Tag Archives: Mission Moment

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

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

Mission Moment — Meet Carmen


Carmen was recently honored by the LUM Board of Directors and given a small token to show their appreciation for her volunteer work with LUM.


CarmenBoardMeeting

{Pictured above L to R: Joe Micon, LUM executive director; Deb Parent, member, LUM Board of Directors; Carmen; and Cindy Haley, LUM After School program director.}


Carmen’s life changed during the final months of her high school career. She was scheduled to finish high school early and was directly enlisted into the U.S. Marine Corps. On the morning of February 4, 2006 though, her life’s path took a sharp turn.

On the way home from getting her hair done for her high school’s Valentine’s Day Dance, she was in a serious car accident. When Carmen awoke from a coma a month later on March 6, 2006, her doctors gave her little hope of walking again. She went through intensive physical therapy to learn how to talk, eat and eventually walk again. Living with her parents and her brother who also needed physical therapy due to a disability, Carmen was able to make significant progress while assisting her parents and caring for her brother.

After some time, Carmen was not feeling productive enough and found a job in housekeeping at a local hospital and moved into an apartment of her own. Unfortunately, she wasn’t able to keep her job after only three months; and without this income, Carmen soon lost her apartment and for a short time was sleeping in her storage unit.


She then found LUM.

Carmen became a guest in the LUM Emergency Shelter and was meeting regularly with the LUM staff to find a pathway to more permanent housing and employment. She was able to get disability benefits and found a part-time job. Carmen then found housing in Fowler House. Carmen was also seeking a companion. After two abusive relationships, Carmen met Joseph. Carmen and Joseph hit it off immediately and were married a year later.


carmenCarmen was appreciative of the emergency housing and counsel she received from LUM. So much so that once she found permanent housing again she was determined to give something back to LUM as a volunteer.

After a brief discussion with LUM staff, Carmen offered to clean the LUM Youth Center three days a week as a volunteer — and has been doing so for since last summer. Recently, she secured a part-time job that provides her with just enough hours (13.75 per week) without compromising her right to critical disability income.


When asked  what she would like people to learn from her story, she requested this line to be included:

“I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me” Philippians 4:13

This is the first scripture her father read to her when she woke up from her coma on March 6, 2006.


Through her faith, hard work and determination, Carmen has turned her life around. She is happily married and works part-time at a local coffee shop — and still continues to clean the LUM Youth Center. Carmen often shares,

“I am God’s dairy maid. I’m bringing you the cheese!”

Carmen is a remarkable person and a wonderful example of how important the LUM Emergency Shelter is for individuals in our community – and how it is equally important to be persistent, positive, hardworking and faithful.

Carmen praises God daily for the gifts He has given her to share.


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Emergency Shelter

LUM Follies Supports Local Individuals


LUM Client Corner — Meet Jaron — LUM Follies Mission Moment

Meet Jaron Lintner, a LUM Good Samaritan 2016-04-12 JaronLintner 008 (2) (1278x1280)Fund client.

Jaron grew up and lives in Lafayette. Today, he is in a very good place. Jaron has a new job; his health is stable; he is living on his own; and has a better relationship

One year ago though he did not have a place to live was unemployed, and did not have contact with his family. For the past year, Jaron has been working hard to get his life on track again. After a brief time in the LUM Emergency Shelter, he started a job in food service and found a roommate. Although this was a positive step forward — it was not ideal.

Once Jaron secured a new job a month ago, he could afford to rent a house for himself. But he could not afford the fees associated with getting out of his current lease with his roommate and paying the security deposit for his new home. Fortunately he was able to get financial support for his housing from the LUM Good Samaritan Program.

Jaron shared that without the assistance from the LUM Good Samaritan Program he would not have been able to move forward with his new home. Clarinda Crawford, the LUM Good Samaritan Program director, was also helpful in connecting him to other resources for his additional housing expenses, food & furniture for his new place. Jaron stated that he was taught by his pastor years ago that when others help you, it is “God loving you through them — through their support and kindness.” Without the assistance of the LUM Good Samaritan Program, he would have had a setback in his journey for a better life.


Attending LUM Follies on Friday will directly
support local individuals
like Jaron.


Please attend LUM Follies & support the LUM Good Samaritan Fund. If you are unable to attend and wish to make a donation directly to the Good Samaritan Fund, click HERE.


Ad - make reservation


You are cordially invited to attend the 5th Annual LUM Good Samaritan Fund Follies on Friday, April 15. The LUM Good Samaritan Fund Follies is a spectacular evening filled with great food, lively entertainment, wonderful company — and for an important cause.

Please join us and make your reservations today — it would be our honor. LUM Follies’ details and schedule are as follows:

  • DATE – Friday, April 15, 2016
  • PLACE – St. Andrew United Methodist Church, West Lafayette, Indiana
  • PRICE – $45 per person; $360 per table (max. 8)
  • TIMES 
    • 5:30 p.m. — Reception & Silent Auction
    • 6:30 p.m. — Dinner (see Menu below)
    • 7:30 p.m. — Follies Entertainment

All of the proceeds from the LUM Good Samaritan Fund Follies go directly to the LUM Good Samaritan Fund. The Good Samaritan Fund primarily funds the LUM Good Samaritan Program, which is our community’s social safety net. Assistance is provided each weekday morning in averting eviction, utility disconnects, food shortage, and other emergency financial needs. Last year, 2,276 local families received $128,165 in emergency financial assistance from the LUM Good Samaritan Fund.

The LUM Good Samaritan Fund is such a vital assistance program for the families in our communities. Please support the Good Samaritan Fund by attending this year’s Follies. And Thank You!


Menu:

  • Starter — Wedge salad and Crusty bread
  • Main
    • Chicken cacciatore with polenta, green beans -or-
    • Savory nut loaf with cranberry orange sauce, green beans (vegetarian)
  • Dessert — Carrot cake or Coconut cake with ice cream; Coffee & tea

Talent:

  • Brad Bodine — guitar — St. Thomas Aquinas
  • Robert Poynter — roving magician — St. Mary Cathedral
  • Eileen Weiss — singer — Elk Grove Village, Illinois
  • Linda Hicks & the Riff-Tides — jazz combo
  • His In Song — trio — First United Methodist Church
  • Kelly Jacobs & Mark Buche — duet — Cathedral of St. Mary
  • Indiana State Representative Sheila Klinker
  • Fred Koning — singer — Cathedral of St. Mary
  • The Magic of Marcus Lehmann
  • Joe Peters & Linda Hicks — duet — University Church
  • Work in Progress — bluegrass — St. Andrew United Methodist Church

follies event link FolliesOnlineRegistration  FolliesFBpage  FolliesGSF


Make your Reservations TODAY!
Start the Follies Reservation process NOW, click HERE.

If you aren’t able to attend the “Follies” but still wish to make a donation to the LUM Good Samaritan Fund — click:

Make a Donation Button
Good Samaritan Fund

Volunteer

If you or your group would like to volunteer with Follies, click HERE to sign up.


Photos

Check out the photos from the 2015 LUM Good Samaritan Fund Follies:

Check out all of the photos from the LUM Good Samaritan Fund Follies:

| 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 ALL |


View a sampler VIDEO of the LUM Follies’ performers

 


LUM Follies Supports Local Families Like Gwen’s


LUM Client Corner — Meet Gwen Brown Driver

2016-03-31 GSP Client - Gwen Brown Driver 009 (2) (1280x1280)

Meet Gwen Brown Driver, a LUM client from Lafayette.

Gwen is a single mom who lived with her mother and her daughter, Chanel. When her mother unexpectedly passed away last summer, things changed for Gwen & Chanel.

In order to move forward, Gwen soon discovered that she needed to get a new Birth Certificate. Her current birth certificate does not include her first name because her parents did not name her until a later time. This has created problems for Gwen in a few situations. Gwen has a fixed income and is on a tight budget; so, when faced with dealing with this process and paying the fees — she was overwhelmed and needed assistance.


