Please note, the Community Panel on the Medford Unhoused Community has been rescheduled. It will now take place on Wednesday, November 9, 2022 from 5:00-6:30 p.m. at the Medford Library. Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’Meara will also be joining the panel. An updated press release is below.

Medford, Oregon (October 7, 2022) — The community is invited to attend an informational program on Wednesday, November 9, 2022 from 5:00–6:30 p.m. at the Medford Library, 205 South Central Avenue, featuring four panelists connected to local government services who will discuss their programs, services, and responses to unhoused community members. This program was previously scheduled for Monday, October 10. It was rescheduled to accommodate panelist availability.

Many local agencies are working together to address concerns that arise around the unhoused community, including safety and social services. It is not always easy to balance the needs of the unhoused with the safety concerns of downtown businesses and visitors, in part because of biases and misunderstandings around unsheltered persons and their use of public spaces. The goal of this program is to share how local agencies work together to provide services and resources for the unhoused while balancing the needs and concerns of the downtown area.

“Understanding the diverse needs of and resources available to unhoused individuals living in the Medford area is important,” said Library Director Kari May. “At the library, we’ve heard concerns that people do not feel safe entering our building because of the people who hang out around the building, and we want to help provide a forum for everyone to understand the challenges and support available to make the library and the entire downtown area a welcome and inviting place.”

Panelists include Library Director Kari May, Library Social Worker Haylie Courtney; Medford Deputy City Manager Kelly Madding, Medford Police Chief Justin Ivens, and Ashland Police Chief Tighe O’Meara. During this 90-minute presentation, panelists will respond to questions asked by the moderator. The audience is also invited to share written questions with the moderator to pass to the panel as appropriate and time permitting. Refreshments will be served.

This program is made possible thanks to the support of Oregon Humanities, the National Endowment for the Humanities, the Oregon Cultural Trust, The Standard, and Stoel Rives LLP.