All posts by Lafayette Urban Ministry

About Lafayette Urban Ministry

The Lafayette Urban Ministry (LUM) is an organization of more than 40 Christian churches that serves as a social safety net for Lafayette, Indiana's needy children and families.

Four Ways to Support LUM Today

During times like these, serving your community is important for your neighbors and for your own well-being. it is important to give wisely, and we hope you agree that LUM is a great investment.

Here are four ways you, your organization and your business can support and invest in Lafayette Urban Ministry.

  • CASH DONATIONS are preferred because they allow LUM to purchase what is needed, when it’s needed. To give online, go to lumserve.org/donate/.
  • SHELTER MEALS — Prepare a meal for the guests at the LUM Emergency Shelter. For more information and to sign up, go to lumserve.org/shelter-meal/. You may…
    • PREPARE & SERVE meals –OR–
    • DROP OFF prepared meals (No contact drop off is possible) –OR–
    • DONATE FOOD for meals that the LUM staff can prepare. (No contact drop off is possible.) Items needed are bread, deli meats, and large cans of soup, stew & chili
  • COVID-19 NEEDED ITEMS — You may either ship or drop off items. No contact drop off is possible. “COVID-19 Supplies” urgently needed are as follows
    • Disinfectant (for surfaces) – bleach, wipes (Lysol, Clorox), spray (Lysol), cleaner (Fantasik, 409, Clorox)
    • Hand Cleaning – antibacterial wipes, gloves (nitrile disposable), hand sanitizer, liquid hand soap
    • Paper Products – paper towels, facial tissues, toilet paper
  • FOOD PANTRY NEEDED ITEMS — You may either ship or drop off items. No contact drop off is possible. Protein Food Pantry urgently needed items are as follows:
    • Food items (protein only) – Canned meats (beef, chicken), canned fish (tuna); Beans, legumes, lentils – dry or canned; Eggs; Peanut butter
    • Paper Products – Toilet Paper, Paper Towels, Napkins, Facial Tissues
    • Infant items – Baby Formula, Baby Food, Diapers, Baby Wipes
    • Feminine Hygiene Products – liners, napkins, pads, tampons, wipes

To give online, go to lumserve.org/donate/.

To view the LUM Wishlist of Needed Items, go to lumserve.org/wish-list/. Please either ship or drop off items to the LUM Office (420 N 4th Street, Lafayette, IN 47901).

THANK YOU.


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Use Where Needed Most

LUM Camp Needs You! This Summer – July 27-31


Be a Camp Counselor – Support a Camper

As we think about a better tomorrow, why not sign up to be a volunteer LUM Camp Counselor this year.

LUM Camp is a week-long, overnight camp program for low-income children from 8 to 10 years old. Volunteer camp counselors must be at least 18 years old, enjoy working with children and be able to spend the entire week at camp (11 a.m. Monday, July 27 to 4 p.m. Friday, July 31, 2020). For additional information, click HERE.

If you would rather support LUM Camp with a donation, consider sponsoring a camper for $150.


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LUM Camp


PLEASE SHARE. 


Volunteer camp counselors must be

  • 18 years old,
  • enjoy working with children,
  • attend training on Thursday, July 23 at 7 p.m., and
  • be able to spend the entire week of camp from 11:00 a.m. on Monday, July 27 to 4:00 p.m. on Friday, July 31.

Committed volunteer camp counselors are at the heart of a successful LUM Camp and play an important role with our LUM campers. For additional information, click HERE.

LUM Emergency Shelter to Benefit from Grants


Twin Cities Recommend $21,290 to LUM

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Lafayette Urban Ministry has recently been recommended for two significant Community Development Block Grants from both the City of Lafayette & the City of West Lafayette.

LUM will be awarded $14,846 from Lafayette and $6,444 from West Lafayette — totaling $21,290.

Picture1CDBG is an important resource for local governments in their efforts to provide both transitional and permanent housing, as well as supportive services, to families and individuals experiencing homelessness. This grant money will be used to support our homeless clients.

