Chum's mission: “People of faith working together to provide basic necessities, foster stable lives, and organize for a just and compassionate community.” We provide emergency shelter, food, and street outreach throughout Duluth.
Chum is Duluth’s primary safety-net organization where people experiencing homelessness or very low incomes can come for assistance from a welcoming, safe community. Chum operates Duluth’s largest food shelf and provides emergency shelter and supportive services for unhoused individuals and families. We help people find housing and employment, access public benefits, and receive basic medical care. At Chum’s Drop-In Center (day shelter) people can pick up mail, do their laundry, have a hot meal, socialize over games or conversations, and perhaps most importantly, find a warm and welcoming community where they can be safe, heard, and respected.
We feel that a description of what we do only gets you so far. Please take a minute to read a story of a dearly missed guest at Chum.
Ed, the entomologist, is how our drop-in shelter director, Kim remembers him. Ed had been a long-time guest at Chum. He started coming to the drop-in shelter in 1995. Eventually, he expressed that he didn’t feel comfortable staying with everyone else in the shelter. He began camping outside over on the west end of Duluth, but would still come to the shelter to socialize. And over time it truly became home for him. He loved to fish and would bring anything from smelt to walleye to cook up for the staff and other guests at the shelter. You could almost always find him with a deck of cards and a cribbage board at a table, waiting for someone to join him. Ed just simply loved people and Chum became his home.
But the Duluth winters were too cold so he left and rode his bike down south, like Louisiana south! Most people would have some serious doubts about this. Yet, the proof was there! He brought back many gifts for our staff. Pictured above! Eventually, Ed stopped showing up to the shelter and we started to get worried. Our outreach worker, Deb, was able to check in with him. He had started having some serious health issues. We were able to help him get the care he needed and eventually got him connected to programs in town to get his own place. For the last 10 years of his life, he was able to stay in his own apartment. Yet he still made his regular trips to the shelter to play cards and tong out with the folks there. The drop-in shelter was truly his home.
He passed away last summer. He will be truly missed. We are so happy that he was able to find a home at Chum. We cannot provide this space without the support of our community! If you would like to help build true homes for those in Duluth who have none, please consider supporting the Chum Center.
Chum is a place where people can connect with community and get the tools they need to prosper in their life. Thank you for your consideration in helping us accomplish our mission in Duluth!
Chum is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit human services agency in Duluth, MN sponsored and governed by an interfaith coalition of 40 faith communities. Chum was founded in 1973 when 10 churches located in Duluth’s Central Hillside neighborhood pooled their resources to meet the needs of the neighborhood’s many low-income residents more effectively. Chum now offers emergency food, shelter, advocacy, support, and outreach throughout Duluth.