Since 1938, Blanchet House of Hospitality has offered up one of life's basic needs – food – to individuals in the Portland area who find it difficult, for many reasons, to provide for themselves. It takes the help of donors and volunteers to make this happen, and a group of Tripwire employees are part of that team.
"The Blanchet House serves the local homeless population by providing breakfast, lunch and dinner six days a week," said Philip Brunner, operations, senior manager at Tripwire. "And then to further assist the community, Blanchet House operates a transitional shelter program for men struggling with addictions, unemployment or home and family issues. The men who stay at this shelter then also work alongside us and all of the other volunteers in serving these meals each day. This work helps rebuild self-esteem."
Over the years, Blanchet has regularly increased the number of meals it serves and the breadth of services it provides. It's become an important institution and part of the social fabric of downtown Portland. "Tripwire is a Portland company, and we feel it's important to give back to our city and to help those who are less fortunate, or less lucky than we are right now. Supporting the Blanchet House is one of the ways Tripwire can do this," added Brunner. "There's a group of around ten employees who volunteer to serve lunches every month. I believe Tripwire started working with Blanchet a few years ago when a former employee started volunteering and organized a group to join her. This year, I've taken over coordinating volunteers here at Tripwire, as well as scheduling volunteer activities for the upcoming year."
Throughout the coming year Tripwire employees will be helping Blanchet as the organization serves meals to the homeless, runs its transitional shelter program and its 60-acre working farm staffed by men in recovery from alcohol and drug addiction.
The mission of the Blanchet House of Hospitality is to not only provide food, shelter and aid to all those in need of a safe place to be, but to help facilitate the transformation of each life they touch, helping restore dignity and well-being. "I'm glad we can help with that mission," says Brunner. "But the simple act of helping provide food to my neighbors is the most exciting part of volunteering for me."