Thanks to David Heckert, LUM Emergency Shelter director, for his work on these grants.


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Emergency Shelter


COVID-19 Response – Programs Information

LUM is Open for Business – Safety & Compliance

LUM is open for business, but “how” LUM serves the families in our community has been modified to keep everyone as safe as possible. Below is information on how LUM is continuing to serve the families in our community today. 

LUM Office – 420 N 4th Street, Lafayette, IN

  • Phones staffed from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Monday – Friday
  • No in-person visitors or clients allowed

Assistance Programs

Children’s Programs/Youth Programs

Food Programs – Protein Food Pantry (525 N 4th Street, Lafayette)

  • Open – Thursdays, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.; offering to-go, curbside service only
  • DONATIONS of protein food items, paper products, infant supplies & feminine hygiene products are needed and welcome. To learn more and see our list of needed items, click HERE.

Homeless Services

  • Emergency Shelter (525 N 4th Street, Lafayette, IN)
    • Open nightly, with a strict protocol for intake, check in, dinner service and sleeping arrangements
    • Intake – 1:30 p.m., LUM Office 420 N 4th Street, Lafayette
  • DONATIONS – Meals are needed every evening. Please consider preparing a meal for our shelter guests. To learn more and sign up online, please click HERE.
  • Winter Warming Station is closed until November 15, 2020 allowing staff to focus on the Emergency Shelter

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Donate to LUM

 


Three Ways to Support LUM Today

During times like these it is important to give wisely. LUM is a great investment in your local community.

A collaboration of 47 local churches, LUM serves as a social safety net for children and families who are experiencing difficult times. Last year, Lafayette Urban Ministry served more than 3,792 families through one or another of our 22 programs.

Here are three ways you, your organization and your business can support and invest in Lafayette Urban Ministry.

  1. CASH DONATIONS are preferred because they allow LUM to purchase what is needed, when it’s needed. To give online, go to lumserve.org/donate/.
  2. MEALS — Prepare a meal for the guests at the LUM Emergency Shelter. You may prepare & serve meals –OR– just drop off your prepared meal –OR– donate food that the LUM staff can prepare, like bread, deli meats, and large cans of soup, stew & chili. For more information and to sign up, go to lumserve.org/shelter-meal/.
  3. NEEDED ITEMS—Donations of “needed items” are also welcome and appreciated. To view the LUM Wishlist of Needed Items, go to lumserve.org/wish-list/. You may either ship or drop off items to the LUM Office (420 N 4th Street, Lafayette, IN 47901). Here is a list of “COVID-19 Supplies” that are urgently needed now:
  • Disinfectant (for surfaces) – bleach, wipes (Lysol, Clorox), spray (Lysol), cleaner (Fantasik, 409, Clorox)
  • Hand Cleaning – antibacterial wipes, gloves (nitrile disposable), hand sanitizer, liquid hand soap
  • Paper Products – paper towels, facial tissues, toilet paper

To give online, go to lumserve.org/donate/. To view the LUM Wish List of Needed Items, go to lumserve.org/wish-list/. THANK YOU.

COVID-19 Updates – Impact on LUM – 3/24/2020


LUM is Open for Business – Safety & Compliance

Although the LUM Office is closed for in-person visits, the LUM office phones are staffed during regular business hours, and staff members are answering emails as promptly as possible. All business meetings have been canceled or moved online, and most LUM staff members are currently working from home.

For more than two weeks, the leadership at LUM has been continually monitoring the recommendations from the CDC, the county health department, local and state officials and other agencies. LUM is open for business, but “how” LUM serves the families in our community has been modified to keep everyone as safe as possible. Below is a summary of how LUM programs are continuing to serve the families in our community today. {Please note: LUM program information is accurate now, but changes are expected.}


LUM STILL Needs Your Support

During times like these it is important to give wisely. LUM is a great investment in your local community. A collaboration of 47 local churches, LUM serves as a social safety net for children and families who are experiencing difficult times. Last year, Lafayette Urban Ministry served more than 3,792 families through one or another of our 22 programs.

