This letter to the editor originally appeared at
Jackson Care Connect congratulates the city of Medford on an extraordinary accomplishment: the groundbreaking of Hope Village. It will focus on housing first, placing this fundamental need as a steppingstone to life changes.
As a mission-driven health plan, individual health and well-being is a top priority for Jackson Care Connect. As a neighbor, we're also concerned with the whole community. Housing and health go hand in hand. Jackson County Access reports that $127 million is spent annually on health care for people without stable housing. According to a Providence Health & Services study, people in stable housing spend 12 percent less on medical services.
Homelessness also creates a cycle of unintended crime. Minor infractions (activities illegal because they take place outdoors) lead to warrants lost because there's no address, leading ultimately to jail time. Homelessness costs the justice and law enforcement system over $4 million a year.
Communities all over Oregon have proved that micro-shelter neighborhoods like Hope Village improve life for participants and reduce costs for all.
We at Jackson Care Connect applaud our community and city for their foresight, vision and compassion. Together, we're proving that this is a wonderful place to live, work and care for our neighbors.
Jennifer Lind, CEO
Jackson Care Connect