Tag Archives: homeless

LUM Board Honors Franciscan Health

25 Year Gift of Linens to the LUM Shelter

The Board of Directors of the Lafayette Urban Ministry recently honored Franciscan Health for the hospital’s annual donation of 12,000 sets of sheets, blankets and pillowcases to the Lafayette Urban Ministry Emergency Shelter for the homeless. The hospital has been providing clean linens for the homeless for 25 years.

Sister Petra Nielsen, Vice President Administrative Services & Rick Bremer, Director of Environmental Services, attended the meeting to accept the recognition and commemorative plaque on behalf of Franciscan Health. The total value of the in-kind donation to LUM is approximately $250,000 (an estimated in-kind value of about $10,000 per year).

Joe Micon, LUM executive director stated, “It’s one of those common things that nobody thinks too much about. But if you’re going to provide the homeless with a place to sleep, you have to make sure that place is clean and warm. Our partnership with Franciscan Health has been a real Godsend. We just wanted a chance to say ‘thank you’ publicly and felt the community should know about their generosity.”

Each Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, the laundry service from Franciscan Health drops off clean sheets to the LUM Emergency Shelter and takes the used sheets to be cleaned. “It’s been happening routinely for 25 years,” says Micon. “We want to be careful not to take this tremendous gift for granted. I can’t imagine what we would do if Franciscan Health wasn’t willing to step up to plate in this way.”

{Pictured L to R: Joe Micon, LUM executive director, Sister Petra Nielsen, Rick Bremer and Mark Thomas, LUM Board president.}

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LUM Emergency Shelter – Rickie’s Story

“Now his elder son was in the field; and when he came and approached the house, he heard music and dancing. He called one of the servants and asked what was going on.  The servant replied, ‘Your brother has come home and your father has killed the fatted calf, because he has got him back safe and sound.’ Your father celebrates and rejoices, because this brother of yours was dead and has come to life; he was lost and has been found.’” Luke 15: 25-32

September 2017

Dear Friend,

After two decades of failed relationships, lost jobs, substance abuse and living homeless on the streets, 41 year old Rickie Davis thought things couldn’t get worse. Then one night, while sleeping in a local park, his backpack was stolen – along with his wallet and photo ID.

In an instant, Rickie became a faceless person, alone in the world — and afraid.

When he came to the Lafayette Urban Ministry that day, Rickie was immediately welcomed into our emergency shelter. He was offered a nourishing meal and a comfortable bed with clean linens. In the coming days, Rickie worked with a LUM staff member to secure a new photo ID. He felt safe, valued and respected for the first time in a long time.

Then, two weeks after first coming to LUM, he finally opened up about his father.

As you can imagine, that relationship was strained by years of Rickie’s poor choices, angry words and harmful pride. But with a courage and humility that was surely influenced by God’s Grace, Rickie agreed to call his father and ask for permission to return home.

Just as in the parable of the Prodigal Son, Rickie’s father showed compassion and agreed to welcome him back. Then LUM purchased his ticket and placed Rickie on the next departing Greyhound bus for home.

  • Last year, 765 individuals came to the LUM emergency shelter. Each stayed an average of 13 nights –  8,407 overnight stays. And while not every one of our guests was able to be reconnected with friends or family, LUM was able to help 29 of them do so.
  • Many other guests were helped to leave the shelter after successful job searches.
  • One-hundred and twenty-five shelter guests attended AA meetings held on site at LUM’s shelter.
  • Twelve individuals successfully saved enough money during their stay, matched by LUM, to leave our shelter for an apartment of their own.

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.

I hope you are as excited as I am about the positive changes we are helping to make possible in the lives of those we serve. The 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 that enable our homeless guests to live more independent, self-sufficient lives.

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

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

As I write this letter, Rickie Davis is on a Greyhound bus headed for home. Before boarding, he was informed by his father that a family friend had even secured a job for him at a local manufacturing plant. Thanks to your generous support of LUM’s emergency shelter programs, Rickie will step off that bus with the opportunity to reconcile and start a new life.

