Medford’s Marijuana Tax-Funded Project Helps Prevent Homelessness

MEDFORD Ore. — Funded by Medford City Council’s Community Initiative Fund (CCIF), an initiative in the city’s homeless prevention program that seeks to prevent people from losing their homes through credit counseling is showing a lot of promise.

Aligning closely with the Council’s Biennial Goals, the funding is a strategic use of marijuana tax revenues deployed to bolster local community projects,


Community Initiative Fund Allocated To Credit Counseling Project

One of the recipients of the CCIF grant, the Consumer Credit Counseling Service of Southern Oregon (CCCS) received a $35,000 grant to be put towards helping people at risk of financial distress, which could result in homelessness.

The region’s largest non-profit credit counseling agency, CCCS – founded in 1971, has used the grant to finance services geared towards preventing eviction and homelessness with comprehensive credit counseling and financial education programs delivered free to participants.

Since its launch a year ago, 23 clients of the program have successfully averted homelessness. Bill Ihle, CCCS CEO, compared the project to a “preventative financial effort, much like a financial flu shot.”

Focussing on crucial financial education, intensive, personalized credit and housing counseling, and debt-management enrollment, CCCS is very pleased with the tremendous results.

According to Ihle, experiencing firsthand the detrimental effects of Medford’s homelessness on city services, taxpayer funds, and families,  the outcomes show the service can proactively address the issue. He said, “This program benefits everyone: the city’s services, taxpayers, and most importantly, the families involved.”


In its inaugural year, the program:

  • Enrolled 120 clients, and 100 returned for multiple sessions to solidify their financial stability.
  • Ten clients successfully reduced their personal debt through CCCS’s debt management programs.
  • 90 clients came from extremely low-income backgrounds, the community’s most vulnerable members.


Mayor Randy Sparacino confirmed that the City is making significant strides in mitigating and preventing homelessness, which ultimately benefits the whole community. He said, “The success of CCCS’s program underscores the positive impact of the CCIF.”


Medford’s Homeless Benefit From Marijuana Taxes

Despite a federal Judge in the Medford homelessness lawsuit finding in favor of the city, various initiatives are helping the homeless, or preventing homelessness, including:


A further amount of over $230,000 in grant funding was allocated to 25 applicants in January and in June, Mayor Breanna Lungo-Koehn announced another $20,000 in grant funding will be allocated to 36 nonprofits serving the Medford community to expand their services, resources, and outreach.

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