#COTM Resolve

imgres-1The 503c3 Files
By: Adam Bogle

(formerly Mediation Works)

I don’t think it matters if you are a Republican, Democrat, Socialist, or Tea Partier (calling them Partiers kinda makes me want to be one), I think one thing everyone can agree on is that the criminal justice system in this country is completely broken. With more people incarcerated per capita then almost every country in the world, this is definitely an issue this country needs to do something about. The question is what…and is anyone doing anything about it already?
The good news around here is that there is a local non-profit who is tackling this issue, and making a real difference in people’s lives. Just one part of what Resolve does is a Restorative Justice program, and when young people are involved, there is a program called Victim Assistance, Youth Accountability (VAYA). Their key goal is not to punish an individual who has committed a crime by incarceration, but instead to heal the relationships that have been harmed as a result of the crime.
As they refer to it, there is a ripple effect for every action we take…either good or bad…and when an individual commits a crime, the victim is affected in ways that the “criminal” doesn’t recognize. And when faced with the results of the ripple effect, both the criminal and the victim can come together to make things right.
One local story involves a young man named Alex. (While most everything at Resolve is confidential, Alex came forward publicly with his story) When in his teenage years, Alex had a bad relationship with alcohol, and regularly drank to the point of being disoriented and out of control. On one such evening, Alex was drinking and wandering the neighborhood with no real idea of where he was. Not being able to find his way home, he punched his arm through a neighbors window and proceeded to pass out on their couch.
Imagine the surprise and feelings the neighbor had when she found a strange man in her house. Police were called, and Alex was charged with Burglary and Criminal Mischief.
This case could have gone through the justice system, and had large impacts on Alex’s life and prospects for his future. Instead, he went through a month long program with VAYA where he learned of the ripple effect caused by his actions including the fear he had created for the victim.
Alex and the neighbor agreed to meet in person (with assistance) and had the opportunity to talk about the incident so that they could repair the harm and move forward. It was a successful and powerful meeting. The neighbor saw that Alex was not the scary criminal she saw when she found him in her house, but a kid who was going through a rough patch in his life. She also got to see that he understood the negative effects that he had caused in her life.
Four years later, Alex called Resolve out of the blue to thank them for the positive impact that VAYA had on his life. Alex said “There hasn’t been a day that has gone by that I didn’t think of VAYA, the impact it left upon me was tremendous. I constantly wonder how different my life would look behind bars in a cell in Portland.” Alex is currently serving in the Marine Corp. He says “I want my career after the military to have affiliations with restorative justice programs similar to Mediation Works (now Resolve).”
And this story represents just one arm of what Resolve does. They teach Mediation to local schools, organizations and community workplaces. In fact, I personally went through one of their training sessions just a couple of months ago. One of the volunteer jobs I have is to be an Ombudsman for the local Realtor Association, to help resolve conflict that Realtors or the public have with each other in the event of a bad real estate transaction.
Resolve also provides professional Mediation and Facilitation services in the valley. For more information, to get help or to donate or volunteer: go to They are located at 1237 N Riverside Ave #25 in Medford. (541) 770-2468

SoHumane: Two Black Labs and a Miracle

The 501c3 Files

By Adam Bogle

Charity of the Month:  SOHumane

Katy and Jenny Dogs
Meet Katy and Jenny. Two wonderful black labs who lived a great life with their sweet owner. All was going good in their world, until one day, last December, the human they called “our sweet and loving friend,” passed away. Sadly, there was no one in the family that were able to take in Katy and Jenny.

These two dogs had lived with their human for all seven years of their lives. For black labs, this is well into middle age, if not approaching their senior years. And they had always lived together. 

Sad, and missing their human, all they had was each other. But then they found the SoHumane team of staff and volunteers. The staff at SoHumane take an individual look at every cat and dog that comes into their facility and try to place them in the perfect home. And when they got Katy and Jenny, they knew that losing their human was already tough enough, but it would be extra sad if they lost each other. So the hunt was on for someone who would take them both.

This was a huge challenge on many fronts because: 

1 Most people are only looking at taking on the responsibly of one new family member when they come to adopt a pet. 

2 Puppies and younger dogs are preferable to those in the waning years of their lives. 

3 Big dogs are tougher to place in homes, let alone two big old ones. 

4 And, black dogs (and cats) are also less popular and harder to place in homes.

For weeks, Katy and Jenny sat with no takers. The good folks at SoHumane kept trying, determined to keep them together. Then on a cold, rainy day (It was not quite a dark and stormy night), SoHumane teamed up with Southern Oregon Subaru for a special event. SoHumane brought a load of dogs to the dealership and even though it was a wet, miserable day, most of the dogs were adopted that day. Except for Katy and Jenny.

Fortunately, a local radio station that was part of the Subaru event did an interview with Executive Director Kenn Altine and they got the story of Katy and Jenny on the air. This is where the angel of mercy shows up. This nice lady heard the story on the radio. She had recently lost one of her dogs, and had room in her life (and house) to take in these two sweeties.

She called and said she couldn’t get there before they closed, but asked SoHumane to hold them for her until the next day. She just couldn’t bear to have those dogs not have a home for Christmas. (Yep, another Christmas miracle. Good enough for a Hallmark movie I think.) True to her word, this angel showed up and took Katy and Jenny home. And as she was driving away with them in her car, she was heard to say “We are all going for Cheeseburgers now.” I can only imagine that In-N-Out was calling to them. 

This is just one of the hundreds of happy endings that SoHumane engineers every year! Thankfully, SoHumane is a no kill shelter, but they go even further than that with a program called the Saving Train. The objective of the Saving Train is simple: to save as many lives as they can while alleviating companion animal overpopulation through spaying and neutering.  In addition, by bringing animals to the SoHumane facility, the other shelters they work with have more space available in their facilities for displaced pets in their communities. This includes the public shelter in our own community, which in 2012 began transferring animals to SoHumane in an effort to help reduce their euthanasia rate. According to one shelter in Northern California with whom they partner, their euthanasia rate went down by over 30% in 2010 thanks solely to the Saving Train.

SoHumane was first founded by Mae Richardson (you might recognize the name from the Central Point elementary school named after her) who founded the Humane Society of Jackson County in 1928 as an all-volunteer organization that initially provided services for displaced dogs and horses.

Today, provides quality care for dogs and cats while working to make a difference in the pet overpopulation problem. In 2015, SoHumane helped 1,822 companion animals find a home. That’s more than 150 a month!

TEN Realty Group is proud to have SOHumane as our Charity of the Month for February. Bring more love into your life and adopt a new friend.

Adopt or donate today if you can. They are located at 2910 Table Rock Road in Medford and can be reached at 541-779-3215. Or follow them on Facebook to see their latest rescues and get info to attend their annual fundraising events.