Cash donations are preferred because they allow LUM to purchase what is needed, when it’s needed. Donations of “needed items” are also welcome and appreciated. Here is a list of “COVID-19 Supplies” that are urgently needed:

  • Disinfectant (for surfaces) – bleach, wipes, spray (Lysol), cleaner (Fantasik, 409, Clorox)
  • Hand Cleaning – antibacterial wipes (Lysol, Clorox), gloves (nitrile disposable), hand sanitizer, liquid hand soap
  • Paper Products – paper towels, facial tissues, toilet paper

Please either ship or drop off items to the LUM Office (420 N 4th Street, Lafayette, IN 47901).


LUM Emergency Shelter – Open Nightly

The LUM Emergency Shelter is open with a strict protocol for intake, check in, dinner services and sleeping arrangements.

  • Intake: each weekday afternoon, signing up for returning guests is being done outside and quickly; new guests are being signed up by staff practicing social distancing
  • Check in (outside): guests line up using six foot markers for social distancing; staff take each guest’s temperature, and monitor hand cleaning. EMTs and heath department will be called if guests check in with severe symptoms; guests with mild symptoms will be separated and must wear mask for duration for stay.
  • Cleaning & food services: disinfecting surfaces frequently; training, postings & handouts on coughing/sneezing & hand washing protocols; staff are wearing gloves; meal is served to guests; seating arranged for social distancing
  • Sleeping arrangements: beds are arranged for social distancing and “head to foot” sleeping

Meals are needed every evening. Please consider preparing a meal for our shelter guests. To learn more and sign up online, please click HERE.


LUM Protein Food Pantry – Open Weekly

The LUM Protein Food Pantry is open each Thursday morning with to-go, curbside service. Food items are packed up and available for quick check in and distribution outside of the LUM Ray Ewry Center (525 N 4th Street, Lafayette). Clients are lined up using six foot markers for social distancing.

Donations of protein food items, paper products, infant supplies & feminine hygiene products are needed and welcome. To learn more and see our list of needed items, click HERE.


LUM Tax Assistance & After School Programs – Closed

For now, the LUM Tax Assistance Program is currently not seeing clients in person and no new clients will be served. Everyone is being encouraged to use “free online tax preparation software” available to everyone with a simple return. In just six weeks, LUM served 270 clients with total Federal refunds of $357,280 and total State refunds of $29,450.

LUM Youth Program updates are as follows:


LUM Financial & Immigration Assistance – Modified

The LUM Good Samaritan Program is taking requests for emergency financial assistance by phone and email, each weekday morning starting at 8:15 a.m.

The LUM Immigration Clinic is working with clients by phone, video conferencing & email — and new clients should email immigration@lumserve.org.

Spanish Conversation Tables and Citizenship Classes have been canceled until further notice.


Final Thoughts & Information

Information in this eNewsletter is accurate, but changes are expected. For the most up-to-date information about LUM programs & services, please go to the LUM website – lumserve.org.

Please know that the LUM Board of Directors and staff are keeping those affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) in our thoughts and prayers while closely watching the evolving situation.

COVID-19 Updates – Impact on LUM

{updated Thursday, 3/26/2020 – 9:01 a.m.}

LUM Office – 420 N 4th Street, Lafayette, IN

  • Phones staffed from 9 a.m. – 1 p.m., Monday – Friday
  • No in-person visitors or clients allowed

Assistance Programs


Children’s Programs/Youth Programs


Food Programs – Protein Food Pantry (525 N 4th Street, Lafayette)

  •  Open – Thursdays, 10:00 – 11:30 a.m.
  • To-go, curbside service only
  • DONATIONS of protein food items, paper products, infant supplies & feminine hygiene products are needed and welcome. To learn more and see our list of needed items, click HERE.

