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Homeless shelters keep it clean

Rogue Retreat has stepped up efforts to protect its employees and the homeless people it serves during the coronavirus pandemic.

“We’re just trying to stay on top of it,” said Matthew Vorderstrasse, development director for Rogue Retreat. “We’ve become OCD about cleaning things.”

The Kelly Shelter, which houses about 50 people a night in relatively close quarters in downtown Medford, has additional hand sanitizers, and people are encouraged to practice social distancing.

So far, the steps taken haven’t curtailed Rogue Retreat’s overall operation, which serves about 200 people at various facilities throughout town.

Until further notice, Rogue Retreat has stopped a Monday night life-skills class to avoid having too many people in one area.

Vorderstrasse said Hope Village, unlike the Kelly Shelter, is set up in a way that helps create distancing between residents. Each homeless person has an 8-by-10-foot tiny house, rather than a dorm-style setting like at the Kelly Shelter. Rogue Retreat also operates apartments for people as they transition away from life on the streets.

Some of the efforts Rogue Retreat is taking, following guidelines from the Centers for Disease Control, include more signs to encourage hand washing, extra hand-washing stations, protective masks, more sanitation products on hand, social distancing, canceling group settings and limiting nonessential visitors.

Vorderstrasse said his organization has had trouble keeping stocked with cleaning supplies because they’ve been cleaned out of many stores.

He asked that any donations of cleaning supplies be brought to Rogue Retreat, 711 E. Main St., Medford.

No cases of the coronavirus have been detected among staff or residents of Rogue Retreat.

Reach reporter Damian Mann at 541-776-4476 or dmann@rosebudmedia.com. Follow him on www.twitter.com/reporterdm.

Jamie Lusch / Mail Tirbune Joe Noriega has been living Hope Village for 6 months.