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Growing Hope
Since winning approval for expansion from Medford City Council in July, Rogue Retreat has raised just over half of its $260,000 goal to erect 16 new "tiny homes" for Hope Village. The new 8-by-10-foot units were constructed in Albany and trucked in to augment the original 14 structures, bringing the tiny house community to 30....  more

Mother and sons are building a future
Editor's note: Light One Candle is an annual series sponsored by the Mail Tribune that focuses on an individual, group or agency who could use a helping hand during the holiday season. Once that need is filled, donations may be distributed to others in need. After surviving horrific abuse, this mother and four boys are striving toward the American dream. Warm winter clothing and gift cards to purchase food and household necessities would help to sustain their efforts....  more

'We need one another'
Rain was falling steadily outside while Coyote Marie Hunter-Ripper began telling a gathering crowd about the insights her Cherokee ancestors passed down about humanity's relationship with water. Waters from various places around the planet -- the Pacific, the Atlantic, and the sacred healing pools in the Peruvian Andes -- shimmered in a bowl near where she spoke in Ashland's First United Methodist Church....  more

Doing good in the hood
Ryker Benzley has taken on the unsavory job of cleaning a rat-infested house on Columbus Avenue, stuffing garbage bags filled with contaminated insulation. "It was a rat's nest," he says. "All the insulation in the attic had to be taken out because the rats had taken over. " The 25-year-old is cleaning up the former drug house for his dad, who is renovating after recently buying it. Down the street, another house that was in just as bad of shape also was cleaned up and a family has moved in....  more

Bless a Vet serves those who served
Christmas came early for more than 40 residents at a White City care home Saturday. The halls were fully decked at Laurel Pines Retirement Lodge, a long-term care facility that largely serves veterans with disabilities, where members of a Gold Hill church brought them tidings of comfort and joy. Gold Valley Fellowship gave more than 100 gifts to Laurel Pines residents during the church's fourth annual Bless-A-Vet event, but the church members' presence mattered as much as their presents....  more

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