Ashland, Oregon (December 15, 2022) — Diane de Ryss, Board Member of Options for Helping Residents of Ashland (OHRA) and Representative Pam Marsh, Oregon House of Representatives, District 5, will discuss new strategies to address homelessness in our community on Tuesday, January 3, 2023 from 4:00–5:30 p.m. at the Ashland Library, 410 Siskiyou Boulevard. All are welcome to attend this free program. 

Located in the former Super 8 Motel, OHRA is a resource center and low-barrier emergency shelter with 52 rooms for up to 72 adult guests. De Ryss will discuss who OHRA serves, emphasizing: 

  • What makes the organization’s approach effective — specifically resource navigation, onsite support services, walk-in resource center, and a focus on keeping people housed. 
  • Data on outcomes achieved since opening the OHRA Resource Center 

Representative Marsh will focus the State’s role in addressing homelessness and on Oregon’s groundbreaking Project Turnkey. She played a key role in securing a $4.2 million grant from the state that OHRA used to purchase the Super 8 Motel and transform it into The OHRA Center.  

Diane de Ryss, a past OHRA Board President, has nearly 30 years of experience in management and leadership, particularly with organizations undergoing significant growth and change. Throughout her career, de Ryss has gravitated to work anchored in social justice and equity — in the government, for-profit, and non-profit sectors. Prior to retiring and moving to Ashland, she worked 12 years at the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation in Seattle.  

Ashland’s Representative Pam Marsh was first elected in November 2016 and currently serves as Chair of the House Committee on Energy and Environment and Vice-Chair of the House Special Committee on Wildfire Recovery. She is also a member of these House Committees: Agriculture and Natural Resources, Revenue, and Housing; and Joint Committees on Information Management and Technology, and Tax Expenditures. 

The monthly Big Ideas discussion series features prominent local experts speaking on relevant and timely issues affecting our community. Lectures are jointly sponsored by the Ashland Branch of the American Association of University Women (AAUW) and Jackson County Library Services. For more information, please contact Jackson County Library Services at 541-774-6996.