By F.B. Drake III
February 20, 2009
Community meals like the ones served at Uncle Food's Diner in Ashland are the first line of aid to those in need.
When one is homeless, the immediate concerns are food, shelter, clothing, bathrooms and a place to shower.
Recent articles in the Daily Tidings have elicited many "How can I help?" responses.
The following is a listing of first-line resources in Ashland and the surrounding area for both those in need and those who want to help, actually seeing their donations at work.
Food and Shelter in Ashland
- Uncle Food's Diner, United Methodist Church, 175 N. Main St. Held on Tuesdays from 4:30 p.m. until 5:30 p.m., and run by the Peace House of Ashland. Donations can be made to the Peace House directly at 543 S. Mountain Ave. Call 482-9625.
- Lithia Park gazebo community potlucks: There are three community potluck dinners held in the gazebo in Lithia Park near the band shell, the largest being Sundays at 3 p.m. Contributors are encouraged to bring prepared food, ready-to-eat, to these community-spirited events. The other potlucks are Food, Not Bombs on Saturdays at 3:30 p.m. and KOMACS on Thursdays at 4 p.m.
- Señor Sam's, 1634 Ashland St. in the Ashland Shopping Center. Señor Sam's Mexican Grill has a nightly rice and beans giveaway while it lasts starting around 8:50 p.m. The cost is free if you bring your own container, or 25 cents if you use one of theirs. Call 488-1262.
- Ashland Emergency Food Bank, 2200 Ashland St. The food bank supplies nonperishable food to those in need. "Homeless people usually take a half 'box,' and come back later in the month for the other half," volunteer Marie Hutson said. Hutson realizes that storage for the homeless is difficult, but the bank provides a P38 can opener and many selections can be eaten without being heated. Food Bank hours are 9:30a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, and it is also open on the first Saturday of the month. Call 660-5893.
- ACCESS/Community Action Agency, Seventh Day Adventist Church, 1650 Clark Ave., on the corner of Harmony Lane. Food bank, clothing and community resource that accepts donations. It is open on Wednesdays, 9:30 a.m. until 1:30 p.m. Call 779-6691. Part of ACCESS is the homeless teen outreach that deals with teen homelessness, Community Works/Streetwise. Call 799-2393.
- South Valley Community Human Resources, 1658 Ashland St., in the Ashland Shopping Center. This is where to go for food stamps and other state programs. They have a donated supplies box that offers canned items, non-perishables and toiletries to those in need. The office accepts donations of these items. There is also use of telephones and computers for job searches and business-related tasks.
- Ashland Recycling Center, 170 Oak St. The recycling center has a free box of clothing, shoes and, sometimes, sleeping bags for those in need. It is located at the recycling center, next to the skateboard park on Water Street. Anyone can donate by leaving items in the box. Call 482-1471.
- Ashland CERT volunteers run the emergency shelter in Ashland in conjunction with the Presbyterian Church, United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Church. The shelter opens at a designated facility when the temperature dips below 20 degrees. The decision to open the shelter depends on the National Weather Service's "feels like" temperature. Shelter openings are announced in the Ashland Daily Tidings, the CERT Web site, www.ashlandcert.org or call 552-2378. Shelter posting sites are located at the Plaza, the firehouse, the library, Evo's coffee shop and the downtown laundromat. Donations of clothing, sleeping bags and other items can be made to directly to Ruth Coulthard, 482-4843. To contact the Ashland Community Response team, call 552-2378.
- Bus tokens from police station, 1155 E. Main St. The Ashland Police Department has bus tokens available for those homeless who need to get to Medford for food and/or shelter. Call 482-5211.
Food and Shelter in Medford
Source: Daily Tidings
- St. Vincent DePaul Church, 2424 N. Pacific Highway, Medford. Offers lunch, Monday through Friday, from 11 a.m. until 1 p.m. Clothing and other services are available. Call 857-5066.
- Food and Clothing Ministry, located at the Cornerstone Church, 608 N. Bartlett St., Medford. Offers meals on the first and third Saturdays of the month and has Saturday bags of groceries.
- New Song Church, 520 N. Holly St., Medford. The church is open from 4 a.m. to 9 a.m., Monday through Friday for coffee, and a warm place to watch television. Breakfast is offered on Tuesdays and Thursdays at 7:30 a.m. Call 858-4085.
- Men's Gospel Mission, 125 West Jackson St., Medford. The mission offers breakfast, lunch and dinner daily. Also offers shelter for 10 days and showering facilities. There is a required Bible study and chapel service for meals and shelter. Call 779-1597 for more information on shelter, meal times and services.
- Women and Children's Gospel Mission, 534 N. Bartlett St., Medford. Twenty-five beds for single women; room available for women with children. Call 772-2931.
- Salvation Army, 304 Beatty St., Medford. Offers shelter and other services. Call 773-6965.