Please, won’t you allow LUM to provide that opportunity to others as well? Join me in making a generous financial gift today.

P.S.  Place your check in an envelope and mail it or drop it off, or give online at www.lumserve.org. Thank you!

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LUM Emergency Shelter – A Year of Change

September 2016

2015-08-24 525 009 (2) (1024x1024)A year ago, the Lafayette Urban Ministry completed a major evaluation of our homeless
shelter ministry.

We found that many of our guests are addicted to drugs or alcohol and have burned bridges with family and friends.  Some struggle with mental illness which prevents them from holding a job or leasing an apartment. Some of our guests are victims of domestic abuse.  We identified shelter guests recently released from prison who, when searching for work, were routinely passed over by prospective employers.  Still others with chronic illness or physical disability are without the means to care for themselves.

While appreciative of LUM’s overnight shelter, our guests were desperately in need of greater help to get off the street and out of our shelter as quickly as possible.

So as a result of our evaluation, the Lafayette Urban Ministry has implemented several changes to our program aimed at better serving our homeless guests.  Among the changes:

  • LUM staff members now meet each day with each guest of our shelter.  We work together with our guests to develop a plan to help each individual move off the streets and out of our shelter. We suggest daily activities to help that guest meet their housing goal and daily review their progress.  Shelter guests know that LUM isn’t just a place to stay at night, but a place that is actively engaged in helping them to move on to something better during the day.
  • aameetingNightly Alcoholics Anonymous meetings are now offered at the LUM shelter.  The meetings are run by leaders in our local AA community who have a special commitment to supporting homeless individuals in their recovery from alcohol addiction.  As many as 10 shelter guests participate in LUM’s AA meeting on any given night.
  • We have redoubled our efforts to reconnect certain guests with the support of family and friends and have shown positive results.
  • We have provided matching grants to homeless individuals receiving public assistance or employment income as an incentive to help them move more quickly from our shelter into a home of their own.
  • We now offer a Winter Warming Station between November 15 and April 15 to ensure added protection against the elements for homeless individuals. Last winter, 162 different individuals used the LUM warming station a combined 629 times.
  • We have made a significant investment in security personnel and equipment at the LUM shelter to guarantee the continued safety of our guests, volunteers and staff.

In the past year, LUM has served 622 homeless individuals in our shelter.  They stayed with us a combined 8,232 overnights.  As a result of the new changes at the shelter, LUM has seen an increase in the number of shelter guests leaving our facility for a home of their own, along with a corresponding decrease in the number of days our shelter is needed to be used by our guests.  Over the past 12 months, the average stay of a LUM shelter guest has dropped from 18 to 13 nights.

I hope you are as excited as I am at the changes that have been made and by the positive impact those changes are having in the lives of those we serve.  The Lafayette Urban Ministry is providing more than just a well-run, safe and secure shelter for homeless individuals.  We are helping with the tools our guests need to move off the streets of Lafayette, and into a home of their own.  

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

Your gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, or $1,000 will help to keep LUM’s shelter open and staffed and will help us to provide our homeless guests with the support they need to leave our shelter for a home of their own.  

Perhaps you’ve contributed to the LUM shelter by serving as an overnight volunteer or volunteer meal provider.  Perhaps you’ve been supportive through your prayers and words of encouragement.  My hope now is that you will join me in supporting LUM’s shelter program with a generous financial gift as well.

PS – Place your check in the mail or drop it off in our office today. Or, you may give online, click HERE.

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Emergency Shelter

2015-08-24 525 001 (1280x721)

Little Inspirations of Giving


Each birthday, Anna (8) & Emily (6) Foerg have asked their friends to bring food to their parties instead of birthday gifts. Pictured right is Emily with her donation of food items for the St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry. Such amazing kids—so giving. Thanks, Anna & Emily!


The Battle Ground Bible Church Women’s Ministries collected much needed items for the LUM emergency shelter. Leanne and her boys (Christopher 10, Matthew 8, and Michael 6) delivered the donation to LUM. Thanks, Christopher, Matthew & Michael — and the Battle Ground Bible Church Women’s Ministries!

