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Churches United Supporting Neighbors with Local Fundraiser

By Myranda Elwood

Hear how Churches United is helping guests, families, and the community obtain resources to provide safe shelter, stable housing, nutritious food, and a path towards healing.

Founded in 1987 by 11 local faith groups out of the old Bethesda Lutheran Church, Churches United is the only low-barrier homeless shelter and facility that can service families in the Fargo-Moorhead-West Fargo area. They provide an array of resources throughout the community to combat homelessness and food insecurity while encouraging a path toward healing. They are also an organization that aids in harm reduction and medical advocacy with their on-site nurses.

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Pastor Sue Koesterman, CEO of Churches United

Churches United’s facilities meet people wherever they are in their crisis, whether facing homelessness, substance abuse, or other circumstances. Pastor Sue Koesterman, the CEO of Churches United, emphasized that it’s not just about the resources. Churches United provides. “We meet everyone that comes through our doors with compassion and dignity,” she said. “It’s not just about housing or food, it’s about being here for every neighbor.” Micah’s Mission and the Dorothy Day House serve multiple demographics, ranging from male headed households, families, women, and vulnerable men in the community. Permanent supportive housing is the long-term goal, and Bright Sky Apartments makes that possible. All locations work closely with on-site case managers to help each guest connect with state and community resources to work towards securing permanent housing and stability. Case managers are essential as they address a guest’s individual needs, whether it be emotional, substance abuse, behavioral, or cognitive. Case managers work closely with partner companies that can better assist with guests’ needs on a long-term basis, such as counseling services and more. To date, Churches United has supported 248 households, with the community drop in total at 1,407. 

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The Dorothy Day Food Pantries, located in Moorhead and West Fargo, are consumer-choice, low-barrier-modeled pantries open to the community where everyone is free to shop in person for items that reflect their households’ needs.

Churches United recognizes the importance of community and encourages volunteering opportunities throughout. In return, many local businesses and individuals generously offer their time, abilities, and expertise whether working at the food pantries or assisting with other task items at Churches’ other locations.

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To operate the numerous locations, Churches United must outsource monetary funds through the use of donations and grants during the course of the year. Pastor Sue Koesterman knows how crucial donations are for the organization’s continued success. “We need help from the community, especially with monetary support,” she said. “Support for non-profits is down, but the demand for non-profits assistance is up, and we provide lifesaving resources.”

To spread the mission and knowledge of Churches United, and build funds to support their cause, multiple locations, and reoccurring guest needs, Churches United will be hosting their largest fundraiser event of the year, the 15th Annual Gourmet Soup Kitchen on the October 17th, 2023.

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Rendering of Churches United's permanent supportive housing units that will be breaking ground this fall

The Gourmet Soup Kitchen will host “celebrity chefs” that are well-known individuals throughout the Fargo-Moorhead and West Fargo community who will be serving their signature soup for all attendees. The objective of the event is to show solidarity between Churches United and the community.

This event is open to the community. Anyone wishing to attend is encouraged to purchase a ticket or table, sponsor, or donate items for the live auction. Those that are interested in attending the Gourmet Soup Kitchen fundraiser are encouraged to reach out to the Chief Development Director, Katie Fredericksen at [email protected]

You're Invited!

Join for a delightful evening of dinner, silent auction, and celebrating community!

10.17.23 Save the Date

Churches United 15th Annual Gourmet Soup Kitchen

October 17, 2023, 5-8:30 p.m.

Holiday Inn Fargo 3803 13th Ave S Fargo, ND 58103

If you wish to be a sponsor, donate to our live auction, or buy tickets, please contact Katie at [email protected]

Written by Geneva Nodland

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