Category Archives: Lafayette Urban Ministry

After School – Volunteers Needed Each Day

The LUM After School Program relies on a team of volunteers to work with the students. Volunteers are needed each weekday afternoon from 2 to 6 p.m. They tutor, read to the students, give spelling tests, supervise recreation, serve snacks and coordinate crafts.
Pictured above are members of the Purdue Pre-Pharmacy Club, who volunteer regularly all year long. Please consider volunteering with the LUM students one-on-one or as a bus driver. LUM needs you!

For applications, training video, and time slots to sign up, HERE.

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Meet the LUM After School Program Team

The LUM After School Program provides safe, fun and enriching childcare for up to 80 children in Kindergarten to 8th grade in Tippecanoe County. The children are transported by bus from school to the LUM Ray Ewry Youth Center. For up to three hours each school day, the students work on homework, have a nutritious snack, and participate in craft projects, music, and other fun recreational and educational activities — enabling their parents to finish their workday.

The program is staffed by a professionally trained program aides and volunteers, whose training exceeds State of Indiana requirements. This year, the After School Program staff includes three Program Aides who assist the program director, Kristi Hogue. They are as follows (pictured L to R above):

  • Mady Kirts – Mady grew up and still lives in Lafayette. She graduated from Jefferson High School and is currently enrolled in the Human Services program at Ivy Tech Community College. After she graduates, Mady plans on working in social work and case management at a nonprofit.
  • Derrick Williams-Bacon – Derrick is from West Lafayette. He earned a BS in Organizational Leadership & Supervision and a Master’s in Technology Education, both from Purdue. Derrick is also an interventionist with the Lafayette School Corporation.
  • Alyssa Bella – Alyssa is from New Carlisle and currently lives in West Lafayette. She is currently matriculating toward a bachelor’s in social work from IUPUI and will graduate in May. After graduation, Alyssa will attend New York University to pursue a Master in Social Work. She wishes to pursue a career working with children.

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After School Program

Spotlight on Tax Assistance Volunteers

The LUM Tax Assistance Program started this month and is in full swing! Volunteers are an integral part of this vital program, and today we put a spotlight on these superstars. Pictured L to R are Karen Marty, Andrea Schmidt, Ann Pellegrino, Josh Prokopy (director), Connie Decker and Marilyn Zerbes. Volunteers not pictured are Evie Griffin (intern), Patti O’Callaghan, Ron Smith, Rob Patrick, Tricia Sembroski, Ai Ai Lau, Carol Reisert, Tim Delworth and Bill Meinweiser. LUM would not be able to offer this service without the skilled, trained volunteers who make it a success each year. Special thanks to ALL of the LUM Tax Assistance Program volunteers this year.

Did you know?

  • At LUM, taxpayers get one-on-one help from IRS-certified volunteers who prepare their taxes for them at no charge
  • You may also file your taxes online for FREE

For more information on the Tax Assistance Program or how YOU can volunteer, click HERE or call 765.423.2691.

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Tax Assistance Program

IN General Assembly TANF Reform Bill – 2019

Learn More & Help Make A Change

Several state senators have authored a bill which seeks to begin much-needed reform to the TANF program. As highlighted in our previous newsletter, Temporary Assistance for Needy Families provides much-needed temporary financial assistance benefits for families as well as individuals which find themselves in dire financial situations. It is intended to ensure some sense of stability for those in such situations, but as we discussed, has been in need of reform for quite some time.

Senate Bill 440 aims to expand the eligibility requirements for receiving such benefits – based on the family’s income in relation to the federal poverty level. The bill would gradually increase the maximum allowable income to qualify for benefits under TANF up to 50% of the federal poverty level by July of 2021. The new threshold would be an increase of 17% providing access to benefits for many more Hoosiers in need. In addition, the bill aims to increase the payments made under the TANF program for most qualifying individuals and families, and would require these benefit amounts to continue to be monitored and adjusted according to increases in the Social Security cost of living adjustment. New payments would range from $248 monthly for most qualifying individuals and $409 monthly for families.

While the new payment amounts are not nearly enough to provide stability for qualifying people on their own, this is an encouraging move in response to awareness efforts by advocates such as yourselves to make the need for reform known. Expanding eligibility requirements is also a positive move forward for reforming this program and addressing the needs of those most impacted. To track the progress of this bill, as well as all bills moving forward in the 2019 session related to topics covered in the Campaign for Hoosier Families newsletter, see our Legislation Tracker (click HERE).

by Rob Krasa, LUM intern

Solving Food Deserts: One Bill at a Time

Families Need Healthy Food Locally

House Bill 1143 (, authored byRepresentative Robin Shackleford and co-authored by Representative Steven Davisson, Edward Clere, and Vanessa Summers seeks to combat the prevalence of food deserts in the state, establishing both a healthy food financing fund and a healthy food financing program under the Indiana Housing and Community Development Authority (IHCDA). The new fund will act to provide financing, in the form of loans and grants, for projects that will help increase the availability of fresh food in underserved communities. This is an important step in ensuring the health of Hoosiers across Indiana.

