Southern Oregon University’s Ashland and Medford campuses are safe and not damaged by the Almeda wildfire that started nearby on Sept. 8. Help is available for students, employees and community members – many of whom are deeply affected. The university has taken some immediate steps to inform and assist, and will offer additional support as needs arise and resources become available.
- Displaced students should file an SOU Cares Report to initiate assistance from the university.
- A fire relief fund has been initiated for those who would like to make donations to support SOU students affected by the wildfires.
Resources in the community
- Phoenix Counseling Center, Community Support Group to Keep Southern Oregon Strong. All members of the Rogue Valley community who are having issues related to the wildfires can join the free Zoom support group to help with the healing process. Sessions are 5 to 7 p.m. Mondays and Wednesdays; Zoom meeting information is available by calling (541) 535-4133 or by email at firstname.lastname@example.org.
- Free meals are available in Ashland from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., Monday through Friday, at Ashland Middle School (100 Walker Avenue) and at Ashland High School (201 South Mountain Ave.)
- Free meals are available at the Ashland Elks Club, 255 E. Main St. (use rear entrance on alley) from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily. The club is also serving as a daytime shelter.
- Free meals are available in Medford from 11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. at North Medford High School (1900 Keene Way Dr.), Jefferson Elementary School (333 Holmes Ave.), Howard Elementary School (286 Mace Rd.), Jackson Elementary School (713 Summit Ave.), Oak Grove Elementary School (2838 W. Main St.) and Roosevelt Elementary School (1212 Queen Anne Ave.).
- The Ashland Emergency Food Bank can provide food resources from 9:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Monday through Friday, at 560 Clover Lane in Ashland. Phone (541) 488-9544 or visit https://ashlandefb.org/for-services/
- Dialing 211 provides help finding food, paying housing bills, accessing childcare and with other essential services.
- Options for Helping Residents of Ashland (OHRA) community resource center offers assistance to low-income, homeless and at-risk individuals and families. Contact at (541) 631-2235 or visit https://helpingashland.org/services/resource-guides/
- FEMA’s Individual Assistance program for those who have suffered losses in disasters has been made available for people affected by the Rogue Valley fires. Assistance includes grants for temporary housing and home repairs, low-cost loans to cover uninsured property losses and other programs for individuals and business owners. Register by going online to DisasterAssistance.gov or via web-enabled phone or tablet to m.fema.gov; downloading the FEMA app; or calling any day between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m., to 1-800-621-3362 (FEMA) or TTY 1-800-462-7585 for people with speech and hearing disabilities.
- Low-interest disaster loans from the U.S. Small Business Administration are available to homeowners, renters, and businesses; call the SBA at 1-800-659-2955 or visit www.sba.gov/services/disasterassistance.
Crisis and mental health (for an emergency, call 911)
Help the region recover
- Rogue Credit Union’s Southern Oregon Fire Relief Fund will match up to $50,000 in relief donations for people impacted by the Almeda and Obenchain fires. Contributions may be made at any Rogue Credit Union branch.
- The United Way of Jackson County is collecting donations for families impacted by the fires. To donate to the United Way Fire Fund, go to unitedwayofjacksoncounty.org/give , mail a check to United Way at 60 Hawthorne St., Medford, OR 97504, or make a deposit at any First Interstate Bank to the United Way Fire Fund, account number 1000471001 and routing number 092901683.
- The Oregon Association of Realtors is offering grants for as much as $1,000 per household to help with mortgage or rent payments for those who have been displaced by wildfires.
- American Red Cross volunteers are helping those evacuated from wildfires at locations including the Jackson County Expo, Parkway Church in Grants Pass and the Douglas County Fairgrounds in Roseburg. Shower trucks, indoor respite spaces and vouchers for hotels and food are available for those who have been displaced.
- Those who are interested in volunteering for the Red Cross should visit redcross.org/volunteer , for more information. Six blood banks throughout Oregon are accepting donations, and the Red Cross also accepts cash donations at its website.
- The Rogue Volunteer Initiative Facebook group is helping to organize and fill volunteer needs in the fire relief efforts with the right people and tools in the right places.
- A Google Docs spreadsheet from Rogue Valley Fires Mutual Aid is aimed at connecting those impacted by the local fires with resources from other residents.