“Set Free” Funding to Resume After Investigation Findings

This is the original article regarding the charges brought by two local groups against Rogue Retreat and Set Free Ministries.

The City of Medford provided the below information regarding their investigation and eventual outcome:

The City of Medford is committed to non-discrimination and to ensuring that public services supported by City grant funding are available to all members of Medford’s diverse community without regard to LGBTQIA+ identity and other protected class.

Recent concerns were made about materials that were made available at a program conducted by Set Free Ministries (SFM) in 2018. SFM includes two separate entities, Set Free Christian Fellowship and Set Free Services (SFS).

In response to the concerns raised, the City paused grant funding to SFS to conduct an investigation into the discriminatory allegations regarding SFM.

Investigation Details: The City provided a general fund grant to SFS in 2021 for services such as food pantry, showers, and laundry.

The investigation, conducted by City Attorney, Eric Mitton, includes evaluations of applicable case law, interviews with personnel associated with SFM programs, non-profit organizations with knowledge relevant to the investigation, public testimony from community members and verification of police records.

The investigation also included a thorough review of related materials released by Siskiyou Abolition Project and Siskiyou Rising Tide.

Conclusion: Under the City’s grant agreement with SFS and applicable Supreme Court Case law, there would be three potential bases for terminating the grant agreement: (1) if SFS was engaged in unlawful activity; (2) if SFS was using public funding for religious services; or (3) if SFS was discriminating against LGBTQIA+ clients in providing its grant-supported shower-and-laundry and food pantry services.

The investigation concluded that SFS did not engage in any conduct that would allow the City to terminate the grant funding.

The report recommends the addition of signage at SFS programs supported by City grants, assuring clients that there is no religious requirement to receive services and that anyone is welcome regardless of LGBTQIA+ status or other protected class.

The City expects that programs supported by the grants will be administered without discrimination and will be available to all, including members of the LGBTQIA+ community.

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