PORTLAND, Ore. (KOIN) – A Portland non-profit plagued with smashed windows in 2022, Blanchet House was once again hit during Thursday morning’s breakfast service. With every window broken, it’s another few thousand dollars in funds that could go to feeding some of Portland’s most vulnerable population.

“It’s been a really hard two or three weeks here in Old Town,” said Scott Kerman, executive director of Blanchet House. “Folks are really hostile and agitated.”

An area seeing growing tension, Kerman says things came to a head Thursday morning as someone at their breakfast service became agitated and threw a brick through the glass door.

“We’ve got bricks all in the sidewalks here in Old Town and he took one and threw it through our window here in our door and smashed it,” said Kerman. “We’ve had probably more than 10 windows smashed this year which is a lot for us.”

The non-profit provides everything from meals to shelter and residential programs in Portland and says these costly repairs take away from vital funds that serve those most in need.

“We probably have spent the equivalent of 15,000 to 20,000 meals on fixing windows,” said Kerman. 

  • Portland, OR non-profit Blanchet House faces another smashed window
  • Portland, OR non-profit Blanchet House faces another smashed window

Kerman adds while the window smashing during a meal service was scary and triggering for some of the folks there, it also won’t stop them from showing compassion to those responsible.

“We understand the trauma that has often led to people being houseless, we understand how traumatizing it is being homeless, how inhumane and dehumanizing conditions have been for people for a long time now since the pandemic started,” said Kerman. “We don’t judge people for how they’re acting, how they show up, we sort of just think about what might be driving all of that rage, all of that hostility.”

Attributing the rising tensions in Old Town to a combination of everything from weather and camp sweeps to mental illness and drug use, Kerman wants local government to step in and help non-profits like Blanchet House so these services can continue.

“It’s really anxiety-provoking for the people that we’re serving and it just ratchets up the tension in the district,” said Kerman. 

Blanchet House says it will likely cost more than $2,000 to fix the door from Thursday morning and other window repairs have cost as much as $3,000.

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