The Lafayette Urban Ministry Board of Directors was pleased to welcome Lafayette Mayor Tony Roswarski to its November meeting for the purpose of discussing issues related to services to the homeless in Lafayette. In particular, the LUM board was interested in learning more about the city’s planned engagement center for the homeless so that LUM will be better prepared to coordinate services on behalf of our homeless shelter guests and case management clients.
Since its opening in 1984, the LUM emergency shelter has served 10,000 different homeless individuals who have been our guests a combined total of 200,000 times. In 2013, LUM served 636 guests who stayed with us, on average, 18 nights each.
The mission of the LUM emergency shelter is to help homeless individuals move off the street into our shelter, then out of our shelter into a more self-sufficient living arrangement. LUM accomplishes this through professional case management services that last year served 315 of our 636 guests. In 2013, 1,460 volunteers served overnight at the LUM emergency shelter.
Mayor Roswarski thanked LUM for being such a valuable partner with the city in helping to improve the lives of those in our community who have no permanent place to stay.
When asked about the specific services that would be offered in the new engagement center, the mayor said “It depends if it would be family housing, if it would be something for veterans, maybe it’s permanent supportive housing for people who are mentally ill, so you’d have to look at the funding sources that are legally allowed to be used for those types of activities.” The mayor said a location for the engagement center has not been decided on or even if the engagement center will have a location, saying it is possible the engagement center could be more of a “process.” He believes it will take several years before the center is up and running.
Mayor Roswarski told the LUM board that his hope is that the services offered through the new engagement center would have the result of lowering the numbers of homeless individuals in our community needing to rely upon LUM for emergency shelter and case management services.
He also shared that the engagement center would not duplicate services to the homeless that are already in place and working well.
The Lafayette Urban Ministry Board of Directors is comprised of one representative from each of our 42 member churches. Several of those churches are represented by their pastor while others send lay leadership.
The shelter is but one of 16 different service programs offered by LUM.
Those programs include the Good Samaritan Fund, St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry, Tax Preparation Services, LUM Legal Immigration Clinic, Jubilee Christmas, Community Thanksgiving Celebration, Asset Building Classes, and a full offering of youth services such as the LUM After School Program, 5th Quarter Summer Learning Retention Program, LUM Summer Camp and the Achieve Stay-in School Program for at risk junior and senior high school students.
Join LUM online and help us serve children and families even better.