CHUM to Receive $2 Million from Minnesota Congressionally Directed Spending
DULUTH, Minn. – “We’re so happy to have heard the news that CHUM is receiving two million dollars from congressionally-directed spending. This will allow us to be able to expand our shelter capacity to respond to the shelter crisis that we are having now,” CHUM Executive Director, John Cole says.
$2 million dollars. That is what CHUM is set to receive from Minnesota’s Congressionally Directed Spending, after the organization had applied for funding to Senators Amy Klobuchar and Tina Smith in April.
“While the economy is strong in Northern Minnesota you still have housing issues. With this cold weather we’re having, housing, you think about people who are homeless or, it’s a very dangerous time. And so that’s why Churches United in Ministry received funding, to continue their work for temporary housing,” Minnesota (D) Sen. Amy Klobuchar says.
With this funding, CHUM plans to expand their shelter capacity in response to the city’s housing and homeless crisis. Currently, there are over 500 persons in need of a shelter and only 155 beds across eight organizations. CHUM is the largest provider in the region, hosting 80 of these beds.
But 80 beds aren’t enough as CHUM currently sleeps about 150 people nightly, resulting in many left to sleep on the floor.
“This is going to be an exciting development for us and for Duluth in terms of the additional capacity, be able to save the lives of those persons who are outside, about also in terms of employment options,” Cole says.
Along with providing additional shelter, CHUM hopes this new development will also add employment for both those who will serve the population and work on the construction.
“This is something that we have been looking for for a long time and we are so happy that we have gotten these two million dollars to start us on the process towards addressing that need,” Cole says.
Plans to expand operations had been developed around 10 years ago, and now it is possible. Right now, the goal is to construct an additional floor and expand on an existing one.
“The two million dollars is still not enough though. The total project cost is like four and a half million dollars, and we expect that we will have to begin the process of raising that additional two and a half million dollars,” Cole says.
CHUM anticipates it will start receiving the congressional funds in the first quarter of 2023.
In the meantime, the organization hopes to raise additional funds through the state legislature and will start working with architects to develop a tangible construction plan.