Leading Duluth nonprofit celebrates 50 years of service

Leading Duluth nonprofit celebrates 50 years of service
Published: Jun. 4, 2023 at 6:55 PM CDT|Updated: Jun. 4, 2023 at 10:53 PM CDT
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DULUTH, MN. (Northern News Now) -- One of Duluth’s leading nonprofit organizations, CHUM, celebrated a milestone Sunday: It’s 50th anniversary.

It began decades ago.

“A crisis had developed in the community for children,” said John Cole, CHUM’s Executive Director. ”The need to provide summer activities for children in the neighborhood, and the need to provide care for persons experiencing poverty in the community.”

It was then a group of faith-based people banded together to create CHUM.

“Over those 50 years the programs have changed dramatically,” said Cole.

The demand for CHUM’s services grew massively in the Northland. The organization, keeping their word to serve the community, expanded.

Now, they provide essentials to thousands with their family shelters, drop-in and warming centers, food shelves, and their street outreach program.

“It’s all a reflection of the incredible value in which people hold CHUM in this region,” said Cole.

To celebrate 50 years of hard work and dedication, CHUM and community leaders gathered at First United Methodist Church. Holding an interfaith service of Thanksgiving Sunday to reflect the growth of the organization.

“In my work at the capitol I get to also see them be fierce advocates for making sure we can end homelessness,” said Minnesota Rep. Liz Olson. “We are investing in resources that make this possible.”

However, there is still work to be done.

“Well, we know that the needs just continue to grow,” said Rep. Olson. “We have so many people in our community that need stable housing, and we see that CHUM continues to work to meet that moment.”

More than 1,300 people remain on the waiting list for CHUM’s affordable housing in Duluth.

“We are counting on the community to support us as we look forward to the next challenge, which is confronting the lack of affordable housing and lack of shelter,” said Cole.

Leaders at CHUM said they are heading into phase three of their stepping on up housing program.

They plan on developing a next level shelter facility for Duluthians experiencing homelessness.

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