2016-03-31 GSP Client - Gwen Brown Driver 007 (2) (1280x854)After searching on the internet for local resources, Gwen found and turned to the LUM Good Samaritan Program & ID Clinic. LUM staff helped Gwen get a new birth certificate with her first name included, a new Social Security card with her full name and finally an Indiana Driver’s License. The entire process took over seven months and included a number of fees. LUM assisted with the process, covered the ID fees, and even helped get some items for her food pantry at home through the St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry.

Without the assistance of the LUM Good Samaritan Program, Gwen would not have been able to get this accomplished as quickly — and would have had to cut her food budget for her and her daughter — and all at a time when she is grieving the death of her mother.

Gwen shared that Rev. Clarinda Crawford, LUM Good Samaritan Program director, has been a blessing to her and her family — and is thankful that such a wonderful and important program exists in her community.


Attending LUM Follies next Friday will directly support families like Gwen’s.

Please attend LUM Follies & support the LUM Good Samaritan Fund. If you are unable to attend and wish to make a donation directly to the Good Samaritan Fund, click HERE.


Ad - make reservation


You are cordially invited to attend the 5th Annual LUM Good Samaritan Fund Follies on Friday, April 15. The LUM Good Samaritan Fund Follies is a spectacular evening filled with great food, lively entertainment, wonderful company — and for an important cause.

Please join us and make your reservations today — it would be our honor. LUM Follies’ details and schedule are as follows:

  • DATE – Friday, April 15, 2016
  • PLACE – St. Andrew United Methodist Church, West Lafayette, Indiana
  • PRICE – $45 per person; $360 per table (max. 8)
  • TIMES 
    • 5:30 p.m. — Reception & Silent Auction
    • 6:30 p.m. — Dinner (see Menu below)
    • 7:30 p.m. — Follies Entertainment

All of the proceeds from the LUM Good Samaritan Fund Follies go directly to the LUM Good Samaritan Fund. The Good Samaritan Fund primarily funds the LUM Good Samaritan Program, which is our community’s social safety net. Assistance is provided each weekday morning in averting eviction, utility disconnects, food shortage, and other emergency financial needs. Last year, 2,276 local families received $128,165 in emergency financial assistance from the LUM Good Samaritan Fund.

The LUM Good Samaritan Fund is such a vital assistance program for the families in our communities. Please support the Good Samaritan Fund by attending this year’s Follies. And Thank You!


Menu:

  • Starter — Wedge salad and Crusty bread
  • Main
    • Chicken cacciatore with polenta, green beans -or-
    • Savory nut loaf with cranberry orange sauce, green beans (vegetarian)
  • Dessert — Carrot cake or Coconut cake with ice cream; Coffee & tea

Talent:

  • Brad Bodine — guitar — St. Thomas Aquinas
  • Linda Hicks & the Riff-Tides — jazz combo
  • His In Song — trio — First United Methodist Church
  • Kelly Jacobs & Mark Buche — duet — Cathedral of St. Mary
  • Indiana State Representative Sheila Klinker
  • Fred Koning — singer — Cathedral of St. Mary
  • The Magic of Marcus Lehmann
  • Joe Peters & Linda Hicks — duet — University Church
  • Work in Progress — bluegrass — St. Andrew United Methodist Church

follies event link FolliesOnlineRegistration  FolliesFBpage  FolliesGSF


Make your Reservations TODAY!
Start the Follies Reservation process NOW, click HERE.

If you aren’t able to attend the “Follies” but still wish to make a donation to the LUM Good Samaritan Fund — click:

Make a Donation Button
Good Samaritan Fund

Volunteer

If you or your group would like to volunteer with Follies, click HERE to sign up.


Photos

Check out the photos from the 2015 LUM Good Samaritan Fund Follies:

Check out all of the photos from the LUM Good Samaritan Fund Follies:

| 2012 | 2013 | 2014 | 2015 ALL |


View a sampler VIDEO of the LUM Follies’ performers

 


Mission Moment — The Tax Man


 Dr. Schwarz — “Hooked on LUM”


schwarz_lee_2010The LUM Tax Assistance Program’s success is due to the quality and passion of our volunteers. One such volunteer is Dr. Leroy “Lee” Schwarz, who is the Louis A. Weil, Jr., Professor of Management, Krannert School of Management, Purdue University. Three years ago, Lee was listening to a local public radio interview when the LUM coordinator for the Tax Assistance Program described the many volunteer opportunities during tax season. He decided that very day to answer the call.

