PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) — Metro’s Point-in-Time Homelessness Count on Jan. 26 found that more than 6,000 people in the Portland area had experienced homelessness at that point in 2022.

However, that number isn’t fully representative of the city’s growing homeless or housing insecure population. Federal rules state that the count doesn’t include the high number of people who didn’t have their own residence on the night of the count, and instead stayed with a friend or family member.

If anyone is facing housing insecurity or knows someone who is, there are services offered around Portland to meet their needs. Blanchet House is one nonprofit organization located in Old Town. Its mission is to, “Offer food, shelter, and aid to all those in need of a safe place to be nourished and restored. Assist the transformation of each life we touch with compassion and dignity.”

Blanchet House offers two residential programs for men. One is a 7-to-9-month program in downtown Portland for men struggling with addiction, unemployment, housing, etc. The other is located on the Blanchet Farm in Yamhill County. This program is more targeted for men battling substance addiction.

Blanchet House’s most well-known service is the free meal program. “Three times a day, six days a week, no questions asked,” Jon Seibert, Blanchet House’s Director of Programs, said about the free meals that they offer. “Don’t need to be a member. Don’t need to get an ID, just gotta show up and we’re gonna serve you.”

Through the meal service program that’s accessible to everyone, Blanchet House connects more people to resources who may not be eligible for its residential programs.

“One of the most important things is making sure that people who come here have access to that information,” Seibert said. “Guests that we serve don’t necessarily have a phone. If they do, they might not have data. If they do, it might not be charged.”

Blanchet House has a partnership with the Mental Health & Addiction Association of Oregon. Through their Pathway Home, MHAAO provides some peer services such as case management and access to housing. Anyone who wants to refer someone to the program can do so here.

Street Roots also provides a Rose City Resource guide that directs people to reduced or free services in Multnomah, Washington and Clackamas county. The guide lists options for housing and shelter, food, care and safety, and more.

In addition, Hygiene 4 All offers public health and sanitation-related services such as foot and wound care, shower trailers and first aid packages.

For local social services information, Portlanders can call 211. Multnomah County also provides information on rent assistance and low-income apartments.

Any college students facing housing insecurity can look into the Affordable Rents for College Students program that removes barriers for students by subsidizing monthly rent payments.

Although these programs are accessible for homeless locals or those facing housing insecurity, nonprofits also need assistance so they can continue to provide for the community.

“Nonprofits, just like other places, are not always able to get all the staff that they need,” Seibert said. “So finding a way to volunteer, finding a way to get involved really helps those agencies that are doing work with individuals who are really vulnerable right now, and we can always use some hands.”

Here is where interested volunteers can sign up to help.