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LUM’s Impact – So Far This Year – 2019

Each year, when we return from a successful Hunger Hike event, we realize that it’s October and time to focus on our fall & winter programs. The LUM staff members are already focused on Jubilee ChristmasPort of Hope, the Community Thanksgiving Celebration and the Turkey Trot 5K Run!

It is also a time to reflect on the positive impact that LUM has had on the families, children and individuals in our community. So far this year, 3,160 different low-income households have been served by Lafayette Urban Ministry. LUM has nurtured and educated children, sheltered families, fed the hungry, helped the homeless become self-sufficient, supported the legal immigrant — by giving HOPE & HELP to the often faceless and voiceless.

Here is a better snapshot of LUM’s impact to date:

All of this is due to the faithful work carried on every day and night by Lafayette Urban Ministry.

Thanks to your friendship and generous support, LUM continues to make our community a better place for all of its citizens. Please remember LUM through the remainder of 2019 by participating in one of our upcoming events, volunteering, or by giving a financial gift! God bless you for all you do that allows LUM to make a difference with the families in our community.

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UU Church Gift Benefits LUM Families

Saturday, May 25 – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.
Joe Micon, LUM executive director, and
Susanne McConville representing the Social Responsibility Committee at the Unitarian Universalist Church of Tippecanoe County

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Tippecanoe County donated clothes vouchers worth $540, redeemable at Goodwill Stores. The church received a $5 voucher for each bag of clothing donated to Goodwill from their annual Clothing Drive this past May.

These vouchers will be passed along to the neediest families in our community through the LUM Good Samaritan Program.

If you or your church or group would like to support the LUM Good Samaritan Program, please email or call Linda Hicks ( | 765-423-2691).

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Good Samaritan Fund

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?

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Emergency Shelter

LUM Immigration Legal Team share thoughts

Newly accredited representative, Aparna Puri shared,
“For most immigrants families the services of an immigration attorney are cost-prohibitive. With our help they can navigate the complex legal system to become documented and secure, which in the long run benefits families, communities and the economy.”
Adelia Sorge shared,
“I am enjoying working with the wonderful, resourceful and varied clients who come to the Immigration Clinic and the talented and supportive people who volunteer there. In addition, I feel I am contributing to making the United States a stronger and better country.”
Margaret Hass noted,
“Now that I’m accredited, I’m excited to be able to take on more responsibility to help people do things like reunite with their families, find humanitarian relief, or become US citizens. I’m also glad to be part of a diverse and committed team of volunteers that is working hard to expand the capacity of the Clinic and respond to community needs.”

73 Days to Fight Hunger at Hunger Hike 2019

Hunger Hike 2019 – Sunday, September 22
There’s only 73 DAYS to Hunger Hike .  Why not get started NOW?  Here’s what you need to know to begin raising money and “fighting hunger.”
Hunger Hike is an annual community fundraising event whose mission is to Raise Awareness & Make a Difference in the Fight Against Hunger — locally, regionally & globally.  Hunger Hike  (Official Kick-off & 3K Walk ) event details are as follows:
  • Sunday, September 22
  • Noon – Check-in; 1 p.m. – Kick-off event begins; 2 p.m. – hike starts
  • Riehle Plaza, 2nd Street, Lafayette
Hunger Hike is the perfect event for a team or group — church group, student organization, civic group or your family. Put together a Hunger Hike team and start raising money using our  online fundraising site  — or any way you choose. We hope you’ll consider joining our Fight against Hunger. Here’s how to get started:
|  REGISTER Online  | DONATE  | More Information —  |
If you run and/or own a business — you also may become a  Hunger Hike Event Sponsor . If interested, email  for more information.

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Hunger Hike

Summer is The Season for 5th Quarter

Summer 2019

“In the summer, the days were long, stretching into each other. Out of school, everything was on pause and yet happening at the same time, this collection of weeks when anything was possible.”

Dear Friend,

In her 2016 book, “The Rest of the Story,” author Sarah Dessen captures the spirit of summer precisely. It is that special season where everything is on pause, yet a time of possibility and promise. Here at Lafayette Urban Ministry, summer is the season for 5th Quarter.

The LUM 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program is an academic learning program that helps low-income children retain and grow their knowledge throughout the summer months when school is no longer in session.

According to the Measures of Academic Progress tests, summer learning loss is a serious reality. On average, children lose about a month of reading and math skills during their first summer vacation. During their second summer vacation, they lose three full months of skills in reading and math.

The LUM 5th Quarter program offers low-income children the chance to catch up. The program is in session every day throughout the summer months at the LUM Ray Ewry Youth Center. This summer, 45 children are enrolled.

Each day begins with a nutritious snack, recreational reading and a fun gathering session for our students, teachers and volunteers. Then it is on to learning in math, science, and social studies. Each of these subjects is taught through a combination of classroom and online study. There are weekly field trips to the public library, Purdue University, and to other locations where our students see and experience new things.

