Category Archives: Mission Moment

LUM Video – Giving Help, Giving Hope – For Your Use

Share with Others How Much You Love LUM

If you love and support Lafayette Urban Ministry and want to share your passion with others — the LUM Video is for you!
 
LUM produced the video, “Giving Help, Giving Hope,” to be used to recruit new volunteers, engage new churches, civic & school groups, and ask individuals and businesses to invest in LUM by making a donation.
 
This video is available to the public through the LUM website, and anyone, including YOU, as well as member churches, may use the video to entice others to engage and invest in LUM as well. The video features Joe Micon, LUM executive director, and several LUM volunteers who tell heart-felt stories about how LUM “Gives Help & Gives Hope” each and every day of the year. Please SHARE with others today.
 
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LUM Video – Giving Help, Giving Hope

Lafayette Urban Ministry presents the video, “Giving Help, Giving Hope,” which is being used by LUM board members and staff to recruit new volunteers, engage new churches, civic & school groups, and ask individuals and businesses to invest in LUM by making a donation.

This video is available to the public through the LUM website, and anyone, including member churches, may use the video to entice their members to engage and invest in LUM as well. The video features Joe Micon, LUM executive director, and several LUM volunteers who tell heart-felt stories about how LUM “Gives Help & Gives Hope” each and every day of the year.

Please share with your members. Thanks.

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.


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Mission Moment – Meet Angela & Dante


A Letter from Joe Micon, LUM Executive Director

November 2018

Dear Friend,

Angela Williams moved to our community for the same reasons so many others have in recent years…

  • Plentiful jobs
  • Good schools
  • Affordable housing
  • Safe streets

She felt that this would be the best community in which to raise her three children: Freya, Dajon, and Dante.  She hoped that Lafayette would be the place to make a home and build their new life together.

Then, little 3 year old Dante lost his appetite, started losing weight and became sluggish and fatigued.  The doctor diagnosed him with lead poisoning.  An assessment of their new apartment found lead paint virtually everywhere.

For the sake of the family’s health and well being, they were told they had to move from their new home – and quickly.

Even though Angela works full-time doing cleaning for a local staffing agency, her hourly earnings weren’t enough to cover a second move in the period of less than a year.  Unless she could pay off her current electric bill, in full, the family would be stuck in a contaminated apartment.

That’s where the Lafayette Urban Ministry came in.

Angela asked if it might be possible for LUM to pay her electric bill so the family could move to safer quarters.  She was overwhelmed with relief when she left our office with a Good Samaritan Fund check for $150 – enough to cover the entire amount of the bill.

In a matter of days, the family was moved into a new, safe, duplex and little Dante has been eating better and gaining weight ever since.  Thank goodness.


Last year, LUM’s Good Samaritan Fund expended $117,058 to resolve more than 2,030 financial emergencies.  Helping to keep families together in their homes was our first priority and much of our assistance was spent for rent and utility aid.  But we also helped with food, prescription medications and transportation.

The Lafayette Urban Ministry Good Samaritan Fund is made possible by those in our community who know how important it is for there to be a strong and reliable social safety net for our neighbors who fall upon hard times.  I hope you will consider making a generous financial gift today so that this important work can continue.

Your contribution of $50, $100, $250, $500 or $1,000 will allow the Good Samaritan Fund to be here for all the families, many with children, who call upon us for help.

And remember, not a single penny of what you contribute will ever be spent for administrative overhead.  Every gift to the Good Samaritan Fund is used directly for food, shelter, health care or transportation assistance.



Angela Williams favorite past time, actually her passion, is cooking.  She believes it is the most personal and intimate gift you can give to another.  Cooking and eating she says is an essential common bond that connects people of all races, nationalities and backgrounds.

So perhaps it should have been no surprise when Angela showed up at the LUM office with a fully cooked meal of chicken casserole, greens and biscuits to share with LUM’s staff and volunteers!

She said she just wanted to thank us for all we had done for her family.

As we were enjoying her gift of food and the warm conversation that surrounded our impromptu meal in the LUM break area, I couldn’t help but realize that Angela was really thanking you.  She was thanking you for the kindness shown to her family in their time of need.  And she was thanking you for your support of LUM’s Good Samaritan Fund.

I pray that you will continue that support.  Please, won’t you join me in sending a generous gift today?


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Good Samaritan Fund


Mission Moment – The Story of Patrick Renfroe


A Letter from Joe Micon, LUM Executive Director

Fifty-eight year old Patrick Renfroe drank his first beer when he was just 12. At age 13 he was drinking hard liquor and smoking pot. By age 18 Patrick was buying and using crack cocaine.

