Dear Community Members,

Rogue Retreat’s Executive Director, Chad McComas, has been placed on paid administrative leave inspired by comments he made to the media on June 9th regarding his personal, spiritual beliefs about homosexuality. The Rogue Retreat Board of Directors, in their due diligence concerning such statements, unanimously decided to conduct an investigation by a third party to uncover if there have been any discriminatory practices by Mr. McComas or Rogue Retreat. We believe we have been in compliance regarding our practices that embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion. If our investigation proves otherwise, we will do everything in our power to create positive and necessary changes accordingly.

Everyone who comes to us in need receives services according to our capacity to deliver those services. The only exception to this is those who may have a felony record that would indicate an unsafe presence for our other participants. We serve those who experience disenfranchisement, catastrophic loss, and more often than not, loss of dignity, and this has sparked a deep awareness that our language and the means by which we communicate with one another must never convey judgment, shame, rejection, or abandonment.

We believe we uphold practices that embrace all people. We believe our practices embrace diversity, equity, and inclusion. We understand that Mr. McComas’s personal spiritual beliefs, as he shared them publicly, have cast doubt on Rogue Retreat’s standard of conduct and business practices with respect to diversity, equity, and inclusion.
We are also prepared to be transparent with you regarding the results of the investigation and we will share findings with you except where our legal counsel may advise otherwise or where to do so may unwittingly cause harm.

We have heard from many of you regarding your thoughts and feelings about Mr. McComa’s comments to the media on June 9th. Some of you have been very upset about our actions regarding our Board of Directors’ decision to put Mr. McComas on paid administrative leave. Some of you have told us, “His heart is good, he’s well-meaning, and his spiritual beliefs don’t interfere with his ability to manage and lead Rogue Retreat.” Some of you have shared that you yourself love someone of the same sex, or have a friend or family member who is part of the LGBTQAI+ community and because of Mr. McComas’s personal spiritual values, you cannot further support Rogue Retreat.

We hear you. We hear all of you. Each of you is important, and as such, precious and dear to us. You are our partners, friends, advisors, participants, community leaders, funders, grantors, neighbors, and family. You are the people that for more than 23 years have made our work possible.

We are proud of our service to our participants within the communities where we all live and work. We restore the lives of our program participants. We wrap ourselves around our participants and first stabilize them with housing. Then, with more than 64 community partners, we help meet their needs by providing services desperately needed by them such as access to medical care, mental healthcare counseling, restorative financial services, job and career counseling, etc. We provide hope for those who come to us in despair having lost everything: homes, jobs, income, relationships, and dignity. The only reason this has been possible is because of you and your support.

In 2021, we almost doubled our capacity to care. At the beginning of the year, our approximate bed count was 297, and over the year we grew our capacity to provide more than 550 beds on any given night. In 2021 we served 1,237 people and we provided approximately 173,740 meals. We were able to do this because of you, and we could not be more grateful to you for your support.
We are continuing forward in our service of unsheltered and unhoused people this year. We are projecting we will add more than 40 new beds to our suite of shelter sites. We will continue to do the work you make possible. That work is to restore the lives of our participants and strengthen the communities where we all live and work.

We believe your feedback and the investigation embraced by our Board of Directors are the next steps that will strengthen our practices so that everyone, no matter their relationship to us, will feel welcome by us exactly as they are.
You are welcome to reach out to me through our website here. We want to hear from you.

Please read though our latest newsletter as we would like to update you on the difference you are helping us make right here in Southern Oregon.