Homeless Services

  • Emergency Shelter (525 N 4th Street, Lafayette, IN)
    • Open nightly, with a strict protocol for intake, check in, dinner services and sleeping arrangements.
    • Intake – 1:30 p.m., LUM Office 420 N 4th Street, Lafayette
  • DONATIONS – Meals are needed every evening. Please consider preparing a meal for our shelter guests. To learn more and sign up online, please click HERE.
  • Winter Warming Station is closed until November 15, 2020 allowing staff to focus on the Emergency Shelter

LUM is Open for Business – Safety & Compliance

Although the LUM Office is closed for in-person visits, the LUM office phones are staffed from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., and staff members are answering emails as promptly as possible. All business meetings have been canceled or moved online, and most LUM staff members are currently working from home.

For more than two weeks, the leadership at LUM has been continually monitoring the recommendations from the CDC, the county health department, local and state officials and other agencies. LUM is open for business, but “how” LUM serves the families in our community has been modified to keep everyone as safe as possible. Below is a summary of how LUM programs are continuing to serve the families in our community today. {Please note: LUM program information is accurate now, but changes are expected.}


LUM STILL Needs Your Support

During times like these it is important to give wisely. LUM is a great investment in your local community. A collaboration of 47 local churches, LUM serves as a social safety net for children and families who are experiencing difficult times. Last year, Lafayette Urban Ministry served more than 3,792 families through one or another of our 22 programs.

Cash donations are preferred because they allow LUM to purchase what is needed, when it’s needed. Donations of “needed items” are also welcome and appreciated. Here is a list of “COVID-19 Supplies” that are urgently needed:

  • Disinfectant (for surfaces) – bleach, wipes, spray (Lysol), cleaner (Fantasik, 409, Clorox)
  • Hand Cleaning – antibacterial wipes (Lysol, Clorox), gloves (nitrile disposable), hand sanitizer, liquid hand soap
  • Paper Products – paper towels, facial tissues, toilet paper

Please either ship or drop off items to the LUM Office (420 N 4th Street, Lafayette, IN 47901).


LUM Emergency Shelter – Open Nightly

The LUM Emergency Shelter is open with a strict protocol for intake, check in, food service and sleeping arrangements, as follows:

  • Intake: Sign up for returning guests is being done outside and quickly. New guests are being signed up by staff practicing social distancing.
  • Check in: Guests line up outside six feet apart. Staff take each guest’s temperature, and monitor hand cleaning. Guests with mild symptoms will be separated and must wear a mask for duration of stay. EMTs & health department are called if guests check in with severe symptoms.
  • Cleaning & food services: Staff are disinfecting surfaces frequently & wearing gloves. Information is available on coughing/sneezing & hand washing protocols. Practicing social distancing in dining room seating.
  • Sleeping arrangements: Beds are arranged for social distancing and “head to foot” sleeping.

Meals are needed every evening. Please consider preparing a meal for our shelter guests. To learn more and sign up online, go to lumserve.org/shelter-meal/.


LUM Protein Food Pantry – Open Weekly

The LUM Protein Food Pantry is open each Thursday morning with to-go, curbside service. Items are packed up and available for quick check in and distribution outside of the LUM Ray Ewry Center (525 N 4th Street, Lafayette). Clients are lined up using six foot markers for social distancing.

Donations of protein food items, paper products, infant supplies & feminine hygiene products are needed and welcome. To learn more and
see a list of needed items, go to
lumserve.org/food-pantry.


Suspended | Pending | Postponed

With a few LUM programs, it was best to suspend services in compliance with recommendations and for the safety of all.


Modified – Financial & Immigration Assistance

The LUM Good Samaritan Program is taking requests for emergency financial assistance by phone and email, each weekday morning starting at 9 a.m.

The LUM Immigration Clinic is working with clients by phone, video conferencing & email — and new clients should email immigration@lumserve.org.


