Reflections from sleeping outside


by Heidi Parker

I started getting cold around 4:30-5 p.m.  Some hot soup helped take the chill off, but it was getting dark, and the clouds in the sky were clearing, revealing a few stars.

A small band of fellow community volunteers milled about, most setting up little tents or tarps and spreading out warm sleeping bags in preparation for the long night ahead.  Since we weren’t allowed to make a campfire on the school playing field, (one of the conditions for our use of the space) and with the bare, un-inviting, portable toilets poised precariously on the hillside a ways away, the campers huddled and chatted quietly amongst themselves, while the high school Leadership Team, plugged into their sound devices, rocked gently to an inaudible beat.

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Low income housing crisis impacts the most vulnerable

It might be true that the fastest path out of homelessness is to find yourself diagnosed with stage IV cancer, as my friend Greg’s recent experience is teaching us. Greg is a lot like many people I’ve known who are homeless; he’d been stuck there for years. He picked up odd jobs here and there whenever he could, but nothing that ever amounted to enough to get back on his feet. The jobs that he could get often paid less than minimum wage and involved physical labor. Right around the time Greg was diagnosed, the weather turned and temperatures were dropping below freezing. The Ashland Community Resource Center jumped in and helped him secure housing for the next six months.

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News Collaborative radio series on low income housing

KSKQ News Collaborative series on low income housing.

KSKQ News Collaborative series on low income housing.  Deb Vanpoolen interviews Connie Saldana of Rogue Valley Council of Governments about southern Oregon’s low income housing crisis.

Download Here – Via Archive.org


Interview with Charu Colorado, elderly Ashland OR resident who is facing eviction due to increases in rent and limited fixed income.

Download Here – via Archive.org


Interview with Ashland resident Susan Grace about Utah’s Housing First program.

Download Here – Via Archive.org


On the KSKQ Morning Show we talk with John Wieczorek, Director of Options for Homeless Residents of Ashland about services for Ashland homeless and low income.  We also discuss the upcoming Ashland Sleepout 2015.

Download Here – Via Archive.org