Tag 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. 

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?

Make a Donation Button
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.

Make a Donation Button
Immigration Clinic

A Letter from Executive Director, Wes Tillett

The Importance of the LUM Immigration Clinic

I try to “climb inside the skin” of the immigrants we serve at Lafayette Urban Ministry. I try to imagine things like suffering under an abusive spouse in the midst of a volatile nation, making an arduous and often dangerous journey to the United States, attempting to connect in a culture and language unfamiliar to me, all while my legal status hangs in the balance as I navigate the bureaucracy of the US immigration system. It is emotionally taxing to think about. But this is the real situation of many of the clients served by the LUM Immigration Clinic

Clients have left their countries of origin to pursue a brighter, safer future in the United States. Oftentimes their immigration is prompted by difficulties such as domestic violence, persecution, civil unrest, and poverty. Other times their immigration is prompted by a desire to reconnect with a spouse or children, or to pursue a degree or career.

“You never really understand another person
Until you consider things from their point of view;
Until you climb inside of their skin and walk around in it.”

Harper Lee, To Kill A Mockingbird

The LUM Immigration Clinic exists to help these individuals successfully navigate all the red tape of the US immigration system, providing hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of certified legal assistance to those who could not afford it otherwise. The LUM Immigration Clinic is recognized by the U.S. Department of Justice and the legal team is composed of U.S. Department of Justice accredited representatives and attorneys. Established in 2014, the LUM Immigration Clinic is the only program of its kind in Tippecanoe County and the surrounding eight-county area. 

As I attempt to imagine what it is like to be an immigrant in the USA, the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s words ring true to me: “We may have all come on different ships, but we’re all in the same boat now.” My family and I (pictured above) are proud of the LUM Immigration Clinic as it encourages us to have a posture of “xenophilia” (love of the stranger) instead of “xenophobia” (fear of the stranger). We are grateful it enables all of us in this “same boat” to row together toward the bright shore of a better future. 

Make a Donation Button
Immigration Clinic

Meet the LUM Immigration Clinic Team

Providing Immigration Advice & Assistance

The LUM Immigration Clinic depends on a team of highly skilled, trained & accredited volunteers. Led by the LUM Immigration Clinic director, Christian Gallo (paid staff), the volunteer team members are as follows:

  • Volunteer Attorneys: Matthew Salsberry, Thomas Busch, & Erin Brewster 
  • Accredited Representatives: Adelia Sorge, Susan Brouillette, Aparna Puri, Margaret Hass, Sharon Graves, Mary Tindel, & Beata Riveiro
  • Candidates for Accreditation: Gary Fowler & C. Vincent-Rodas
  • Program Volunteers: Maddie Prospero, Yanina Gomez Szyszko, & Weijing Li
  • Intern: Olivia Bangert

LUM volunteer attorneys, accredited representatives, program volunteers and intern are providing immigration advice, filling out immigration forms, and drafting legal documents for cases. During the LUM Summer of Service, please join us in thanking each LUM Immigration Clinic volunteer for their time, talent, compassion and experience — and for providing a unique & vital service to our community. If you wish to volunteer with the LUM Immigration Clinic, email Christian Gallo at immigration@LUMserve.org.

Immigration Clinic Awarded Two Gifts

$13,000 Donated to LUM Immigration Clinic

The LUM Immigration Clinic has recently received two gifts totaling $13,000 to support the operating budget.

The first gift came from the Catholic Diocese of Lafayette-in-Indiana. The Diocese donated $10,000 to the LUM Immigration Clinic to be used to support the operating budget in 2022.

Special thanks to Bishop Timothy Doherty and the entire Diocese for their continued support of the good work from the LUM Immigration Clinic and the annual Port of Hope fundraising event.

The second gift came from the Indiana Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs. LUM applied for a grant and was awarded $3,000. The grant will be applied towards the current fiscal year’s budget of the LUM Immigration Clinic.

The Indiana Commission on Hispanic/Latino Affairs is a non-partisan state agency working toward economic, educational, and social equality, including promoting cooperation and understanding. ICHLA identifies, measures and reviews programs, supports legislation and researches challenges and opportunities affecting the Hispanic & Latino community. ICHLA identifies solutions and provides recommendations to the governor and legislature.

LUM is grateful for the work of ICHLA and their support of the LUM Immigration Clinic.

Make a Donation Button
Immigration Clinic

LUM Approved by US Department of Justice

Immigration Clinic – One of 20 DOJ Agencies

Did you know that the LUM Immigration Clinic is supported by three volunteer attorneys, seven volunteer accredited representatives, and two additional volunteers who are in the process of becoming accredited representatives?

To practice immigration law, a person must either be an attorney or a US Department of Justice accredited representative and must be employed or volunteer with one of the 20 DOJ Recognized nonprofit organizations, like LUM.

Volunteers applying for accreditation must take at least 40 hours of classroom training and 40 hours of practical training to become authorized immigration law practitioners. When making a determination about an application for accreditation, the DOJ also takes a holistic look at each individual, including their honesty, trustworthiness, diligence, professionalism, and reliability as well as their immigration status and criminal record.

All of this makes the legal services the LUM Immigration Clinic is able to offer through volunteer attorneys and volunteer accredited representatives even more remarkable. Over the past seven years, LUM has saved vulnerable immigrants hundreds of thousands of dollars through the Immigration Clinic volunteers’ immigration advice, filling out immigration forms, and drafting legal documents for a cases. 

Please support the LUM Immigration Clinic with a financial contribution and help LUM care for and love the sojourners in our community (Lev 19:33-34).

Make a Donation Button
Immigration Clinic

Meet Christian – New Immigration Clinic Director

Christian Gallo, JD – LUM Immigration Clinic Director

Christian Gallo is the new director of the LUM Immigration Clinic. He grew up in Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina and now lives in Lafayette with his three children. Christian earned his baccalaureate degree from Colegio Champagnat, Master in Laws degree from Indiana University, and JD from Universidad Católica Argentina (Buenos Aires). He has been a member of the Ciudad de Buenos Aires Bar since 1995 and Indiana Commission on Hispanic and Latino Affairs for more than 10 years. Christian is fluent in four languages (English, Spanish, Portuguese, and Italian) as well as speaking basic French.

Christian was drawn to LUM because he enjoys helping and advocating for others. He shared that, “Helping people in need is true love to others and God; thus, it becomes goodness for them. We are instruments of God in his salvation plan.” This Bible passage from the Book of 2 Chronicles also guides him in his work, “But as for you, be strong and do not slack off, for there shall be a reward for what you do.

Christian considers himself an advocate for those in need and is inspired by two quotes. The first is a quote by Socrates, published by Plato, “It is better to suffer an injustice than to commit one.” And the second is from a soliloquy by Cyrano de Bergerac written by Edmond Rostand, “But one cannot fight hoping only for success! No! No: it’s still more sweet if it’s all in vain!” Both remind him that we must act against injustice, strive to be just to others, and know that the work of social justice is never done.

Christian enjoys being with his family and coaching soccer and rugby. In 2007, he was the coach of the Purdue Women’s Rugby team. He is passionate about his work and looks forward to joining the LUM team. He is genuinely impressed with the work being done at LUM, especially with the LUM Immigration Clinic, and plans on building on that success. Please join us in welcoming Christian Gallo to LUM as the new LUM Immigration Clinic director.

Make a Donation Button
Immigration Clinic