Earlier today, Medford Alert reached out to a Rogue Retreat spokesperson in regards to the recent controversy regarding its possible connection to Set Free Ministries, and claims of “conversion therapy” by two local activism groups. The following is the response we received from Rogue Retreat:
Rogue Retreat is a non-profit community service organization whose mission is to create opportunities for the homeless to have hope. Our Goal is to help people restore their lives and move forward out of homelessness.
We are working together to equip those experiencing homelessness with the tools and support they need to move into a life with stability, health, and hope.
Rogue Retreat is not a faith-based organization and does not promote or support conversion therapy nor do we require any religion affiliation for services . Rogue Retreat is separate from Set Free Ministries and is not associated with the leadership of Celebrate Recovery in any way. Rogue Retreat meets participants as they are (many with addiction and/or mental health challenges) and provides creative and temporary housing for them — a place to call home. With community partners and supportive services staff, Rogue Retreat wraps itself around program participants to help them achieve their highest potential.
Rogue Retreat staff come from all walks of life and our services are open to anyone regardless of age, color, disability, gender, sex, gender expression, gender identity, sexual orientation (LGBTQ+), national origin, race, religion, or veteran status. Rogue Retreat is committed to equity, diversity, and inclusion
Yesterday, two local activism groups (Siskiyou Abolition Project and Siskiyou Rising Tide) released accusations against the pastor of Set Free Ministries and Executive Director of Rogue Retreat. The groups used an example of a controversial 2018 pamphlet that was available at Set Free Ministries. According to the groups, the pamphlet was from Celebrate Recovery, which allegedly has ties to “conversion therapy.”
Siskiyou Abolition Project had previously made headlines last year as members of the group protested the City of Medford’s safety-oriented camping ban on the Bear Creek Greenway during fire season. They called the ban “inhumane” and also called to “Abolish The Police.” They continue to fight against homeless “sweeps” along the Bear Creek Greenway this year.
Siskiyou Rising Tide is another local activist group who describes their mission as to: “Seek to resist fascism, capitalism, xenophobia, racism, transphobia, homophobia and patriarchy.” The group was previously known as Southern Oregon Rising Tide, and have been involved in protests against proposed regional pipelines. The group also takes an active role in social justice protests, including the call to “Fight All Fascists” saying that “Some Wear Badges.” The group is also a financial supporter of Stabbin Wagon MFR, which provides free syringe exchanges and disposal, along with overdose prevention supplies.