The Gospel Mission
The Gospel Mission, with offices and a men's shelter located at 125 West Jackson, and a women's and children's shelter at 534 N. Bartlett Street in Medford, is dedicated to providing housing, meals and basic life needs to the poor and working poor in Jackson County, as well as ministering to their spiritual needs. The organization seeks to bring compassion and strength to many who are struggling with life’s challenges. The men's shelter provides: accommodations for over 100 men; three meals a day for residents, overnight guests, and people living on the street; and a warming shelter for up to 100 during extremely bad weather. Besides these services, they have showers, limited laundry facilities, and a free clothing closet for residents and any other folks in the community needing support.
The women’s shelter has all the same services and requirements. However, meals at this site are only available to women and children living in the shelter. It has family room accommodations for up to fifty. Besides providing for families of women and children, this shelter also has accommodations for unwed pregnant mothers. Initially, individuals are allowed to have a bed at these shelters for ten days if they need a place to stay and will adhere to the basic guidelines. If they give up their bed, they may return again after a lapse of thirty days, but they will still have access to all of the other services of the mission. Exceptions are made and longer stays are available.
Special effort is made to create a sense of community in these shelters. In this past year these included offering special meals on holidays, special sporting event parties, and neighborhood outreach through hot dog feeds. Four permanent staff and ten to fifteen volunteers work in the men’s shelter, with four permanent staff, and three volunteers working in the women’s shelter.
The Gospel Mission offers many of the same core services as SVDP. They are the only major facility offering accommodations for men, and immediate emergency housing (twenty-four hours a day, seven days a week) for men, women, and children.
Family Nurturing Center
During the past several years St. Vincent de Paul has demonstrated an ability to provide valuable service to an increasing number of the disadvantaged, while at the same time expanding the services we offer. A logical next step is to begin working more closely with other valley agencies whose mission supplements and builds on the work we do. This kind of collaboration strengthens the support provided to the disadvantaged in our area and strengthens our image as a partner in the community.
We recently visited with the Family Nurturing Center (FNC) an agency located in east Medford (212 N. Oakdale) that serves many of the same families we serve but with a very different focus. The FNC helps families of small children, ages 0 to 4, who are “at risk” (the environment in their homes is characterized by the use of drugs, alcohol, violence and crime) to create a positive and nurturing family environment so these children can remain with their families and, hopefully, not need additional social service intervention in the future. (Currently, 80% of the children who remain in program for at least two years never need social service intervention again.)
In our collaboration with the Family Nurturing Center we will: