Category Archives: Immigration Clinic

Jeffrey – Leading the Shelter into a Bright Future


Four Ways YOU Can Help the LUM Emergency Shelter


The LUM Emergency Shelter is directed by Jeffrey Auguste. Under Jeffrey’s leadership, LUM continues to address the complex problems facing our guests who are experiencing chronic homelessness. Addiction, mental illness, unwise choices, emotional and physical disabilities are difficult to overcome. But the LUM staff members faithfully serve all guests, opening them up to brighter days ahead. Jeffrey’s personal mission offers some inspiration: 

“I aim to give back hope, offering a glimmer of light to those who are under-served, allowing them to believe in a better future for themselves.” 

In the first eight months of 2021, the LUM Emergency Shelter provided that “glimmer of light” to more than 250 new guests, in the form of 5,500 overnight stays. Of course all of this was in the midst of the ongoing global pandemic. And all of this was made possible through the leadership of Jeffrey, the passion of Patrick, and the financial generosity of people like YOU!
Four Ways YOU can help the LUM Emergency Shelter are as follows:

  • Make a Monetary DONATION, click HERE
  • Sign up to VOLUNTEER, click HERE
  • Donate Needed ITEMS, click HERE
  • Prepare a MEAL for LUM Shelter Guests, click HERE

Patrick – From Shelter Guest to LUM Staff Member


The Story of Patrick’s Journey


This synergy has made an impact on individuals such as Patrick Renfroe. In 2016, Patrick became a guest at the LUM Emergency Shelter, seeking to break free from his 45 years of substance abuse. At the LUM Emergency Shelter, he found a place that was clean, friendly, and supportive of his journey toward being clean. By utilizing various substance abuse services connected through LUM, Patrick was able to break the chains of addiction as well as find steady employment. Through the LUM “Match Program” by which LUM matches dollar-for-dollar money set aside for permanent housing, Patrick was able to move into a home of his own. Today, five years later, Patrick is an outstanding employee of the LUM Emergency Shelter, welcoming guests, supporting them on in their own journey toward permanent housing and greater freedom. He proudly shares that he has been clean for more than three years and three months.

It is energizing to witness the positive changes in the life of Patrick Renfroe and hundreds of others like him who have benefited from the ministry of the LUM Emergency Shelter. The hospitality and impact of the LUM Emergency Shelter has been remarkable. The whole adds up to more than the sum of the individual parts. That’s “synergy.” Please, will you make a generous financial gift to the LUM Emergency Shelter, so that we can offer that “glimmer of light” to our neighbors experiencing homelessness in Greater Lafayette?

LUM Emergency Shelter – Synergy Happens


A Letter from the Executive Director, Wes Tillett


When I think about the LUM Emergency Shelter, the word “synergy” comes to mind. Synergy is happening whenever 1+ 1 = more than 2.

Since 1984, many local churches in Greater Lafayette have been pooling their resources in order to provide safe, clean, nurturing overnight shelter to individuals experiencing homelessness. These churches could not start or sustain such an endeavor individually. But these churches and many other organizations and individuals have joined in supporting the LUM Emergency Shelter over the past decades. They have have partnered together with LUM for 37 years (and counting) to provide overnight emergency shelter 365 nights a year (366 nights for leap years) for more than…

  • 250,000 bed nights | 250,000 evening meals | 10,500 individual shelter guests

Through the synergistic efforts of so many people in this community, LUM is offering more than just a safe and secure shelter for individuals experiencing homelessness. LUM is offering support, encouragement, and the tools needed by our guests to live more independent, self-sufficient, and fulfilling lives. 

Will you help us continue to serve those in our community who are experiencing homelessness?  Your gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 to the LUM Emergency Shelter will help LUM continue to provide help and hope to those experiencing homelessness. 

Meet Sarah – New LUM Intern


Sarah A. Warner, LUM Intern through the IU School of Social Work

Sarah A. Warner is the new LUM intern for the Fall semester. She was born in California, grew up in Crawfordsville, IN and now lives in Lafayette with her boyfriend, Coleman, and their yellow-lab-mix, Moko.

Sarah graduated from Crawfordsville High School and earned her bachelors from the University of Evansville in Psychology with a minor in Sociology. She is currently completing her internship with LUM as a part of her MSW program at the IU School of Social Work. When she graduates in December 2022, she plans on becoming a licensed social worker and working with children in a school setting or with a nonprofit agency.

At LUM, Sarah will be working with children in the After School Program, as well as assisting the Immigration Clinic, Thanksgiving Dinner, Emergency Shelter, Port of Hope event, and Jubilee Christmas. Sarah shared that,

“I’m excited to explore the many aspects of social work offered at Lafayette Urban Ministry. I love that I will be able to serve the community at the same time as learning about working with people in need.”

In her free time, Sarah enjoys travelling and exploring other cultures, cooking and baking, listening to podcasts, crocheting (a new skill she learned during the pandemic), and outdoor adventures with Moko.

LUM is fortunate to have someone with Sarah’s energy and passion join the LUM staff as an intern. Join us in welcoming her.

Meet Yanina – New LUM Staff Member


Yanina Gomez Szyszko, Immigration Clinic Asst. Director

Yanina Gomez Szyszko is the new Assistant Director of the LUM Immigration Clinic (reporting to the Immigration Clinic director). She grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina, has lived in Copenhagen, Denmark and Valencia, Spain, and currently lives in Lafayette, Indiana.

Yanina graduated from Escuela Cristiana Evangélica Argentina (E.C.E.A) in Buenos Aires, has studied Sociology and Anthropology at the University of Buenos Aires; and is currently enrolled at the International University of Valencia pursuing a bachelor’s degree in Psychology. Her goal is to complete a Master of Clinical Psychology by 2025. Yanina speaks both English and Spanish. She is an avid volunteer working with agencies in Denmark, Spain, Argentina, Poland and the United States (Lafayette) that focus on children, nutrition, fair labor, homelessness, food distribution and waste, elderly and animals.

