Tag Archives: Mission Moment

The “Grit” of LUM Homeless Services

A Letter from Wes Tillett, LUM Executive Director

“The seed on good soil stands for those with a noble and good heart, 
who hear the word, retain it, and by persevering produce a crop.” – Jesus Christ (Luke 8:15) 

GRIT. It has become one of my favorite words in these pandemic years. Grit is all about resilience, perseverance, hanging in there come-what-may. Grit is essential for living life to the fullest.  

GRIT also inspires others. It is a common theme in my wife’s favorite movies, the ones “based on the inspiring true story of a person who overcomes impossible odds.” Grit is a common theme in all of my favorite stories at LUM – the real-life stories of the people who are diligently pushing their lives in a positive direction, often by overcoming impossible odds.

LUM would not be able to provide these services without the financial support of people such as you. Thank you. 

The LUM Emergency Shelter has been near capacity all summer long. With winter just around the corner and many people struggling financially in our community, the LUM Emergency Shelter is as essential as ever. 

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.

It takes GRIT to live victoriously. And it takes grit to give generously. It’s a matter of seeing the need (“hear the word”), choosing to help meet that need (“retain it”), and taking action (“by persevering, produce a crop”).

Thank you in advance for the grace and grit you demonstrate by supporting the LUM Emergency Shelter.

Make a Donation | Volunteer | Provide Meals | Donate Needed Items |

{To protect the privacy of this individual featured above, the name has been changed.}

Mission Moment – Jonathan’s Success Story

LUM Homeless Shelter Guest Gets Housed

Jonathan, a former LUM Emergency Shelter guest, epitomizes GRIT. His first overnight stay was back in 2019, and he’s been in and out for the past three years. Jonathan is not immune to some of the many problems that plague our guests: addiction, mental illness, unwise choices, emotional and physical disabilities, difficult pasts, tumultuous family situations, and simply bad luck. 

Recently Jonathan was able to secure long-term employment, which enabled him to utilize the LUM “Match Program.” As a part of this program, Jonathan paid $5 as “rent” each night he stayed at the shelter. When he was able to sign a lease for an apartment, LUM returned this “match” money plus matched it — dollar for dollar. He doubled his money to use toward his deposit and rent — and learned how to save and invest in his future. Jonathan is not alone. So far in 2022, 388 guests have utilized the LUM Emergency Shelter 7,387 times. In addition, 175 guests utilized the LUM Winter Warming Station 972 times (January-April). 

Because of supporters such as YOU, LUM was able to provide Jonathan and hundreds of others with a safe, warm, supportive overnight place to stay at a critical point in their life. With the help of LUM and many others, Jonathan is rebuilding his life, day by day. Tiny step by tiny step. Despite setbacks and hurdles. With resolute determination. With GRITJonathan possesses the grit needed to utilize the programs of LUM and obtain a brighter future.

Make a Donation | Volunteer | Provide Meals | Donate Needed Items |

{To protect the privacy of this individual featured above, the name has been changed.}

Mission Moment – The Story of Tina

LUM Helps Divert the Eviction of a Local Family

Her tears of desperation turned into tears of gratitude. Tina came to Lafayette Urban Ministry looking for some financial assistance with her rent. She had fallen behind on rent due to several COVID-19 related factors. With her kids at home (quarantined from school), Tina could not work the same number of hours at her job. When her employer reduced her hours on the next schedule, it compounded her financial loss. Tina found an additional job at a lower hourly wage and simply could not make up for the lost income. Her landlord’s patience wore thin. 

When a friend told her LUM might be able to help, Tina filled out the LUM Good Samaritan Program application online. When LUM was able to help her get caught up on rent, Tina’s tears of relief and gratitude streamed down her face. 

If you have given to the Good Samaritan Program, “Thank you. Your generosity is changing lives like Tina and her family. May you be blessed for blessing others. 

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Good Samaritan Fund

{To protect the privacy of this individual featured above, the name has been changed.}

Mission Moment – The Story of Beth’s Journey

As Told by Linda Hicks, LUM Program Director

Beth came to the LUM Office seeking assistance with the LUM Good Samaritan Program. She needed help with the deposit on her new apartment. Over the past five years Beth needed financial assistance twice, the LUM Emergency Shelter several times, and used the LUM food pantries regularly up through 2019. Beth wore a baseball cap tilted down to cover part of her face and hide the scars, both physical and emotional. Connie, the LUM receptionist, greeted her and soon learned that Beth had escaped an abusive relationship; and as a result of the abuse, had lost sight in one eye. She was having trouble finding permanent housing and difficulty finding employment. Beth felt that employers were hesitant to hire her because one of her eyes was white in color.

Beth now has a prosthetic eye and receives monthly disability payments, but is still emotionally fragile and managing her funds is a challenge. Just as she was about to secure housing, she panicked that it wouldn’t work out and she’d be homeless once again. She was in need of funding; but more than that, Beth needed compassion and understanding and a safe place. In tears (with her mask on), Beth sat in the LUM lobby telling Connie, of her fears. Connie listened (also masked), held her arms open and said, “Now come here.” Beth dropped into her arms and sobbed. The tears eventually stopped, Beth took a breath, gathered up her courage and was on her way.

She returned later that day with a smile on her face because she signed a lease for an apartment! Beth was relieved and grateful, not only for the funding, but also for the kindness. It was a day to be reminded of the magic that a hug and an open heart can hold. We all matter in the world no matter what our station in life. 

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Good Samaritan Fund

{To protect the privacy of this individual featured above, the name has been changed.}

Mission Moment – The Story of a Single Father

Shirley Advocates For & Reunites Family

LUM Good Samaritan Program advocate, Shirley Robertson, spoke with Steven, a single father of three children, who had his gas & electric service disconnected. In the meantime, he was heating his apartment with the oven, and temporarily moved his children in with their grandmother.

This father had many difficulties pile on in quick succession beginning with a cancer diagnosis in early January. Steven’s work hours were then reduced due COVID-19 because he was consider high risk, but the cancer treatments continued.

Steven was having a hard time getting the help needed to restore his service. Shirley made a phone call to his utility provider to determine the amount he needed to get his service restored. She created a plan, which drew from a few different funds, to come up with the total amount this local family needed.

After the amount was pledged, his service was restored and his family was reunited, Steven called Shirley at LUM. Speaking with her, he became emotional. He was holding back tears of gratitude, not only for the help that was offered, but also for the opportunity to personally thank Shirley for her kindness and compassion in listening to his story and offering guidance through a new and scary experience.

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Good Samaritan Fund

{To protect the privacy of the family featured above, their names have been changed.}

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.


{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!


  • 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


  • 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:

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Good Samaritan Fund


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


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