Chum prepares to help the homeless as winter approaches

[anvplayer video=”5191831″ station=”998130″]

As we gradually step into winter, many across Duluth do not have a home to keep them warm during those brutal nights.

According to a Minnesota Homeless Study, homelessness disproportionately impacts people of color, American Indians, LGBTQ individuals, older adults, veterans, and youth on their own. Some key reasons for homelessness in Minnesota are lack of affordable housing, poverty, unemployment, domestic violence, mental health issues, and substance use disorders.

We spoke to John Cole, the Executive Director of Chum in Duluth, the largest homeless shelter north of the Twin Cities, on how they are preparing for the winter as many will be seeking warm shelter.

First, he spoke about the organization’s intention to expand their facilities as they expect to get part of the $98 million the state legislator earmarked to assist homeless shelters across the state.

“We are looking to complete grant applications. We’re trying to get some shelter capital funding. The legislature allocated $96 million for construction of shelters across the state, and we are now stepping in an application within the next week to fund a shelter expansion here, which is going to significantly increase our capacity to offer shelter. We are excited about the prospect of being able to attract state funding. We should know by the end of January whether we’ve been successful or not. But we have a high degree of collaboration and support throughout the community from the county and from the city, and we are looking forward to being able to submit that application and look forward to a positive response to that”.

He says the Warming Centers will be open November 1st and they are looking to hire new workers to help with the increasing demand, offering higher pay for overnight staff.

John mentioned that they are working and developing new schemes to help tackle homelessness in the Twin Ports and members of the community are invited to their Golden Gala coming up October 17th. He says it is an avenue to support their effort to combat homelessness.

He also added that, as winter approaches more warming gear is needed, so you can help by donating or even volunteering your time to help the staff.