After days of enduring a record-breaking heatwave and more than a year of the COVID-19 pandemic, Oregon’s governor Kate Brown officially lifted most COVID safety restrictions. Like many, Blanchet House is excited about this step forward and to soon be able to welcome people indoors to enjoy meals again. Reopening is good news for our community and especially for the local businesses and restaurants that donate food and supplies to relief efforts.
The generous support of so many made it possible to serve thousands of people experiencing homelessness or food insecurity during the pandemic and the heatwave. We want to thank everyone for pulling together so quickly to provide relief during these trying times.
Cafe Reopening Plans
Even though Gov. Brown has lifted restrictions on dining indoors Portland’s charity kitchens like Blanchet House are not yet able to welcome guests inside. Blanchet House will continue to serve meals, drinks, and clothes to-go until more pieces are put in place to help a homeless population that has worsened mental health and addiction challenges because of the pandemic. Blanchet House is hoping to be ready to reopen its doors to indoor dining this fall.
Blanchet House will continue to require masks in its meal service areas. Most of the people we serve have not been vaccinated and remain vulnerable to COVID-19 and its variants. We also want to respect volunteers and residents who are not vaccinated or who may be at greater risk of COVID variants.
While life is becoming more normal for many, we recognize that the community we serve has been devastated by the pandemic, the economic crisis, and most recently the extreme heatwave. Blanchet House’s services will be needed more than ever in the coming days. Your caring and generous commitment inspire the optimism we will need to lend a helping hand to those who come to our doors.
Blanchet House was able to get emergency drinking water to hundreds of people living outdoors in Portland during the heatwave. Caring people from across the nation sent in donations of water bottles and money to help with relief services.
“Please thank all of the people behind the scenes helping us,” said a man who stopped by for water on Monday when temperatures reached 116 degrees.
Blanchet House’s services were able to reach beyond the immediate neighborhood too. Meals, water bottles, and clothes were provided to the emergency cooling center located inside the Oregon Convention Center.