Oregon farm helps down-and-out men find renewed purpose

Blanchet Farm in Carlton, Ore., an offshoot of Blanchet House of Hospitality in Portland, was founded in 1962, Catholic News reported.

“The Skid Road environment is like a quicksand, a recontaminating cloud,” the founders wrote in the Catholic Sentinel 59 years ago. “Men who really want to escape from their disastrous past, who truly want to help themselves — and there are plenty of such — these men desperately need a refuge outside the city.”

Ross Sears, manager of Blanchet Farm, was a resident himself in 2008, having been in and out of treatment many times, Catholic News reported.

Caring for pigs, chickens and dogs was part of his path to sobriety. In the woodshop, he cleared his head and let his creativity flow by making useful items, like chairs and benches, the publication noted. He crafted gifts for others and is still at it.  

“Sometimes we get lost and forget we have a purpose in life,” said Debra Fresh, a case manager. “When they have something concrete to hold onto, it reminds them they are capable: ‘I made that table,’ ‘This is my garden.’”

The full story is available at Catholic News.