“I was looking for a meaningful way to use my expertise and talents to serve the community,” Professor Schwarz said.

Once Lee met with the LUM coordinator, he realized this was “serious business”. Each volunteer tax preparer must pass one or more tests in order to become certified by the IRS. He was given a thick (2.5 inches) packet and went to work. Lee thinks the IRS certification exams are “tough and tricky” in parts; but he became certified and started working with clients exactly three years ago. He was impressed with how professional and organized the service is. “I was inspired by veteran volunteers like Ann Pelletier and Andrea Schmidt,” Professor Schwarz said.

“I went into this program thinking that I wanted to ‘give’ but wound up getting back so much more than the little bit I gave.”

There were several things Lee learned about the community, LUM, tax preparation, and himself during this process. Some of those are as follows:

  • LUM offers a unique service because of how this program complements other LUM programs like the Good Samaritan Program, Case Management, and the Emergency Shelter
  • LUM volunteers become experts in the specific IRS tax credit allowances that only apply to low income like the “Earned Income Credit”
  • LUM tax volunteers give their clients personal one-on-one counseling and spend as much time as needed to complete the tax return
  • Most individuals and families who use the LUM tax assistance program need their tax return money for necessities like rent, food, work clothes, and car payments and not luxuries
  • Lastly, he realized that the LUM tax assistance program is not providing for luxuries but rather is providing basic sustenance

Lee particularly enjoys being a LUM tax volunteer because of the joy and fulfillment it gives him.

“The LUM tax assistance team is serious about the work, but we have fun too.”

He also enjoys celebrating with his colleagues when they are able to assist a client in getting a large tax return.

Professor Schwarz stated “I love that we have so much fun and good cheer.”

He has many great stories and memories and has discovered he gets back so much satisfaction from this work and has met many good people in the past three years.

Lee has also become slightly “hooked” on LUM in general. In addition to volunteering an average of 15 hours per week during tax season, he is a trained substitute bus driver for the LUM After School Program and a Good Samaritan case advocate once a week, year round. Professor Schwarz also volunteers in the community teaching English and math and promoting literacy.

The LUM Tax Assistance Program is powered by highly skilled and expertly-trained volunteers. Lee’s story is just one of dozens (40+) volunteers who serve each year during tax season. The LUM Tax Assistance Program begins next week and continues through mid-April. We are sincerely grateful for the volunteers and coordinators of this valuable and successful program.

Mission Moment: The Story of John Hill

John Hill is persistent, patient, hardworking – and for now — homeless.

Valparaiso Indiana - Court House

Unable to work, John found himself unemployed, homeless and without a car. Two years ago, John applied for disability benefits. The process for applying for Disability Benefits is quite complex and requires various visits to state and federal offices throughout the state. John has been required to attend assessment meetings and hearings in Delphi and Kokomo. The judge who hears these cases no longer has an office in Tippecanoe County. Most individuals in our area get assigned to the Indianapolis court but John was assigned a judge in Valparaiso, Indiana. John’s hearing was finally scheduled and this presented John with a serious dilemma – how to get to Valparaiso.

As a guest of the LUM shelter, John meets regularly with a case manager. John’s case manager is also the director of the LUM shelter, Joyce Fasani. When Joyce heard about his upcoming hearing in Valparaiso, she brainstormed ways to assist John. Joyce immediately called on her colleague Mary Anderson, the director of the Good Samaritan Fund. Approving John for funding was the easy part. Joyce and Mary soon realized that getting John to Valparaiso for his hearing would be very difficult.

