Winter Shelter Volunteers Needed for 2017

Click Here to Volunteer


Our Mission

Believing in dignity and respect for all, OHRA helps low income people build better lives. By offering access to social services resources, as well as hope, we encourage those in need on the path to self-sufficiency.

Our Vision

By helping people move from crisis to stability, OHRA helps build more capable individuals, stronger families and a better community.

You may know us best through the Ashland Community Resource Center (ACRC) where our volunteers strive to give homeless and low income residents of Ashland opportunities to improve their situations and to leave poverty and homelessness behind.

Our center in Ashland provides a social services hub for residents in need. Staffing this center are 2 part-time employees who have more than a dozen years of experience working in social services in Jackson County. Their knowledge of local agencies uniquely qualifies them to offer a single point of entry to social service resources in this region for our clients and provides a foundation for case management. Of our more than 40 current volunteers, 25 have been with the Center for more than 1 year and 12 since we opened in 2014. These volunteers include former social service professionals with dozens more years of experience. This experience, consistency, and dedication over the past 3 years has allowed us to become more efficient and effective in providing support services to our clients.

In 2016 Options for Homeless Residents of Ashland began implementing a new business model at the ACRC. We no longer offer hospitality services such as a warming center, food or clothing. Staff and volunteers strongly focus on helping clients reach self-sufficiency. The center continues to offer housing assistance, employment assistance and emergency assistance for essentials such as utilities and rent. Showers, mail, identification, documentation, and Safe Link phones as well as assistance with social security, VA and legal issues are still offered. ACRC partners with ACCESS, St. Vincent de Paul, La Clinica, Maslow Project, Department of Veterans Affairs, Oregon Department of Human Services, Jackson County Mental Health, and various other agencies. Navigating these and other agencies is difficult for those struggling with poverty which is why the center calls its case workers “navigators.” Our navigators provide client follow-up and extended case management which is essential for our clients’ ability to transition from crisis to stability.

Since opening our doors, ACRC has served 1,696 discrete individuals. In 2016 we served 759 individuals. In the last calendar year 32 families were housed, 97 housed families were provided with rent or utility assistance that allowed them to remain in their existing homes. 20 individuals were placed in permanent employment and 30 found temporary employment through the Ashland Job Match Program.

Ashland Job Match is funded by ACRC’s parent organization, OHRA, the City of Ashland, and a grant from the Leightman Maxey Foundation. It’s a natural fit with the mission of OHRA because without a job, paying rent is tough.

How it works is simple. Employers go to the Ashland Job Match web site, www.ashlandjobmatch.com, completing an on-line form. The jobs don’t have to be full-time, permanent positions, although they can be. Jobs could be installing dry wall, yard clean-up, gardening work, help moving, shoveling snow or any general labor position. The job seeker also fills out a form on the site. Then, Job Specialist Tina Stevens reviews the listing and looks for a fit. She also provides coaching on resume preparation, interview skills and developing confidence. “The resume creation process is critical,” says Tina. But it is less about what ends up on paper and more about the dialogue that precedes it. “Sometimes people don’t realize what skills they have until you start asking them questions,” she says. “They have skills they haven’t thought about.”

Since launching this program, we have connected 50 people with employment. And Tina will tell you the greatest accomplishment of the program is not the “match” but the hope and encouragement the program’s very existence delivers.

Job Match Expanded Services…continued