The bill has not moved since it was referred to the Committee on Ways and Means in the Indiana House of Representatives on January 7th. While the bill has yet to be heard by committee, its presence in the state’s legislative agenda illustrates legislators is encouraging since it signals that legislators are aware of food security problems within the state.  This map of Indianapolis illustrates the prevalence of food deserts,indicated by purple block groups, in Indianapolis. This map is courtesy of Savi, one of the nation’s first and largest community information systems.

by Eli Heindricks, Purdue Political Science student

Highlighted Legislator – Carey Hamilton

Indiana State Representative Carey Hamilton

Representative Carey Hamilton recently authored House Bill 1098, a bill to cap the interest rates on payday loans. The cap on payday loans interest rates will make it so families are able to pay off the loans without having to worry about astronomical interest rates. (See the article above titled “Targeting Low Income Families & Children” for more information about the threat posed by the predatory lenders and Representative Hamilton’s bill.)

State Representative Carey Hamilton has done tremendous things during her time in office. Representative Carey Hamilton currently serves as the Democratic whip in the Indiana House of Representatives and represents Indiana House District 87 in Northeast Indiana. Representative Hamilton serves as the ranking minority member of the Financial Institutions Committee as well as serving on the Environmental Affairs and Ways and Means Committees.

Representative Hamilton has quite the impressive background before she was even elected into the Indiana House of Representatives in 2016. For nine years, Representative Hamilton served as the executive director of the Indiana Recycling Coalition. Furthermore, she worked as a nonprofit executive for over 20 years.

On behalf of the Campaign for Hoosier Families, we would like to thank Representative Hamilton for all she has done to push back against unscrupulous payday lenders. We will continue to follow and support House Bill 1098.

by Angela Weaver, Klinker-Alting Family Advocacy intern

Cap Payday Lending Interest Rates

Targeting Low Income Families & Children

The fight to cap the interest rates charged by payday loans is all the talk around the Indiana State Capitol. The Indiana Coalition for Human Services of which LUM is a member has been has been fighting vigorously for this cap. The cap has gained a lot of traction and attention by advocates such as yourselves spreading the hashtag “#36IsTheFix.” Many of the payday lenders that market themselves to low income families charge anywhere from 390% – 790%. Given the severe economic harm to the most vulnerable in our state, it is vital that interest rates be capped at 36%. Since the last newsletter, Senator Breaux, Senator Stoops, and Senator Ruckelshaus have been added as co authors on Senate Bill 104. Senate Bill 84 has been referred to the Insurance and Financial Institutions committee. House Bill 1098 has been referred to the Financial Institutions committee, as well. On behalf of the Campaign for Hoosier Families, we would like to thank Representative Carey Hamilton, Senator Eddie Melton, Senator Greg Walker, and Senator Mark Messmer for authoring these bills. We would encourage them to send them a note thanking them as well. Their names and email addresses are listed below:

If you have ever been personally affected by payday loans, please share your story below to help the Indiana Institute for Working Families increase awareness on this predatory lending. If you would like to show your support for these bills, please contact your legislators today.

To share your story, click HERE.

by Angela Weaver, Klinker-Alting Family Advocacy intern

Redistricting Reform – The Latest News

Gerrymandering in Indiana

A redistricting standards bill authored by Senator Greg WalkerSenator Randall HeadSenator Mike Bohacek (Senate Bill 105) , and co-authored by Senator John Ruckelshaus, passed through the Elections Committee on February 4 in a 5-2 vote, meaning it now will move to the Senate floor for consideration. In its current state, the bill would require legislative action at the state and federal levels to ensure that minority voices are represented and at the same time minimize divisions in areas which are likely to share common interests, including neighborhoods and school districts. Deviations from these standards would be required to be disclosed. While Senate Bill 105 establishes redistricting standards which is a good start, it does not specify how the commission is to be comprised. As the Indiana Institute apply points out, “Who is drawing the district maps is just as important as the standards by which the maps are drawn.”  The Indiana Coalition for Independent Redistricting All in 4 Democracy which Campaign for Hoosier Families is a member, would prefer Senate Bill 91 and House bill 1011 (Senate and House companion) as vehicles for Redistricting Reform since they call for an independent commission to be appointed by the legislative leadership.

by Eli Heindricks, Purdue Political Science student

Check Out the “Legislation Tracker”

Dear Advocates –

To make it easier for you to know the status of bills that we are following, our team has created the “Legislation Tracker.” To view, click HERE or the image to the right. This document includes the bill number, the author(s), the content and the current status. It will be updated regularly; so, keep the link below handy.

