I would like to just invite anyone that is interested in any way," Yonally said. "I would like for this to be just the beginning and then to have transitional housing."

The Oregon Housing and Community Services reported there are about 650 homeless individuals in Josephine County. Out of those, about 91 percent do not have an available shelter to stay in.

While there was no legislative action done yet, both organizers and participants agreed the meeting was a step in the right direction.

"The need I think is shared by a lot of folks in the community," Yonally said. "It’s an opportunity to get together and actually make that happen."

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