30th Anniversary of the LUM Shelter

September 2014

Dear Friend,

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the opening of the Lafayette Urban Ministry Emergency Shelter for the homeless.  Started as a joint effort between St. Thomas Aquinas Center and LUM, the shelter’s first location was on the second floor of the old Reifer Parsonage at Central Presbyterian Church.  We started with seven beds.

St. Thomas Aquinas Center
St. Thomas Aquinas Center

In 1987 we moved to the old Franciscan Convent at St. Boniface Church – 22 beds. And in 1995 we moved into the shelter’s current 42 bed location on North Fourth Street in downtown Lafayette.

For each of those years, our shelter has been a place of warmth and safety for those in our community who have nowhere else to turn – a place whose doors are always open.

First LUM Shelter (1984-1987)
First LUM Shelter (1984-1987)

And since 1984, more than 10,000 different individuals have been our guests at the shelter a combined total of 200,000 times!

Some of those guests have lost their jobs and been evicted from their homes. Some are estranged from family because of mental illness or addiction.  Others have been temporarily stranded in our community due to breakdowns or mishaps during travel.

Each is valued in God’s eyes.  And at LUM, each is extended Christ’s hospitality and compassion.

But over the years, we have become more than just a well-run emergency shelter. Our primary focus is to help the homeless move off the street, out of our shelter and into a home of their own.  We have helped literally thousands of homeless men and women to make a fresh start.

  • Like the woman who was dumped by her abusive boyfriend into a snow bank in our parking lot. We provided her a safe place that night and in the morning a bus ticket to return home to her parents.
  • Or the homeless vet who stayed with us while he was being connected to VA health services and enrolled as a resident at the Indiana Veterans Home.
  • Or the twenty guests each week that receive job coaching at LUM. A full one-third of our homeless guests are employed, staying with us until their first paycheck arrives and they can move into a home of their own.
  • Or the Purdue PhD graduate whose mental illness worsened after she lost her university-sponsored mental health care and prescription drug benefits.  She stayed at the LUM shelter until we were able to connect her with a new psychiatrist and therapist.  She found a job and moved into an apartment.

It is not easy work.  And not every story is a success story.  But for 30 years, we have been absolutely committed to helping our homeless neighbors move on to more productive, self-sufficient lives.

Second LUM Shelter (1987-1995)
Second LUM Shelter (1987-1995)

I hope you will join me in supporting this important work with your dollars…

  • $250 will operate our shelter for one day.
  • $100 cover the costs of our case management services for one day.
  • $50 will provide food, drink, and personal grooming items for our 280 overnight guests each week.
  • A gift of $1,000 will pay the shelter’s heat, water and electric bills for one month.
  • $500 will cover our shelter’s monthly maintenance, repair and fire protection costs.

Your gift to the LUM emergency shelter program will celebrate thirty years of serving the homeless with dignity and compassion.  It will keep our doors open in the here and now, help our guests to become more self-sufficient – and it will assure that this important work continues into the future.

As we search for new ways to reunite our guests with the support of family and friends, help equip them for employment in a shifting economy and search for better avenues for mental health and addiction services, your help is needed more than ever.

Current LUM Shelter (1995-present)
Current LUM Shelter (1995-present)

Perhaps you’ve been part of this remarkable effort by serving as a volunteer case manager, overnight shelter volunteer or volunteer meal provider.  Perhaps you’ve been supportive through your prayers or words of encouragement. My hope is that you will join me now in supporting the LUM shelter program with a generous financial gift.

Place mail your check in or give online at www.lumserve.org.

Joe Micon Signature
Joe Micon
Executive Director
Lafayette Urban Ministry

P.S. — Help us to celebrate 30 years of shelter ministry at LUM. Your gift of $50, $100, $250, $500 or $1,000 will allow us to help the homeless in our community move off the streets, out of our shelter and into a home of their own.  Please, may we hear from you today? Give online at www.lumserve.org.

Join LUM online and help us serve children and families even better.