Yanina is inspired by the Bible passage,

“Let everything you do be done in love,”

1 Corinthians 16:14.

She is also driven by the courage and determination of her Polish ancestors who migrated to Argentina during the interwar period — especially her great-grandmother, Melanja. Each in their own way, her family members, overcame the challenges of migrating with children while pregnant, being pioneers in their careers, and successfully raising their children, to be grateful, with a positive attitude, and have faith and trust in God.

She shared that,

“I hope in my new role with LUM to use my skills and experience to help in all aspects of the Immigration Clinic. It will be personally enriching to have a positive impact on the immigrant families in our community.”

Yanina is excited to “be a part of a team with passionate, determined people who have a great love for others.”

In her free time, Yanina enjoys travelling and exploring other cultures. She has visited more than 30 countries on four continents, so far. Yanina has studied new languages, most recently Polish, Danish and French. She is also an administrator with the Polish Genealogy Group in Argentina and the organizer of an international book club hosted in four cities: Buenos Aires, Copenhagen, Warsaw, and Barcelona; and plans on starting a book club in Lafayette soon.

LUM is fortunate to have someone with Yanina’s experience and passion join the Immigration Clinic staff. Join us in welcoming her.

LUM Fall Events Are Just Around the Corner


Mark Your Calendars – Get Engaged for Good


HUNGER HIKE | Sunday, September 19 at 1 p.m. | Riehle Plaza, Lafayette, IN


PORT of HOPE – the Immigration Clinic Fundraiser | Thursday, November 4 at 5:30 p.m. | Lafayette Brewing Co., Lafayette, IN


TURKEY TROT 5K Run | Thursday, November 25 at 8 a.m. | Celery Bog Nature Area, West Lafayette, IN


Community THANKSGIVING Feast | Thursday, November 25 at Noon | Central Presbyterian Church, Lafayette, IN


JUBILEE Christmas | Saturday, December 11 | All Day | Events at 27 Locations in Lafayette/West Lafayette, IN

A Glimpse at the Fall Happenings at LUM


Mark Your Calendars – Save the Dates – Engage


HUNGER HIKE | Sunday, September 19 at 1 p.m. | Riehle Plaza, Lafayette, IN


PORT of HOPE – the Immigration Clinic Fundraiser | Thursday, November 4 at 5:30 p.m. | Lafayette Brewing Co., Lafayette, IN


TURKEY TROT 5K Run | Thursday, November 25 at 8 a.m. | Celery Bog Nature Area, West Lafayette, IN


Community THANKSGIVING Feast | Thursday, November 25 at Noon | Central Presbyterian Church, Lafayette, IN

A Glimpse at the Fall Happenings at LUM


Mark Your Calendars – Save the Dates – Engage


HUNGER HIKE | Sunday, September 19 at 1 p.m. | Riehle Plaza, Lafayette, IN


PORT of HOPE – the Immigration Clinic Fundraiser | Thursday, November 4 at 5:30 p.m. | Lafayette Brewing Co., Lafayette, IN


TURKEY TROT 5K Run | Thursday, November 25 at 8 a.m. | Celery Bog Nature Area, West Lafayette, IN


Community THANKSGIVING Feast | Thursday, November 25 at Noon | Central Presbyterian Church, Lafayette, IN

Mission Moment: Ricardo & Jaqueline’s Story


Consider Investing in the LUM Immigration Clinic


In 2020, the LUM Immigration Clinic served 151 clients. Every dollar donated to the LUM Immigration Clinic is multiplied into many more dollars worth of certified legal help thanks to Director Christian Gallo and the talented team of volunteers. 

The 2021 budget for the LUM Immigration Clinic is $95,094. This cost includes financial aid for immigrants, continuing education for volunteers, staff salaries and benefits, citizenship classes, legal resources, and more.

LUM relies on generous donors like you in order to continue to offer this amazing service to our immigrant neighbors in this region – neighbors like Ricardo & Jaqueline Valera (pictured) who wrote to LUM to express their gratitude, 

“Since obtaining the LUM Immigration Clinic’s help with our immigration process, my husband was able to obtain his work permit. His income has helped me out with my family and school debt. I no longer have to work two or three jobs. I no longer have to miss important family moments. I no longer have to choose work over my health… We would not be where we are today without your help.”


The LUM Immigration Clinic has been there to help many hundreds of people like Ricardo & Jacqueline. Would you please consider a donation of $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 or some other amount in support of the LUM Immigration Clinic?


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Immigration Clinic

Director’s Vision for the Immigration Clinic


Christian Gallo Challenges LUM to “Thrive”


Christian Gallo, LUM Immigration Clinic director shared that, “The vision I have for the LUM Immigration Clinic is to thrive. We are doing important work today, but can always improve how we serve others and expand into new areas to serve more. As an example, I would like to see the LUM Immigration Clinic assist more clients through the long and complicated Immigration Court process. If we focus on getting more of our volunteers fully accredited then we will be able to represent more clients. We also can do a better job of supporting our volunteers with resources and training. The LUM Immigration Clinic must also engage with our local, state and federal elected officials and organizations, including foreign national consulates, to increase awareness and to better serve our community as a whole.”


Christian Gallo (pictured above with a grateful client) grew up in Buenos Aires, Argentina. He earned his bachelor’s degree from Colegio Champagnat, Master in Laws degree from Indiana University, and JD from Universidad Católica Argentina (Buenos Aires). Christian has many years of experience in immigration law and speaks four languages: Spanish, English, Italian, and Portuguese.


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Immigration Clinic