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Another worthy project from Rogue Retreat

Not content with the three shelter projects it is already operating for homeless residents, the nonprofit organization Rogue Retreat is pursuing another tiny house project in Medford, this one closer to the center of town and aimed specifically at those grappling with drug addiction.

The group already operates the Kelly Shelter on West Sixth Street, which has 54 beds; Hope Village, a collection of 34 tiny houses on West McAndrews Road; and an urban campground off Biddle Road that houses 58 people.

The new project will consist of prefabricated units created from metal shipping containers by Medford company Ward Pearson and installed on property owned by Addiction Recovery Center on West Eighth Street near Peach Street. Dubbed Heart Village, after the heart featured in the ARC logo, the proposal will go before the Medford City Council next month. The council should support it. More important, residents of the area near the property should welcome it, not react with fear and resistance.

The project is designed to accommodate 12 units, which would house between 12 and 24 people depending on how many couples were included. Organizers say residents will be enrolled in addiction treatment programs but in need of a place to live while they undergo treatment.

The property is owned by Addiction Recovery Center, and is adjacent to the ARC facility on West Main Street.

Rogue Retreat is accustomed to meeting resistance when proposing new shelter projects. Hope Village was originally planned for a city-owned lot near downtown, but neighboring property owners objected and the deal fell though after the property sold. The urban campground also generated some opposition, but city leaders approved it.

Rogue Retreat has a stellar record of operating its shelters with few problems. Police say issues with homeless people on the streets decreased after the shelters opened.

This latest venture is aimed at the homeless population perhaps most in need of help to achieve stability and ultimately find permanent living arrangements. As Chad McComas, Rogue Retreat’s executive director, points out, these are people who recognize they have an addiction problem and want help.

Neighbors who object to clients being housed while they undergo treatment should consider the alternative: treatment clients living on the street instead.

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