The “Morning Hours” program takes place on Wednesdays before the library opens
Medford, Oregon (March 30, 2022)—Jackson County Library Services’ (JCLS) new “Morning Hours” program provides social services outreach to unhoused patrons every Wednesday morning from 8:00–9:30 a.m. at the Medford Library, 205 South Central Avenue. Each week, the JCLS social services team opens the library early to provide hot coffee, donated snacks, hygiene kits, and water bottles. The library partners with Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) Street Nurses, who offer warm foot soaks and free socks to those who are interested, and La Clinica, which provides a representative to help guests in applying to the Oregon Health Plan (OHP).
JCLS was awarded a grant from AllCare Health to purchase supplies, including a 45-cup coffee maker, coffee, reusable water bottles, and 2,500 hygiene kits with soap, razors, shaving cream, toothpaste, toothbrushes, antibacterial wipes, and K-N95 masks.
“Morning Hours” was initiated on January 5, 2022 and has served 257 guests to date. The program provides quiet, dedicated time for patrons to connect with the JCLS social worker and resource specialists as well as with staff from partnering social service agencies.
“There are many hoped-for outcomes from the ‘Morning Hours’ program,” said Claudine Taillac, JCLS Assistant Director of Public Services. “This program helps to create a sense of community for those who live unhoused. It’s an opportunity for staff to get to know them more, as well as an opportunity for them to use the library’s public bathrooms to do some refreshing, which is prohibited when the library is open to the public.”
Central Area Manager Laurin Arnold said, “Between ‘Morning Hours’ and the Resource Specialists, Medford has become a place that helps so many members of our community with the resources they need.”
JCLS strives to create an accessible and welcoming environment, where poverty is not penalized, criminalized, or stigmatized. The library employs a full-time social worker and a team of resource specialists to support children, teen, and adult patrons seeking referral to resources that address housing insecurity, substance use disorder and recovery, mental health, employment, and more. View the schedule and find resources at jcls.org/services/social-services.