Erik Schram, age 31, died on Jan. 19, 2021. He was employed as the Residential Program Manager at Blanchet House of Hospitality since 2019.
Erik offered understanding and empathy to Blanchet House’s residents that can come only from lived experience. He always showed great respect to people and followed his own advice to “just be a good person.” Erik found his way to Blanchet’s doors when he was once in need of food, clothing, housing, and support himself. He was a passionate advocate for Blanchet House’s services to those with nowhere else to turn. He once said that he found the “family he always wanted” here.
Erik’s laughter, spirit, and willingness to go the extra mile to help will be greatly missed. He set an example of how to serve with compassion and dignity.
Our residents and staff came together on Jan. 31 to share memories of Erik and what he meant to us. We then walked to the Willamette River to lay flowers in his honor.
“I’m honored to have met you. I consider you a friend as well as a solid leader. You shared your caring and unique self that always brought sunshine on a rainy day. You showed great respect to me that I will never forget. You understood the life I lived without judgment.” –Blanchet House resident
“He was an incredible human being. He inspires me every day. When I first got here, I was scared, he told me that he was just a man like me. He was a very humble, funny, and inspiring man. I will never forget him.” –Maury, Blanchet House resident.
“Talking to you is the easiest thing. My conversation with you would always be more honest and genuine than I have with most people. This isn’t want I wanted for you. I’ve been at the edge myself and know you would have wanted the best for me. You were one of the most beautiful souls. I pray that you found the peace that you deserve.” –Blanchet House resident
“When I lost my apartment Erik let me back in. I have never felt so welcome anywhere. Erik was very accommodating to my health problems too. He was a great man and I felt very comfortable with him as a leader. He was very fun to talk to also.” –Blanchet House resident
“You were a great inspiration and a great leader. With a great sense of humor as well. Rest in paradise.” –Blanchet House resident
“When I came to Blanchet House for my intake you outwitted me and changed my mind about half-way houses. I’m so grateful for your honesty and consistency. You taught me, bottom line, ‘Just be a good person.’ You were a real one homeboy. I hope you rest in paradise.” –Blanchet House resident
“I remember being nervous as a new employee. Erik was patient and kind. His voice was always so calming. Eased my nerves immediately.”–Shannon Chasteen, chef
“I will remember his easy friendship. I loved working with him to pull off a great Christmas for the men.”–Kristi Katzke, Case Manager
“Erik and I became friends over conversations about music, the best hiking spots, and future plans. He was funny, insightful, and had so much compassion for the people in his life and those we serve.” –Emily Reiling, Dev. Coordinator
“Whenever we launched a new service for the people we serve, Erik would say to me, ‘You have no idea how happy this makes me.’ He understood how hard it is for people living outside. He appreciated everything we did to make life easier for them.”–Scott Kerman, Executive Director
Blanchet House’s staff and residents are grieving and are grateful for your prayers. In lieu of flowers, please consider sending an encouraging card to the residents Erik mentored. Address to “Residents of Blanchet House” 310 NW Glisan, Portland, OR, 97209. We will display the cards for all to see.
You can also donate to Blanchet House’s Resident Recreation Fund in honor of Erik. He understood the importance of offering opportunities for enjoyment to people building new lives.