Final Thoughts & Information

Information in this eNewsletter is accurate, but changes are expected. For the most up-to-date information about LUM programs & services, please go to the LUM website – lumserve.org.

Please know that the LUM Board of Directors and staff are keeping those affected by coronavirus (COVID-19) in our thoughts and prayers while closely watching the evolving situation.

Meet the New LUM Executive Director

A Letter from the LUM Board President

Dear Friends, 

The LUM Board of Directors and staff members are excited to announce the next LUM Executive Director, the Rev. Wesley J. Tillett

The process started a year ago, when the LUM Board of Directors conducted an in-depth assessment of LUM, the results of which were used to begin a search for a new LUM executive director. The search committee made a recommendation in February 2020 — and our top choice accepted our offer. Thanks to the Search Committee, Board of Directors and LUM staff for working together to complete this process with thoughtfulness and dedication. 

Wes will assume responsibilities on April 1, 2020. Until then, LUM will remain focused on fulfilling its mission of providing quality services to the children and families who come seeking help. Join me in congratulating the Rev. Wesley Tillett and welcoming his family. You will have a chance to meet Wes on Wednesday, April 15 at a reception prior to the LUM board meeting. In the meantime, please take the time to read more about Wes Tillett and his family — click HERE.

Best regards, 

Joan Foord Low
President – LUM Board of Directors

The Rev. Wes Tillett – LUM Executive Director


His Vision, His Passion & His Inspiration

Restoring human dignity…which all God’s people need and deserve” is the part of the LUM Mission Statement that speaks to Wes Tillett the most. He stated that,

Each of us is made in God’s image — ‘Imago Dei.’ Everyone has value and meaning and is worthy of love and respect. The word, ‘dignity,’ perfectly encapsulates that sentiment. I pledge to continue the long history of LUM to meet people right where they are — and offer help and hope.” 

Wes attempts to “Live a Life of Love” each and every day (Ephesians 5:2). He commented that,

Love is the most important thing to me. A love that’s full of action, full of grace and truth, full of justicepeace, and joy, full of the life-giving nature of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.” Wes is inspired by faithfulness. He stated that, “It is so easy to be distracted, to be motivated by FOMO (fear of missing out), to take the convenient way out when things get tough. When people have grit, when they keep their word, when they have integrity in public and private, when they make sacrifices to help others, I get inspired.” He is inspired by “all those unknown saints who are faithful to God in their own quiet way, day after day.

Wes is also inspired by the three executive directors who have preceded him. These three leaders, Joe Micon, the Rev. Jud Dolphin, and the late Rev. Ron Elly, have left a legacy of serving “the least” and thereby serving God (Matthew 25:40). They have, over the decades, built a strong agency that has a solid infrastructure, vital services, talented staff, dedicated volunteers including board members, supportive community and government partners and a great reputation. Wes is honored and humbled to serve as the next leader of Lafayette Urban Ministry.

Recently, Rita, Wes’s wife, met a former LUM Camper of his from 15 years ago, who is now 23 years old. Wes was amazed to hear how much his attention and affection meant to this camper. He added,

As I come to serve at LUM again, I hope to enrich the lives of thousands of people — those who are served and those who serve. Hope, help, healing, hospitality — all done in love and wisdom — I hope to uplift many in the community through these.


His Experience & His Education

Wes Tillett earned a BA in Biblical Education and graduated summa cum laude from Cedarville University (Ohio). He was elected by the student body to serve on a student pastoral leadership team — preaching and leading worship on campus. He earned a Master in Divinity from Western Theological Seminary (Michigan), where he received two awards as an outstanding graduating candidate and a third for outstanding work in Christian education and formation for ministry assignments.

