OHRA’s History: Responsive, Compassionate, Effective
Today, thanks to the support of this community, the dedication and talents of our volunteers, the strength of our partnership with numerous organizations and agencies, and the skill and commitment of our staff, OHRA is a trusted resource in our community, offering skilled support and compassion to people in need in our community.
We have grown thoughtfully and strategically, by listening to our community, learning from our mistakes, and never losing sight of our mission: helping people in need move from crisis to stability.
OHRA began as a small group of concerned citizens who met to discuss issues relating to homelessness in our community.
After two years, Options for Helping Residents of Ashland was born and had its first board of directors.
OHRA opens the Laundry-Shower Trailer, in response to a community survey
OHRA opens a small Resource Center
OHRA hires its first Resource Navigator, a crucial step in professionalizing how we assist those in need.
OHRA develops a 5-year Strategic Plan, formalizing its vision and mission.
By offering hope and access to social service resources, we encourage those in need on the path to self-sufficiency.
By helping people move from crisis to stability, OHRA builds more capable individuals, stronger families, and a better community.
OHRA welcomes its first Advisory Council to help us hear the voice of our community.
In response to a request from volunteer leadership and the City and undertakes management of the Ashland Winter Shelter, a 5-month program rotating among faith organizations and dependent on a dedicated volunteer corps.
OHRA hires its first Executive Director, with a vision for the future of maturing as an organization to fulfill our mission even better.
OHRA leases a single site for the Ashland Winter Shelter with a full-time Shelter Director and staff, continuing its partnership with dedicated volunteers and faith-based communities.
The COVID-19 Pandemic strikes. OHRA’s Resource Center and navigators become a lifeline for people losing their jobs, at risk of losing housing, and at a loss on how to pay bills.
ACCESS asks OHRA to serve as their partner in distributing federal COVID 19 Relief Funds. OHRA will distribute nearly $1.5M in rent relief for those suffering economic hardship due to the pandemic.
The Almeda Fire destroys homes and businesses, leaving many in our community in economic and mental anguish. OHRA sees up to 90 people a day at its Resource Center, up from 25 a day in 2019.
OHRA again reinvents its Winter Shelter to ensure that guests could stay warm, dry, safe and be more protected from COVID-19. We ended the shelter season with known zero incidents of COVID.
Oregon Foundation (OCF) awards OHRA the first Project Turnkey grant of $4.2 million in state funds to purchase an underutilized Ashland motel and transform it into The OHRA Center.
The OHRA Center Shelter opened. For the first time, Ashland has a shelter open 7 days a week, 365 days a year with services to help guests achieve stability.
Phase 1 of remodeling The OHRA Center began,
thanks to a grant from the City of Ashland.
We moved the Resource Center to The OHRA Center. Despite the construction, the Resource Center was fully operational with Resource Navigators helping guests with all their needs—rent, jobs, utilities, benefits and more.
Once remodeling is completed, The OHRA Center will house:
- an ADA accessible shelter with capacity for up to 72 guests and support in taking the next steps to improve their lives
- a larger Resource Center with space for staff, volunteers and partner agencies offer services to anyone in need, housed or homeless
- A permanent home for the Shower Trailer.