Tag Archives: lum

The Stories of Lakesha, Erica & Shavonn

Dear Friend,

Lakesha Porter is a mail clerk for the US Postal Service in Lafayette. Erica Davis is a special education instructor at a local elementary school. By day, Shavonn Williams is a production worker at Kirby Risk. By night, she is a nurse’s aide at Sycamore Springs Hospital.

So what do Lakesha, Erica and Shavonn each have in common? They each come to the Lafayette Urban Ministry for services and support for their families and children. Despite an unemployment rate of only 3.20% (essentially full employment), Lafayette’s poverty rate remains at a very stubborn 18.94%. For a family of three, that means a breadwinner working 40 hours per week is earning less than $10.25/hr. Comprised of mothers, fathers, children and grandparents, these households work hard, but still struggle to make ends meet.

For 47 years, the Lafayette Urban Ministry has been sharing help and giving hope to local families striving to build brighter futures for themselves. Poverty robs families and their children of so many of the opportunities they need to grow and succeed. The Lafayette Urban Ministry responds by providing those families with the practical help, educational resources and emotional support needed to overcome difficult times. Whether it is through after school learning or summer youth programs, direct financial assistance, free income tax preparation, immigration services, emergency shelter, addiction help or any combination of 20 additional services, LUM is a crucial asset for those in our community working to escape the grasp of poverty.

Last year, 4,723 households were served by the Lafayette Urban

Lakesha Porter doesn’t know what she would do without the support of LUM: LUM is a Godsend to us. The staff and volunteers always show respect and offer encouragement. Whenever I run out of food, or need a little extra cash to pay my rent, I can always count on LUM. The kids love going to LUM’s After School Program – and I love that LUM practices spelling words with them and helps with math. I don’t know how we would make it through the holidays if it weren’t for Jubilee Christmas. And LUM even helped when I lost my photo ID.

As a valued partner in all that goes on at LUM, your past support of the Lafayette Urban Ministry has made a world of difference. Together, we have strengthened families, nurtured children and made our community a better place for everyone. I hope you will continue your support of the Lafayette Urban Ministry by making a generous gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000, or more, today.

I can think of nowhere else that your charitable contribution will have greater impact. I can think of no better way to practice our Lenten discipline than to share with those less fortunate. Scripture is so very clear. Jesus tells us we are to shelter the homeless, feed the hungry, love our neighbor, welcome the stranger and treat others as we ourselves would like to be treated. The Lafayette Urban Ministry takes that call seriously and provides each of us a place to put our faith into action. LUM affords us the opportunity to hear Jesus’s words anew – to understand our responsibility and to respond in kind.

I wish that Lakesha, Erica and Shavonn — along with everyone else who works hard and plays by the rules — were paid a wage high enough to provide the basics for their children. Working full-time and still not being able to escape poverty is unjust. But until that reality shifts, I am thankful that the Lafayette Urban Ministry is here to offer friendship and practical support to working families and their children.

Won’t you please give generously so that our efforts can continue? You may contribute online and find out more about all the things your gift to the Lafayette Urban Ministry will accomplish, by visiting our website at www.lumserve.org/donate.


Make a Donation Button
Donate to LUM

 


We’re Almost Out! (Of Simple Green, that is.)



Currently there is an urgent need for Simple Green (concentrate, original scent) all purpose cleaner at LUM. The LUM Emergency Shelter and Youth Programs rely on gifts from the community and our LUM friends.

Please help by making a monetary donation to LUM or purchasing Simple Green for LUM. You may ship or drop them off to the LUM Office (420 N 4th Street, Lafayette, IN 47901), Monday-Friday, 8:15 a.m.-4:30 p.m.

Cash donations are preferred because they allow LUM to purchase what is needed, when it’s needed, but donations of “needed items” are also appreciated. Items on the wish list are listed by “need” and also by program (Emergency Shelter, Youth Programs, Food Pantry, etc.). Thank you.

To view our entire WISH LIST, click HERE.


Make a Donation Button

Use Where Needed Most


C4HF Minimum Wage Survey Results

Members of our own community weigh in with their opinions

In a previous newsletter, we offered our readers a chance to voice their opinions on the issue of minimum wage and how it impacts them personally in our community.  We appreciate all of our respondents taking the time to share their thoughts, and for giving us a cross section of where people stand on the matter locally. We discuss in this article some trends in responses when parsing the results.

A robust 95% of respondents believe that the current minimum age is not enough income to maintain a stable living.  As discussed in previous articles, the math checks out in support of this result as well.  The current minimum wage in Indiana has not kept up with inflation and increases in costs which have occurred since the last increase in 2009. This result appears to correlate with real-life experiences.  94% of respondents reported having worked a minimum wage job during their lifetime and almost the same number of respondents (90%) of respondents supported raising the minimum wage in Indiana.

We also asked respondents how an increase of $1 to their hourly wage would make an impact for them.  Some respondents conceded that this would make only a small difference, but many were adamant that that even a $1 increase would provide significant help in keeping up with bills, their ability to save, and reduce overall financial stress in their day-to-day lives.  Those who did support an increase were asked what the state minimum wage should be,  and most respondents favored increasing the minimum wage to a rate between  $10.00-$11.00 an hour.   This result falls reasonably in line with most of the legislation which has been proposed in this year’s General Assembly session.

A majority of responses also indicated that an increase would have a positive impact on the local economy, allowing more people to have more spending power which would support local businesses.  While the majority of respondents favored a increase in the minimum wage, some respondents believed that an increase would have a detrimental impact by raising prices on various goods and services and therefore negatively affect employment rates.  Recent studies indicate that this has not been the trend in locales where there has been significant increases in the minimum wage.

