A New Shelter for the Homeless Has Been Approved in Grants Pass

GRANTS PASS, Ore. — A new shelter for homeless people has been unanimously approved by the Grants Pass City Council. The council unanimously approved a special use permit to the nonprofit organization, Mobile Integrative Navigation Team (MINT), earlier this week.


15 Pallet Homes Will House the Homeless

The new shelter will offer 15 prefabricated buildings, known as pallet houses, as a transitional home. There will also be ablution facilities on the half-acre site at 218 Redwood Highway, on the southern side of Grants Pass. There are two existing buildings on the site, one of which MINT will refurbish as a resource center.

MINT must now have a site plan approved, including utilities and trash collection requirements. The City Council has issued them with a four-year permit. The shelter is located on privately-owned property in a commercial zone. The nonprofit has signed a one-year lease with the owner.

The executive director of MINT, Cassy Leach, explains that the nonprofit provides medical services and outreach to Josephine County’s homeless population. The service is currently provided every Thursday in a public park. Leach says that in March alone, the organization was able to provide shelter and medical treatment to dozens of people.

Cassy is excited about the new venture because, as she says, if the nonprofit can achieve what it already has once a week, imagine what it could achieve five days a week “in a building with amazing staff.”

Residents who attended the City Council meeting on Wednesday were also unanimous in their approval of the project, while Councilor, Rick Riker, described the decision as “a step in the right direction.”

The approval required an amendment to the city’s municipal code. In future, nonprofits will have to be registered to distribute food and clothing in public spaces.


U.S. Supreme Court to Consider Criminalizing Homelessness in Grants Pass

The approval of the new homeless shelter by the City Council precedes a U.S. Supreme Court hearing about Grants Pass criminalizing homelessness. Ordinances regulating issues surrounding the homeless population have been deemed as unconstitutional. The Supreme Court case is scheduled for next week, Monday.

A council item dealing with the regulation of humanitarian organizations assisting homeless people who have set up temporary shelters in city parks, has been moved for discussion into executive session at a later date. This decision was based on legal counsel.

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