Just over two weeks ago, the Expo was charting new territories and opened their facility as a shelter to people for the first time in the history of the Jackson County Expo., “We know livestock, fairs, events, etc. but people, sheltering people, that was new” shared Helen Funk, Jackson County Expo Director.
As community organizations pooled resources to support those most impacted by the Almeda and South Obenchain fires, the Expo became the central hub for fire displaced citizens.
The first night the Expo had 2000 citizens coming in waves, and more volunteers joined in the effort. More than seventeen organizations moved to a temporary office setting at the Expo. Both Asante Rogue Regional and Providence Medford Medical Center sent physicians and medical staff; Mercy flights were on scene and Jackson County Mental Health. “We were blown away by everyone that came, including the Jackson County Mental Health team being there 24 hours a day”, shared Helen.” “When people couldn’t sleep or needed to talk, someone was always there.”
The Mace Building held resources such as computers set up for evacuees to register with FEMA, mark themselves safe, contact family, look for rentals, file change of addresses, and book hotels. The Expo also had a phone bank with live persons answering questions 24 hours a day. Rep. Pam Marsh coordinated efforts with the Department of Motor Vehicles to assist those needing new identification cards and licenses.
“On Monday, Labor Day, the Expo had no events and hardly any staff, and by Tuesday, we witnessed an army of volunteers rise,” shared Helen, “Our community answered the call to help.”
With the opening of the MARC, there will be changes at the Jackson County Expo/Red Cross Evacuee Shelter. Effective today:
1. The Connection Station, which has provided social service connections to evacuees at the EXPO, will close tonight. As of tomorrow, folks should go to the MARC at Central Medford High School for these services.
2. The Red Cross evacuee shelter at the EXPO will remain open for the foreseeable future for those members of Jackson County that were displaced by recent fires.
3. Transportation to the MARC locations is available from 10 am to 1 pm. Please call the Phoenix-Talent Schools District Care Line. English (541) 821-7135 - Spanish (541) 821-7697
Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) Locations:
1. Medford (Services Hub)- Central High School, located at 815 S. Oakdale Avenue (541) 842-3669
2. Talent (FEMA Claim Processing) -Talent Elementary School, located at 307 Wagner Creek Road (541) 535-1531
3. Phoenix (FEMA Claim Processing) - Phoenix Civic Center, located at 220 N. Main Street (541) 535-1955 ext. 303
4. The Shady Cove MARC is no longer open. No Citizens came for services so the FEMA team is now at the other MARC locations.
For those that need transportation assistance, services will be available from 10 am to 1 pm daily, including weekends. The Phoenix-Talent School District Care Line has assistance in English at (541) 821-7135 and in Spanish at (541) 821-7697.