From 2003-2010, the Tillett family lived in downtown Lafayette and were engaged with LUM. In 2005, Wes was the assistant to the program director of the LUM After School Program, who at the time was his wife, Rita. He assisted in program logistics, tutored, mentored and in the process became a self-proclaimed basketball champion & kickball legend. During this time he also served as a volunteer LUM Camp counselor. Wes was the youth minister at First Christian Church (2003-2005) and then the director of Family & Youth Ministries at Central Presbyterian Church (2005-2010). He was the Mission Co-Worker in Zahle, Lebanon (2010-2012) and served in various churches in Indiana, Michigan, and Virginia. 

For the past seven years, the Rev. Wesley Tillett has been the founding, lead pastor at Voyage Church in Oshtemo, Michigan. He also founded the Oshtemo Area Churches, a coalition of five churches from different denominations, which addresses food insecurity, mentoring, tutoring, and clothing needs, by partnering with food banks and elementary schools. OAC received the Champ Award in 2016 by the Communities in Schools.


His Family, His Background, His Favorites

Wes Tillett is originally from Rensselaer, Indiana, and graduated from Rensselaer Central High School. He currently lives in Kalamazoo, Michigan, with his family and their goldendoodle, Hunter.

Wes and his wife, Rita HurleyTillett, grew up together and were middle school sweethearts. One Christmas day, when they weren’t even dating, Wes showed up at Rita’s doorstep to ask if she’d marry him. Today they are the proud and grateful parents of four children — Tobias (13), Kidest (11), Avalyn (6), and Noah (5). Wes and Rita feel blessed to have received their children through birth and adoption — internationally from Ethiopia and domestically through foster care.

Growing up on the prairies of northwest Indiana, Wes developed a love for the outdoors and Chicago sports teams (Bears, Bulls and Cubs); and Wes & Rita grew up cheering for the Purdue Boilermakers. (Boiler Up!) Wes enjoys swimming, snorkeling, kayaking, sailing, water skiing and stand-up paddle boarding, also known as “SUP-ing.” He also loves playing board games with his children, date nights with Rita, hiking with his dog (Hunter), traveling to new places, playing guitar & hand drums, painting, and spending time alone with God. He has a passion for holistic health (body, mind, soul) and staying in shape by participating in 5K runs and sprint triathlons. In addition to his work, Wes has been active in the community with agencies focused on children, mentoring, and education.

  • Wes’s favorite Bible passage is, “I am the vine; you are the branches” (John 15:5)
  • His favorite quote is “When I was a boy of 14, my father was so ignorant I could hardly stand to have the old man around. But when I got to be 21, I was astonished at how much the old man had learned in seven years,” attributed to Mark Twain
  • His favorite poem is The Peace of Wild Things by poet, novelist, essayist, farmer, and environmentalist, Wendell Berry, from Kentucky 

The Peace of Wild Things


When despair for the world grows in me and

I wake in the night at the least sound

in fear of what my life and my children’s lives may be,

I go and lie down where the wood drake rests in his beauty on the water,

and the great heron feeds.

I come into the peace of wild things

who do not tax their lives with forethought of grief.

I come into the presence of still water.

And I feel above me the day-blind stars waiting with their light.

For a time I rest in the grace of the world, and am free.

~ Wendell Berry (1968)

Rev. Susan Brouillette, Salute to Women Honoree


Brouillette Celebrated as Immigration Advocate


At a special dinner last Tuesday, the Rev. Susan Brouillette, the LUM Immigration Clinic founding director, was an honoree the 47th annual Salute to Women program. Susan was one of only 12 women honored this year. She is being recognized for being an “immigration advocate” and for being “instrumental in the development of Lafayette Urban Ministry’s Immigration Clinic.

Joe Micon, LUM executive director remarked that,

Most of the immigrants and asylum seekers who come to the LUM Immigration Clinic are in serious straights. Some are without family or friends. In Susan Brouillette, they have found an advocate who represents and defends them with skill and commitment. She is one of those rare and extraordinary individuals responsible for our community being such a diverse and welcoming place.

Join us in congratulating the Rev. Susan Brouillette for this well deserved recognition.


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Immigration Clinic