Pre and post testing indicates that the LUM 5th Quarter students retain more of the knowledge they learned in school and are better-prepared to enter the next grade level in August, when compared to a control group of children who did not participate in our program! I am so pleased with the quality of the LUM 5th Quarter Program. I am encouraged by the positive feedback we have received from the children’s parents and classroom teachers. More than anything else, I am proud of the progress of our 5th Quarter students.

It is costing LUM $28,000 to operate 5th Quarter this summer. Included in this amount are four teachers, our online learning expenses, program supplies, snacks, and transportation for field trips.

Parents who can afford to contribute to the cost of their child’s participation in 5th Quarter, even minimally, are expected to do so. But almost one-third of the children enrolled are provided full summer scholarships. I am hoping you will join me in offsetting these costs.

Please, won’t you consider a generous gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1000 or more to 5th Quarter? Your support will help LUM continue to offer this remarkable program that has proven so effective in advancing the academic progress of low-income children in our community.

The LUM 5th Quarter is in session for ten weeks this summer, from late May through early August. Please help us to make these a collection of weeks where, in the words of author Sarah Dessen, “anything is possible.” Join me in sharing a generous gift to the 2019 LUM 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program.

P.S. Mail or drop off your check to the LUM Office, or give online at

Thank you!

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5th Quarter Summer Learning Program

Two Unique Experiences Benefited LUM

Thanks to East End Grill & the Samara House Trust

Two local events, offering one-of-a-kind, unique experiences, benefited the LUM Good Samaritan Fund, an emergency financial assistance program for local families.

East End Grill hosted a Dining & Wine Experience, which included an incredible four-course meal with wine pairing. This event raised $1,000. (Pictured above.)

The second event was the Samara Experience, which was an intimate tour of the John and Catherine Christian House (Frank Lloyd Wright home) and closed with a lovely reception. This event raised $540. (Pictured above.)

Special thanks to the following…
  • LUM Board Members: Alee Gunderson, Joan Low & Cheryl Fowler (pictured to right)
  • LUM Member Churches: The Church of the Blessed Sacrament & Unitarian Universalist Church of Tippecanoe County
  • Our sponsors: East End Grill & the Samara Trust
  • All who participated in the Dining & Wine and Samara Experiences

One hundred percent of the money raised at these two events ($1,540) will assist local children and families in financial crisis. If you wish to support the LUM Good Samaritan Program, please make a donation the LUM Good Samaritan Fund.

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Good Samaritan Fund

“Never Again Is Now” Rally – Powerful Event

LUM Immigration Clinic Participates in Rally

Last Sunday, the LUM Immigration Clinic staff members attended and participated in the “Never Again Is Now Rally” organized by the Interfaith Leaders of Greater Lafayette.

ILGL members planned the rally at St. John’s Episcopal Church, stating that the members are “horrified at the conditions in the detention centers on our borders, wherein children are abused, denied medicine, refused soap and toiletries, and are forced to sleep in freezing temperatures on concrete floors. This dehumanization is immoral!”

Lafayette Urban Ministry was one of the event sponsors, and the Rev. Susan Brouillette, the LUM Immigration Clinic director, was an invited speaker (pictured above). Other speakers included the Rabbi Michael Harvey from Temple Israel representing the Interfaith Leaders of Greater Lafayette, Purdue Professor Jay McCann representing the Greater Lafayette Immigrant Allies and Annabel Prokopy, 10th grade student at West Lafayette High School (and daughter of LUM program director, Josh Prokopy). Each speaker was well received, and the rally drew more than 300 participants and local media. The overarching message throughout the rally was that,

“Our community will not stand for these violations of human rights.”

For more information, please email

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Immigration Clinic

LUM Students Visit Prophetstown State Park

LUM 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program

Last week, the students enrolled in the LUM 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program took a trip to Prophetstown State Park in West Lafayette. During their visit they hiked through the park exploring the fens, prairie and open woodlands; and learned about prairie grass, and Native American culture.

They also participated in the Silly Safari Program at the Tippecanoe County Library and met some animals including mammals, amphibians, reptiles, birds, bugs and more.

At least once a week, the LUM students go on an excursion, locally, to continue their summer learning (zoo, library, museum, firehouse) and for recreation (swimming, bowling, local park, hiking). If you wish to support the LUM 5th Quarter Summer Learning Program — you may make a monetary donation, sponsor a study/recreation trip, volunteer, and/or donate snacks and supplies. For more information, click HERE or email Kristi Hogue at

{To view more Prophetstown photos, click HERE.}

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5th Quarter Summer Learning Program

UU Church Clothes Drive Benefits LUM Clients

Saturday, May 25 – 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

The Unitarian Universalist Church of Tippecanoe County (333 Meridian St., West Lafayette) will hold their annual Goodwill Clothing Drive on Saturday, May 25, from 10 a.m. – 2 p.m. It’s as easy as 1-2-3.

  1. Clean out your closets
  2. Bring your clothes to the Unitarian Universalist Church
  3. Support Local Families through LUM

UU Church will receive a $5 voucher from Goodwill for each bag of clothing donated. These vouchers will be passed along to LUM to assist our neediest families. Let your spring cleaning be a Win-Win and help local children & families.

For more information, click HERE.