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Congregational Outreach, Organizing, and Advocacy

Many years ago Chum was formed in response to the economic problems our community faced. Congregations came together to serve folks in our community and meet their needs. Now we are made up of 40 member congregations serving the citizens of Duluth!


Community Organizing

In Duluth, over 5,000 residents attend one of Chum's forty member congregations. They are a powerful force in advocating for public policies that are responsive to the needs and interests of the lowest-income members of our community, a population often dependent upon Chum programs to meet their basic needs.

Our policy priorities at the State level are focused on changing the response to homelessness in Duluth.  As one of the nine organizations collaborating in Stepping On Up, Chum aims to move people from being unsheltered to living in Shelter-Next facilities, providing access to stabilization services, and allowing barriers to be addressed; and then into ultra-affordable housing where they can build community that can make stability, employment, and self-sufficiency possible.   


Working with our statewide partners (Homes for All, Joint Religious Legislative Coalition, Minnesota Coalition for the Homeless), we advocate for policies and funding that provide for sufficient emergency shelter, the construction and preservation of affordable housing, increased resources for supported housing, and services for people experiencing homelessness.  Chum’s policy priorities include speaking to and dismantling structures of domination and racism in Duluth.


To view our current policy priorities and learn how you can get involved, please visit our Advocacy Page.

We are contracted with Arrowhead Regional Corrections and the St. Louis County Jail to provide chaplaincy services at the jail, Northeast Regional Corrections Center, and Arrowhead Juvenile Center.  Culturally appropriate spiritual support, study, worship, one-to-one counsel, and restorative justice circles offer hope and provide life skills to residents seeking a brighter future.  Through Chum’s partnership with Stepping On Up, we seek to offer housing within a supportive community upon re-entry for those without the opportunity to return to a stable home.

John Cole publicly introduced Stepping On Up:  A Call to Chum at our Fall 2021 Assembly.  This is our 5-year plan to make a person’s stay at the shelter what it should be – short, temporary, and non-reoccurring.  It can only become that if we have transitional housing with support services, and permanently affordable housing units available for all. We will be engaged in advocacy at the state and local level as needed as we work to implement Stepping On Up.


Congregational Outreach

Our member congregations are core to who we are as an organization. Congregations in Duluth are what began Chum, and now we are made up of 40 fantastic congregations! 

We Give Opportunities For Them To:

  • Give expression to their faith through activities that respond to the needs of the poor and disenfranchised.

  • Strengthen the community by building strong relationships.

  • Bring about systemic changes that benefit the marginalized and dispossessed.


Please Consider Supporting Chum

There are many ways to support us! A gift of money can help us support all of our programs. A gift of time, through volunteering, can help us complete crucial projects. And donations of warmth, clothing, and shelter help keep folks living outside of shelter alive.

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