Ways to Help the Homeless in Portland

7 Ways You Can Help the Homeless in Portland

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)

Compassionate volunteers are needed at our downtown Portland location to help prepare food, serve meals and drinks, organize clothing, and more. There are many shifts to choose from Mon-Sat. Serve safely from our doors. Please sign up using our volunteer schedule software.

2. Make Care Kits

(All ages)

We give out care kits containing basic survival items like clean socks, nail clippers, band-aids, rain ponchos, and snacks during our meal services. These are very popular and so appreciated. Make them from home! Get care kit instructions

3. Make Sack Lunches

(All ages)

Blanchet House gives out sack lunches on Saturday afternoons and in between hot meal services. Making sack lunches at home is a fun and meaningful way to help with your family or friends. You can make as few as 10 or as many as 200 sack lunches containing a sandwich, piece of fruit, and wrapped snack. Please choose a date from our sign up calendar. Instructions are on calendar.

4. Donate Clothing and Sleeping Essentials

(All ages)

Our guests need adult-sized clothing for men and women that is appropriate for sleeping outdoors in the cold and rain. Please donate clothing that respects the dignity of our guests. Clothing can be dropped off Mon-Sat, at 310 NW Glisan St. from 8-10:30 a.m. or 1:30-4 p.m. Please avoid dropping off during meal services. Pull up to our entrance, leave your items in the car, knock on the door, and a staff member will retrieve your donation. 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:

  • New or gently used socks. (No holes.)
  • New or gently used t-shirts. (No holes or stains.)
  • 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.
  • Adult-sized raincoats or ponchos.
  • Blankets.
  • Sleeping bags.
  • Tents.
  • Backpacks.

Please note: We do not accept children’s clothing, business suits, housewares, linens/pillows/towels (except for warm blankets), or books.

5. Donate Water Bottles

(All ages)

Help people without access to water stay hydrated. You can donate new or gently used reusable water bottles. Blanchet House staff will sanitize, fill with clean water, and distribute to people 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.

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 like cookies!
  • 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 our services. Your financial support is critical to our doors staying open to people in desperate need. 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

Beekeeping at Blanchet Farm

Jordan Shahrazi, a beekeeper in training, at Blanchet Farm. Photo by Julie Showers.

How-To Make Hygiene Care Kits

Surplus Food Rescued from Local Businesses

About Blanchet House

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.

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