KGVO reached out to Jim Hicks with the Hope Rescue Mission, the founders of the Temporary (or Transitional) Safe Outdoor Space located off Highway 93 South just past the Buckhouse Bridge for an update as it enters its second winter.

Hicks provided an update on the progress made by the residents of the TSOS.

“We've been able to help 75 people over this past year,” said Hicks. “About 27 or 28 of those have moved into permanent housing. There have been two that have moved into an inpatient drug treatment program.”

Hicks had more success stories to share from the residents of the camp.

“Right around between 10 and 13 have been able to gain IDs that didn't have anything before coming on site,” he said. “There have been over 20 that have been able to have case management, and some of those for the first time. We've seen families reunited and they’re now off site, living together in housing.”

Since another winter looms, Hicks said there have been some improvements in the camp.

“The other good thing that we're moving towards because it looks like we're going to be there for another winter is we've been able with our partners to purchase wall tents that will be much more sustainable during the bad weather,” he said.

While the camp was being established, there were many negative comments from the community, but Hicks shared one poignant success story.

“There was one businessman that came to me and said, we have totally switched our thinking, he said. “You have helped us. It became real to them through one of their employees, and it was no longer a just a homeless person. This was one of their employees and they said, ‘We opposed you at first. We are supporting you now’.”

Hicks said the TSOS needs propane to help heat the tents and power the generators at the site, in addition to any cash donations as the holidays approach.

The Temporary Safe Outdoor Space is now called the Transitional Safe Outdoor Space referring to the mission of the facility.

Here is the website to donate for the TSOS.

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