He grew up in a home that was haunted by addiction. Both his father and sister lost their lives to drug and alcohol abuse. Patrick spent a total of 15 years in various Indiana prisons and the Tippecanoe County Community Corrections Program – all because of drug-related convictions.

Over the years, Patrick’s addiction took everything that was dear and important to him – his family, friends, employment, his freedom and even his physical health. In 2016, he suffered two strokes, one on each side of his brain, within the period of a single week.

It was during his rehab to regain his balance that Patrick realized he was powerless over his addiction. Unless he confronted his 45 year history of substance abuse soon, he knew his days would be numbered. Patrick shares,

“I was just so sick and tired of always being sick and tired.”

In May of this year, Patrick moved out of his apartment to escape the unhealthy influence of his roommates, and he started spending his nights at the LUM Emergency Shelter. Here he found a place that was not only bright, clean and friendly, but also a place that was supportive in his journey to sobriety.

At LUM, Patrick was exposed to various substance abuse helps, including…

  • Weekly AA meetings
  • Bi-weekly programs where resources are shared and testimony is provided by others who are fighting addiction
  • Immediate transportation for those who desire in-patient addiction treatment
  • A professional staff that understands addiction and speaks openly and honestly with guests about their illness

In addition, Patrick took frequent advantage of addiction groups and programs offered by various downtown Lafayette churches, all within short walking distance of the LUM shelter.

In the past year, 704 individuals came to the LUM Emergency Shelter. Each stayed an average of 12 nights – 8,448 overnight stays. In addition, LUM provided an overnight warming station, ensuring that nobody was stranded overnight on the streets of our community without a place to be safe and warm during the harsh winter months. An additional 584 overnight stays took place at the LUM Winter Warming Station.

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.

Please, won’t you support this important work with your dollars?

Your gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 will help the LUM Emergency Shelter provide addiction services and provide our homeless guests with the support they need to leave our shelter for a home of their own.

With money that Patrick was able to save from a brand new job at a local restaurant – and with a dollar-for-dollar match provided him by LUM – he was recently able to move out of the LUM Emergency Shelter and into a home of his own.

Patrick continues to attend daily NA or AA meetings and is proud that he has now been drug and alcohol free for seven months. He finds comfort and joy from being more active in his church and is grateful for everyone in his life who is helping him on his road to recovery.

In other words, Patrick Renfroe is grateful for YOU!

I hope you are as excited as I am about the positive changes that, together, we are making possible in the lives of those we serve. 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 our homeless guests need in their struggle with addiction. We are helping them to live more independent, self-sufficient lives. Please, won’t you join me today in making a generous financial gift to the Lafayette Urban Ministry Emergency Shelter?


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Emergency Shelter


LUM Announces New Promotional Video


LUM Video 2018 – Now Available to Online

Lafayette Urban Ministry is excited to announce a new promotional video. The LUM Video is stunning and will be used by LUM board members and staff to recruit new volunteers; engage new churches, civic & school groups; and ask individuals and businesses to invest in LUM by making a donation. LUM worked with Gary Higgins of Indiana Motion Pictures to produce the video.

The LUM Video features narration from Kristin Malavenda, Purdue communications director & former NPR host, and heart-felt stories of how LUM “Gives Help & Gives Hope” each and every day of the year from the following:

  • Jaqueline Albarenga-Flores, LUM volunteer
  • Fr. Patrick Baikauskas OP, Pastor of St. Thomas Aquinas Center, LUM member church
  • Tiffany Hicks & her children, Chastity & Cincere (pictured below), LUM clients
  • Martin & Patty Jischke, former Purdue president & first lady
  • Joe Micon, LUM executive director
  • Patti O’Callaghan, LUM volunteer & former staff member
  • Deb Parent, LUM board member & volunteer (pictured above)
  • Arwin & Judy Provonsha, LUM volunteers
  • Andrea Schmidt, LUM volunteer

This short LUM promotional video is now available on the LUM YouTube Channel.

YOU may NOW use the new LUM video to entice your members, family, friends & colleagues to engage and invest in Lafayette Urban Ministry. LUM relies on donations and volunteers to continue to offer support to the families and children in our community; so, please share the new LUM video soon & often.


You are now invited to take a look at the new LUM Video by clicking the image below.

New LUM Video – Giving Help, Giving Hope


New LUM Video to Debut in June 2018

Lafayette Urban Ministry is excited to announce that a new LUM video is currently being produced and will debut in June.

This video will be used by LUM board members and staff to recruit new volunteers, engage new churches, civic & school groups, and ask individuals and businesses to invest in LUM by making a donation. This video will eventually be made available to the public through the LUM website, and anyone, including member churches, may use the video to entice their members to engage and invest in LUM as well. The video features Joe Micon, LUM executive director, and several LUM volunteers who tell heart-felt stories about how LUM “Gives Help & Gives Hope” each and every day of the year.

