LUM Offers the Homeless More Than a Bed
A Letter from Joe Micon, LUM Executive Director
A leper came to him and knelt before him, saying,
“Lord, if you will, you can make me clean.”
And Jesus stretched out his hand and touched him, saying, “I will.”
– Matt 8:2-3
If Jesus were here today, I think he would perform miracles that involve the homeless. Just as he cleansed the man with leprosy, Jesus would challenge us to act with kindness and compassion toward those in our own time who are hardest to love.
At the Lafayette Urban Ministry, we have provided overnight shelter to our homeless guests more than 265,000 times since our Emergency Shelter first opened in 1984. We know better than most how it is that the homeless end up on the street and the monumental challenges they face in returning to a life of stability.
Most of our guests struggle with addiction to alcohol, or other substances, that prevents them from holding a job and leasing an apartment. They have long ago burned bridges with family and friends. Some guests are afflicted with addiction, combined with mental illness. Others have just been released from prison only to be ostracized by employers. Still others have physical disabilities and are without the means to care for themselves.
Individuals don’t find themselves guests in the LUM Emergency Shelter unless the social fabric of their lives has come unwound. But as with the leper, it is those who are hardest to love that Jesus most calls us to serve. Our job at LUM is to perform miracles — to encourage and support each homeless guest as they confront the challenges that confound them. We show compassion and provide each guest with tangible support.
Every night of the year at the LUM Emergency Shelter for the Homeless…
- We provide a safe, clean and secure overnight shelter for up to 44 guests.
- We provide for our guests addiction treatment videos and resources, addiction group discussions and transportation to detox programs.
- We provide direct financial assistance to help our guests pay for initial housing costs or the costs associated with starting a new job.
- We reunite our guests with the support of family and friends.
- We help individuals cut through the bureaucratic red tape they face trying to re-establish their legal identities. Without a valid picture ID, individuals will never secure housing, employment or public benefits.
The Lafayette Urban Ministry provides more than just a well-run, safe and secure emergency shelter. We provide the homeless with the tools they need to leave our shelter. We have helped literally thousands of homeless men and women to make a fresh start.
It is not easy work. And not every story is a success story. But for 35 years, LUM has remained steadfastly committed to helping our homeless neighbors navigate the road to recovery and self-sufficiency. I hope you will join me in supporting this important work with your dollars.
Your gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 will keep the LUM Emergency Shelter open to all who come. It will provide our homeless guests with the support they need to leave our shelter for brighter, more independent futures. Most of all, it will be a faithful expression of your concern for those, who like the leper cleansed by Jesus, are counting on us to perform miracles. Please, may we hear from you today?