“Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what was going on. The servant replied, ‘Your brother has come home and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ Your father celebrates and rejoices, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’” Luke 15: 25-32
After two decades of failed relationships, lost jobs, substance abuse and living homeless on the streets, 41 year old Rickie Davis thought things couldn’t get worse. Then one night, while sleeping in a local park, his backpack was stolen – along with his wallet and photo ID.
In an instant, Rickie became a faceless person, alone in the world — and afraid.
When he came to the Lafayette Urban Ministry that day, Rickie was immediately welcomed into our emergency shelter. He was offered a nourishing meal and a comfortable bed with clean linens. In the coming days, Rickie worked with a LUM staff member to secure a new photo ID. He felt safe, valued and respected for the first time in a long time.
Then, two weeks after first coming to LUM, he finally opened up about his father.
As you can imagine, that relationship was strained by years of Rickie’s poor choices, angry words and harmful pride. But with a courage and humility that was surely influenced by God’s Grace, Rickie agreed to call his father and ask for permission to return home.
Just as in the parable of the Prodigal Son, Rickie’s father showed compassion and agreed to welcome him back. Then LUM purchased his ticket and placed Rickie on the next departing Greyhound bus for home.
- Last year, 765 individuals came to the LUM emergency shelter. Each stayed an average of 13 nights – 8,407 overnight stays. And while not every one of our guests was able to be reconnected with friends or family, LUM was able to help 29 of them do so.
- Many other guests were helped to leave the shelter after successful job searches.
- One-hundred and twenty-five shelter guests attended AA meetings held on site at LUM’s shelter.
- Twelve individuals successfully saved enough money during their stay, matched by LUM, to leave our shelter for an apartment of their own.
There is no one-size-fits-all solution for the varied and complex problems facing our chronically homeless guests. Addiction, mental illness, poor life choices and emotional and physical disabilities are never easy to overcome. But with skill, perseverance and dedication, LUM staff members are often successful in helping our guests move off the streets into more self-sufficient living environments.
I hope you are as excited as I am about the positive changes we are helping to make possible in the lives of those we serve. The Lafayette Urban Ministry is providing more than just a well-run, safe and secure shelter for homeless individuals. We are providing the support, encouragement and tools that enable our homeless guests to live more independent, self-sufficient lives.
Please, won’t you support this important work with your dollars?
Your gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 will help to keep the LUM Emergency Shelter open and staffed and will help us to provide our homeless guests with the support they need to leave our shelter for a home of their own.
As I write this letter, Rickie Davis is on a Greyhound bus headed for home. Before boarding, he was informed by his father that a family friend had even secured a job for him at a local manufacturing plant. Thanks to your generous support of LUM’s emergency shelter programs, Rickie will step off that bus with the opportunity to reconcile and start a new life.
Please, won’t you allow LUM to provide that opportunity to others as well? Join me in making a generous financial gift today.
P.S. Place your check in an envelope and mail it or drop it off, or give online at www.lumserve.org. Thank you!