Overall, our survey results sheds light on strong support for an increase in the state minimum wage within the Lafayette community where Campaign for Hoosier Families is based.  Legislation currently introduced in the General Assembly needs our continued support to move forward. Remember to visit iga.in.gov for contact information to reach out to committee chairs and legislators who have the power to move these bills forward and make sure they are aware of your support of this issue.  Please also continue to submit your responses to our survey, the link to which can be found in this issue, and let us know where you stand.  And, as always, keep an eye on the Campaign’s Legislation Tracker, included in each issue going forward, to stay up to date on the status of not only these bills but all legislation related to topics covered in our newsletter.

by Rob Krasa, LUM Intern


1 U.S. News, https://www.usnews.com/news/best-states/articles/2018-09-07/minimum-wage-increases-didnt-impact-jobs-in-6-us-cities-study-shows

2 The Effect of Minimum Wages on the Total Number of Jobs: Evidence from the United States Using a Bunching Estimator, https://www.sole-jole.org/17722.pdf


C4HFMinimum Wage Survey

Let Your Voice Be Heard

Increasing minimum wage has been an ongoing issue in the State of Indiana. The majority of Indiana residents have stated that they believe our minimum wage is not enough and needs to be increased. The Campaign for Hoosier Families is interested in your opinion regarding the status of minimum wage in Indiana. We seek this information to guide our efforts in regards to the upcoming Indiana General Assembly Session. The Campaign for Hoosier Families strives to best represent those for whom it advocates and would greatly appreciate your input. Please complete this survey by clicking here.

by Angela Weaver, Intern for the Campaign for Hoosier Families

Be a Volunteer Camp Counselor – LUM Camp 2019

Make a Difference This Summer at LUM Camp

Would you, or someone you know, make a good LUM Camp Counselor?
LUM Camp is a week-long, over-night camp program for low-income children from 8 to 10 years old. Volunteer camp counselors must be 18 years old, enjoy working with children and be able to spend the entire week at camp. Counselors are needed from 11 a.m. Monday, July 29 to 4 p.m. Friday, August 2. Make this the year you make a difference in the lives of local children. Please share with others who may be interested.

For more information, click HERE.

LUM Follies – Make Your Reservation Today

Support Local Families in Crisis – Attend Follies

Make your reservation today for the 8th annual LUM Good Samaritan Fund Follies. The event is a lighthearted evening of fine dining, entertainment, fun & good company — filled with delightful surprises. The best part is that 100% of the proceeds from this event go to the LUM Good Samaritan Fund, an emergency financial assistance program that supports local families. 

LUM Follies’ Details and Schedule are as follows:

  • Friday, May 3
  • St. Andrew United Methodist Church, 4703 N 50 W, West Lafayette, Indiana
  • Price: $50 per person; $400 per table (max. 8)
  • 5:30 p.m. — Reception & Silent Auction; 6:30 p.m. — Dinner; 7:30 p.m. — Follies Entertainment
  • Make your reservations ($50 per person; $400 per table) online HERE or by calling 765-423-2691.
  • If you wish to be an Event Sponsoremail or call us

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

Meet the LUM Shelter Security Staff

The LUM Emergency Shelterprovides short-term, overnight shelter, meals, and showers in a safe and caring environment for up to 44 homeless adults each night of the year. The LUM WinterWarming Stationcomplements these services from November to April. 
The LUM shelter staff members manage the nightly operations of the LUM Emergency Shelter & Winter Warming Station. They are as follows (pictured L to R above):

  • Connie Kepner Davis – Connie grew up in Mt. Summit, lived for many years in Tennessee and now lives in Fowler. She has four grown children and 10 grandchildren (with one on the way). Connie is a member of White Horse Christian Center
  • Jamie Volom – Jamie is from Hammond and now lives in Lafayette. He is a certified recovery coach and works with A Better Life Brianna’s Hope. Jamie leads the recovery group at the LUM Emergency Shelter. He is a member of Trinity United Methodist Church.
  • Louis Sausa – Lou is from Long Island, NY and now lives in Lafayette with his wife of five years, Katey. He earned a BS in General Studies with minors in Sociology, Psychology & History from Ball State University.
  • Davie Heckert – LUM Emergency Shelter director. See his bio HERE.
  • Alex Tarr – Alex grew up and lives in Rossville. He earned professional certification from the Computing Technology Industry Association through Ivy Tech Community College. Alex served in the US Army for four years as a tank mechanic.
  • Nikolas Ballard (not pictured) – Nikolas is originally from New Mexico and grew up and now lives in Lafayette. He graduated from McCutcheon High School and served in the US Marines Corp (Okinawa, Japan) for three and a half years. Nikolas is also a musician and song writer.

LUM is fortunate to have such a dedicated, caring and hard-working shelter team.

LUM Shelter Staff Goes “Above & Beyond”

LUM Shelter Staff Thanked by LUM Board

At last night’s meeting, the LUM Board of Directors honored and thanked the LUM Emergency Shelter staff members for “going above & beyond the call of duty” in their service to LUM shelter guests the first week in February during the “Polar Vortex.”

Lafayette Urban Ministry has a shelter protocol for severely cold and snowy weather. During the Polar Vortex, the LUM shelter staff members provided bus transportation from the local day shelter to the LUM Emergency Shelter and Winter Warming Station, opened the Winter Warming Station three hours early, and provided bus transportation back to the local day shelter in the morning — in addition to their regular nightly duties. The LUM Board of Directors acknowledged that their work is sincerely appreciated and is saving lives. Pictured above L to R: David Heckert, shelter director; Connie Kepner Davis, shelter staff member; Joan Low, LUM board president; and Joe Micon, LUM executive director.

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.


¿Habla Español? Love Helping Others?
Sign up to Volunteer with LUM!

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.

Make a Donation Button

After School Program