Stay tuned for more information about the exciting, official LUM Video debut!

Stories from the LUM Good Samaritan Program

How Attending LUM Follies Helps Local Families

Last year the LUM Good Samaritan Program served families 2,032 times and distributed $115,314 to avert evictions, utility disconnects and other financial crises.
Here are three examples of how your support of LUM Follies helps local families.


Make Your Follies Reservation Online at www.lumserve.org/follies


Gregory had to move closer to his aunt, who had taken ill. He was suddenly homeless and unemployed. While he stayed in the LUM Emergency Shelter, Gregory looked for and found a new job in a local restaurant and soon after signed a lease for a new apartment. During this transition he needed “non-skid” shoes for his new job and some assistance with his security deposit for his new apartment. Gregory shared that he appreciates the support from the LUM Good Samaritan Program which gave him the stability and freedom to be close to and be there for his family — especially his aunt.


Freddie has nine children and 16 grandchildren. She lives with two of her grandchildren (her son’s two children). When Freddie agreed to help her son with his children she was working full-time and healthy. Unfortunately, Freddie fell and broke her leg, and after surgery and physical therapy still was not able to keep working. The LUM Good Samaritan Program was able to help Freddie with rent and food assistance. She shared that “LUM saved me and my grandchildren from being hungry and losing our home.”


Trisha & James are a happily married, hard working couple with three teenage children. When Trisha had to quit her job because of debilitating back pain, their family was in financial crisis. LUM Good Samaritan Program helped with the paperwork to receive food assistance and Medicaid and helped pay two months of electric bills to prevent their service from being disconnected. Trisha shared, “It was emotionally and physically difficult to go to LUM, but once inside everyone was so helpful and nonjudgmental that we left feeling positive about our financial situation and had hope for the first time in weeks.”


Make Your Follies Reservation Online at www.lumserve.org/follies

A Prayer for Lafayette Urban Ministry


A Special Prayer for LUM’s 45th Anniversary

Two members of the LUM Dream Team have recently written A Prayer for LUM.

In celebration of the 45th anniversary of Lafayette Urban Ministry, Dr. Jim Davidson & Rev. Don Nead collaborated to write this prayer as a way of creating a meaningful reflection for the friends, volunteers, staff and supporters of LUM.

The prayer not only focuses on the Mission of LUM but also reconnects LUM with its long history of social justice including advocacy for public policy that supports and strengthens families.

We are grateful to Dr. Davidson & Rev. Nead for their wisdom and inspiration.
Please take the time to read the entire piece, A Prayer for LUM.


Read “A Prayer for LUM”

A Prayer for LUM


God abhors poverty, calls us to address its causes and consequences, and created the Lafayette Urban Ministry to help us pursue this goal. Therefore, I join my brothers and sisters in this prayer for LUM.


We pray for the wisdom and courage of Old Testament prophets such as Amos, Micah, Isaiah, and Jeremiah; the Son of God, Jesus Christ; and more recent role models such as Mandela, King, Gandhi, and Saint Teresa of Calcutta.

We pray that LUM’s efforts also reflect the social teachings of its member  churches, the leadership of its directors, and the faith of its benefactors,  board members, staff and volunteers.

We pray that LUM’s initiatives will be inspired by biblical concepts such as alms  giving, tithing, gleaning, jubilee, feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, turning one’s cheek, and turning over the tables in the temple.

We pray that LUM’s programs will address both symptoms and root causes, include both assistance and advocacy, involve both service and justice, and be both comforting and challenging.

We pray that LUM will speak the truth to power and will always give priority to  people over things, the needy over the self-sufficient, and the voiceless over the noisy.

We pray for each other: that we will aspire to do Your will, acknowledge our  limitations and failures, and ask for the grace to be Your faithful disciples.


Dr. James Davidson and Rev. Donald Nead
May 2017


BACKGROUND

Two members of the LUM Dream Team have recently written A Prayer for LUM.

In celebration of the 45th anniversary of Lafayette Urban Ministry, Dr. Jim Davidson & Rev. Don Nead wanted to create something meaningful reflection for the friends, volunteers, staff and supporters of LUM and decided on this prayer.

The prayer not only focuses on the Mission of LUM but also reconnects LUM with its long history of social justice including advocacy for public policy that supports and strengthens families.

We are grateful to Dr. Davidson & Rev. Nead for their wisdom and inspiration. Please take the time to read the entire piece, A Prayer for LUM.