lee stuart

romanlily/Flickr

Minnesota Governor Tim Walz's "stay-at-home" order is is designed to slow the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic and buy as much time as possible for the state's health care system to prepare it.

Minnesotans are being asked to maximize "social distance," wash their hands frequently, avoid all contact with others if they're sick, and take particular precautions to protect folks with compromised immune systems.

In other words, pretty much everything it's impossible to do when you're homeless ... or working with people who are.

CommuniD BBQs/Flickr

The pilot warming center on Grand Avenue in Duluth was a great success last year. About 20 people a night without housing took advantage of it over the 29 nights temperatures dipped below 0.  But this year, it won't be open.  Code violations have sidelined the building for the time being, but in this case, when one door (or warming center) closes, several other new options will open: and it won't have to be quite as cold before those doors open, either.

Deb Holman

Duluth's new warming shelter has helped keep people safe over this last, brutal stretch of deadly cold, but it's still treating a symptom, not the underlying problem.

As CHUM's street outreach worker Deb Holman told us earlier this month, some people with untreated mental health issues find the crowded, sometimes chaotic conditions in a shelter anxiety-producing and some don't like to be around other people. So even with temperatures in the teens and 20s and 30s below, some people are electing to stay outside.

©John Krumm. Used with permission.

It started as a gathering of Duluth clergy, worried about the events over the weekend in Charlottesville Virginia.  They wanted to construct and organize some kind of response to the events, from denouncing hatred to heading off what some see as an inevitable conflict between white nationalism and social justice advocates right here in our community.

©John Krumm. Used with permission.

A standing-room-only crowd packed St. Mark's A.M.E Church Sunday afternoon as community members of all colors gathered in response to the white nationalist rally Saturday that erupted into violence and resulted in three deaths.

KUMD was there, and we'll be bringing you stories from the gathering this week on Northland Morning.

CHUM's Lee Stuart; Stephan Witherspoon, president of the Duluth chapter of the NAACP and Carl Crawford, Duluth's human rights officer made up a panel which was moderated by St. Mark's Reverend Richard Coleman. 

©Lisa Johnson

Lee Stuart says two things over and over: housing first and kids don't choose to be poor.

The executive director of CHUM  is thinking of the 80 kids and their families housed at the Steve O'Neil Apartments, families that experienced long-term homelessness before finding a home at the  permanent supportive housing complex.

Community Action Duluth

Jobs in the Northland don't come just from mining, industry or tourism;  it turns out there’s good money   generated – AND jobs – in the arts and in the groups charged with taking care of other folks. 

CHUM Duluth

There will be plenty of time in 2015 to talk about the challenges in our community, but first, let's take some time to look at what went right in 2014.

From environmental issues, progress looking after the city's most vulnerable residents, to Duluth's splash after splash on national media, there's a lot going on to be excited about.

Flickr/ scribbletaylor

What are the root causes of homelessness ... and why do some call it "a spiritual failing of our country"? Our guests are Rick Klun, executive director of Center City Housing; Bob Grytdal, Duluth's Human Rights Officer and Lee Stuart, executive director of CHUM (Churches United in Ministry).