First, there isn’t a bus that goes directly to Valparaiso. John would have to travel to Chicago and then transfer to another bus to Valparaiso. The bus to Valparaiso departed daily at 6 a.m. which meant  John would arrive in Chicago late in the evening and have to stay in the bus station in Chicago overnight. Once in Valparaiso, John needed to get to and from the courthouse. John also needed a place to stay overnight after the hearing because the next bus to Chicago was in the morning. Joyce was able to find a shelter in Valparaiso where John would be fed and given a place to stay. Joyce also arranged transportation to the courthouse and a ride to the bus stop the next morning. Additionally John needed cash for the bus in Valparaiso because he would have to pay the bus driver directly.

Mary and Joyce stepped up and worked out all of the details and developed a schedule for John. Joyce then relayed this information to John including the schedule of his bus travel, his time table, and the contacts giving him rides, meals, and lodging in Valparaiso. Joyce and Mary went above and beyond to make this possible for John. There wasn’t much room for error in this plan, and John would have to be focused enough to get there, performed well at his hearing, and return home to Lafayette; and he did. Joyce and Mary commented that John could have easily given up and said to himself “this is not worth it.” But he didn’t  Mary and Joyce are very proud of John and his persistence, positive attitude and hard work in this situation and over the past two years.

Joyce and Mary are happy to report that John won his disability claim and will receive his benefits in December. John’s disability benefits are retroactive. John will at last have the resources to get a home of his own. The philosophy of LUM is to serve clients like John very well – and this is a great example of how much LUM was needed in this situation. Joyce and Mary’s experience, persistence and eagerness to collaborate were what made this story a success.


Mission Moment: The Story of the Brown Family and the Good Samaritan Fund


November 2012



Dear Friends,

Trisha and James Brown are typical of many people assisted by the Lafayette Urban Ministry’s Good Samaritan Fund (formerly the Centralized Emergency Fund). They are happily married.  They both have long work histories with local retail stores.  They lovingly devote every moment outside of work to their three teenaged children: 12-year-old Emma, 14-year-old Eli and 16-year-old Katie.

When Trisha had to quit her job because of debilitating back pain, the family’s income fell by half.  And while James’ job is secure for now, his monthly income isn’t near enough to pay for all of the family’s basic bills. Their pastor referred Trisha and James to the Lafayette Urban Ministry.

LUM’s staff helped them to apply for Foodstamps and Medicaid.  And thanks to LUM’s Good Samaritan Fund, we were able to help pay their October and September electric bills and prevent their service from being disconnected. Trisha shares that coming to LUM was both physically and emotionally difficult for her.

“But once inside, everyone was so helpful and non-judgmental.  We left LUM feeling more positive about our situation.  It wasn’t just the financial help.  It was the support and feeling that we weren’t in this alone anymore.”

Each day as many as 15 families come to the Lafayette Urban Ministry in need of financial help.  Some are the victims of theft.  Some have lost everything due to flood or fire.  Others have had their public benefits mistakenly reduced or discontinued.  Some, like the Brown family, are struggling to cope with the illness or injury of a breadwinner.

Last year, the Good Samaritan Fund provided $100,000 in direct financial assistance.  LUM was able to resolve 2,187 separate food, shelter, utility and transportation emergencies. Food was shared and vital prescription medicines were provided.  We helped when there was nowhere else for people to go.

I hope you see the value of what is accomplished by LUM’s Good Samaritan Fund.  And I hope you will agree to share a generous gift so that its work can continue. The Good Samaritan Fund is special.  Not a single dollar of what you give is spent for overhead.  In other words, everything you contribute goes directly to help a local family facing financial hardship. By sharing a gift of $50, $100, $250, $500, $1,000, or more, you will assure that neighbors will find both personal support and practical help when they reach out to the Lafayette Urban Ministry. 

Despite her chronic back pain, Trisha is hopeful for the future.  She is confident that through vocational rehabilitation she may be able to work again – at least part time.  Her three busy teens help out at home where they can and enjoy having mom around more often than before. James remains employed and works extra hours almost every weekend. And if things become difficult, they know that LUM’s Good Samaritan Fund is here. 

Please consider making a contribution to the Good Samaritan Fund online by clicking HERE.


P.S. Hundreds of our neighbors come to the Lafayette Urban Ministry when there is nowhere else to turn.  Won’t you send a generous gift to the Good Samaritan Fund today?