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Compassion Highway Project to close its doors

Mail Tribune / file photo Compassion Highway Project founder Melissa Mayne hands lunch bags to homeless people near Hawthorne Park in this 2020 file photo. Mayne announced plans to close the homeless outreach nonprofit’s doors Wednesday.

A Medford nonprofit that for much of the past decade has worked to keep homeless people fed, warm and cared for is closing down.

Compassion Highway Project posted Wednesday morning on its social media pages that it has made the “heartbreaking decision” to close its doors.

The organization has given away countless free meals since Melissa Mayne founded the nonprofit in 2014.

At one community meal on Christmas Day in 2016, Mayne said her organization would try to get through to homeless people who may slip past larger charities such as The Salvation Army.

The nonprofit would build rapport with homeless people, first by feeding them, then by building trust that volunteers used to connect them with mental health and addiction treatment.

“We plant the seed,” Mayne said in 2016.

The Kelly Shelter, Hope Village and Medford Urban Campground run by Rogue Retreat — along with Medford police Livability Team — now make similar efforts to connect with people on the streets using compassionate approaches.

“Now we have so many resources and I can step away knowing that at least hopefully I was part of raising awareness if anything, and that our unhoused community have lots of people looking out for them,” CHP’s farewell post states.