Ways to Help the Homeless in Portland

7 Ways You Can Help the Homeless in Portland

Mutual aid nonprofits like Blanchet House in downtown Portland are serving more people during the pandemic and need your support to continue. Here are the best ways to help! 

1. Volunteer at Blanchet House

(14-years-old and up)

We need volunteers on-site to help prepare food, serve free meals and drinks, organize clothing, and more. Please sign up using our volunteer schedule software.

2. Donate Water Bottles and Misters

(All ages)

Help people without access to water stay cool and hydrated this summer. You can donate new or gently used reusable water bottles that Blanchet House staff will sanitize, fill, and distribute to guests throughout the day. You can also purchase water bottles and misters from our Amazon wish list. Information about Blanchet House’s heat relief services and a list of Portland cooling centers.

3. Make Care Kits

(All ages)

Pack care kits from home containing essential survival items like socks, band-aids, rain ponchos, and snacks for people experiencing homelessness. Get care kit instructions

4. Make Sack Lunches

(All ages)

This is a fun and meaningful way to help at home with your kids or friends. You can make as few as 10 or as many as 100 sack lunches containing a sandwich, piece of fruit, and wrapped snack. Please choose a date from our sign up calendar.

5. Donate Clothing and Sleeping Essentials

(All ages)

Our guests need adult-sized clothing for men and women that are appropriate for sleeping outdoors in the cold and rain.  Warm and water-resistant items are best. Clothing can be dropped off Mon-Sat, at 310 NW Glisan St. from 8-10:30 am and 1:30-4 pm.  Please avoid dropping off during meal services. Pull up to our entrance, leave your items in the car, knock on the door to get our attention, and a staff member will retrieve your donation. If you’d like a donation receipt, we will provide one. You can also call us at 503-241-4340 or email info@blanchethouse.org.

Shop our (Amazon Wish List)

We are most in need of the following items:

  • Adult-sized raincoats or ponchos.
  • Men’s underwear. All sizes (boxer briefs preferred.)
  • Women’s underwear. All sizes.
  • Men’s jeans. Sizes 30 – 34
  • Men’s shoes. Sizes 10 – 12
  • Sweatpants. All sizes.
  • Blankets.
  • Sleeping bags.
  • Tents.
  • Backpacks.


Please note: We do not accept children’s clothing, business attire/suits, housewares, linens/pillows/towels (except for warm blankets), or books. We do not need toothpaste/toothbrushes or feminine products at this time.


6. Donate Food

We accept donations of large quantities of fresh and unexpired food. Learn how we are helping to feed those in need while protecting our environment from needless waste. Do you have questions about food donation liability?

  • Yes, we can accept home-baked goods!
  • Most fruits, vegetables, meats, dry goods, and spices are needed in bulk.
  • We cannot accept partially eaten or served food. Catered trays must be unopened.

Commercial pickups should be arranged by calling 503-241-4340. We cannot pick up from homes.

7. Donate or Collect Money

(All ages)

We rely on individual donors like you to operate, so your financial support is critical to our doors staying open. You can also start a Facebook fundraiser to encourage your friends and family to support our services.

Our Philosophy

“How we walk with the broken speaks louder than how we sit with the great.”

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How to Help Someone Experiencing Homelessness

Water and Heat Relief

A volunteer pours water in a bowl for a homeless guest at Blanchet House in Portland.

Make Care Kits

About Blanchet House

Fresh Food Rescued from Local Businesses

Our History: Started in 1952 by a Group of Friends

Some of the founders of Blanchet House of Hospitality in the old kitchen circa 2011.

Some of the founders of Blanchet House of Hospitality in the old kitchen circa 2011.

Inside Look at Portland’s Outdoor Homeless Shelters

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