Thank you for your willingness to be an advocate for Hoosier families and children.
All the best,

Rev. Susan Brouillette, Director
Campaign for Hoosier Families 

IN General Assembly Minimum Wage Bills – 2019

Stay Informed About Income Inequality

In editions of our newsletter leading up to the start of the 2019 Session of the Indiana General Assembly, we made a call for change highlighting the impact of income inequality in our state and community as well as the current status of the minimum wage in Indiana. It has become apparent that many members of the Indiana State House and Senate have recognized that need as well, as a total of four bills related to the issue have been authored and introduced into the Assembly in this session to date. We are pleased that members of the legislature recognize the positive impact an increased minimum wage would have on Hoosiers. For those who have advocated for a change, it is encouraging. As voters and members of the communities that would be affected by these changes should one of these bills be passed into law, it is important to stay informed and in the know as far as what each of these bills specifically would mean for the future of minimum wage in Indiana. The Indiana General Assembly operates a user-friendly website where you can track these and other bills, but learn about the various committees, and review the up to date Indiana Code. And all of this is available including the ability to watch live streams of legislative sessions and more — by going to this link: In this article we’ll take a brief overview of each minimum wage bill currently active in the General Assembly and examine the similarities and differences of each.

The first of three bills introduced into the Senate, SB 214, was authored by Sen. Karen Tallian (D, Dist. 4) and added Sen Mark Stoops (D, Dist. 40) as a co-author on January 31st.  This bill calls for a one-time increase of the state minimum wage to $11.12 per hour starting on July 1, 2019. This increase would impact tipped employees just the same – as the law stands now, employers of tipped workers are allowed to utilize a tip credit, meaning that if workers make at least the minimum wage of $7.25 per hour when factoring in tips with their base wage, these employers are allowed to pay a minimum wage of $2.13 per hour instead.  If tips do not get the employee up to $7.25 per hour, the employer must pay the difference. If this bill were passed, the tip credit would be eliminated and would mandate the $11.12 minimum across the board.

The other two Senate bills were authored by Sen. Frank Mrvan (D, Dist. 1) and aim to propose two different paths to the same end.  SB 262 also calls for a one-time increase to the minimum, but proposes a jump to $15.00 per hour starting July 1, 2020.  This bill would retain the tip credit as described above, which would reduce the perceived impact of the significantly larger increase on employers of tipped employees.  The bill goes on to propose that each year thereafter, starting on July 1, 2021, the minimum wage would change by a percentage equal to the change in the Consumer Price Index (CPI) for the preceding year.  The CPI is a measurement taken by the U.S. Department of Labor of the average change in prices paid by consumers for an assortment of needed goods and services over a given time.  In other words, this bill would propose that the minimum wage in Indiana continue to be altered over time based on how much we actually must pay for the things we need to support ourselves and our household, rather than setting a fixed minimum amount which does not keep up with inflation, price increases, and the like over the course of years.

On the other hand, SB 355 would enact a stepwise, incremental approach to reaching the same goal of $15.00 per hour.  This bill proposes a series of smaller increases over time – $10.00 per hour effective July 1, 2020, $13.00 per hour effective July 1, 2021, and $15.00 per hour effective July 1, 2022 – rather than a single large jump.  Much like in the other bill Sen. Mrvan authored, this bill also retains the tip credit for tipped employee wages, and would also be subject to review and change based on the CPI each year starting in 2023.

The State House of Representatives also find themselves with a bill to review and debate.  HB 1081 was authored by Rep. Karlee Macer (D, Dist. 92), co-authored by Rep. Chris Campbell (D, Dist. 26), and shares some similarities with each of the Senate bills.  This bill aims to ultimately raise the minimum wage across the board to $12.00 per hour by January 1, 2023. However, there would be some differences to the means by which this would occur for tipped and non-tipped employees.  Non-tipped employees would see increases to $8.20 per hour on September 1, 2019, $9.15 per hour on January 1, 2020, $10.10 per hour on January 1, 2021, $11.05 per hour on January 1, 2022, and $12.00 per hour on January 1, 2023.  This non-tipped wage of $12.00 per hour would then be subject to change based on the CPI as well starting on January 1, 2024. Tipped employees, on the other hand, would see their minimum wage increase to $4.00 per hour on September 1, 2019, $6.00 per hour on January 1, 2020, $8.00 per hour on January 1, 2021, $10.00 per hour on January 1, 2022, and finally $12.00 per hour on January 1, 2023.  These increases would retain the tip credit currently in place, but would not be subject to the CPI-based increases that non-tipped employees would experience.

Regardless of the details and differences in these bills, it is clear that legislators are working to respond to the issues of income inequality that our current minimum wage contributes to, and are calling for change.  However, these bills remain stuck in committee and without enough backing they may never even make it to the floor for a vote. It remains important as always to make your voice heard and let your legislators know that you support (or disagree with) their efforts.  Let the committee chairs know your opinion and urge them to expedite these bills to promote real action: contact House Committee for Employment, Labor and Pensions Chair Rep. Heath VanNatter and Senate Committee on Pensions and Labor Chair Sen. Philip Boots to voice your concern.  To find contact information for these legislators, learn who represents you and your community in the Indiana General Assembly, and to reach out to them in regards to your support of these or any other bills, visit