Category Archives: Case Management

LUM – A Game Changer for Many


March 2015



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Ann Pellegrino


Dear Friends,

Anne Pellegrino recently stopped by my office, smiling ear to ear!

Anne is a LUM volunteer tax preparer and she had just finished a tax return for a low-income family of four.  She was smiling because she just secured for them a $10,000 income tax refund for them!

“There is just no way to understate how much this refund is going to mean to this family,” she said.  “This is a real game changer for them.”

Anne and LUM’s many other dedicated tax volunteers, brought $4.5 million in refunds back to 1,390 low-income working families in our community last year.  Utility bills were paid.  Overdue rent was caught up.  Clothing was purchased for children.  Money was set aside for college.  Families were made more stable.

But the Tax Program is only one of the important ways that the Lafayette Urban Ministry is changing the game for working families and at-risk children during this time of year.

  • LUM’s new Legal Immigration Clinic is providing expert legal advice and support to individuals in our community who are having difficulty navigating the Federal Immigration and Naturalization Service bureaucracy.  We serve 10 new immigrant families each month.
  • LUM’s Enhanced Afterschool Program is helping to narrow the academic achievement gap each day for 50 low-income children.
  • LUM’s Overnight Shelter and Case Management Services literally save lives during these cold winter months when the weather is harsh.  More than 200 homeless individuals have stayed with us on and off since the beginning of the year.  Through case management services, we have helped many of them to leave our shelter for a home of their own.
  • LUM’s Good Samaritan Program serves each morning as our community’s social safety net.  Staff and volunteers help those facing eviction, utility disconnects and other financial hardships to remain safely in their homes.  We serve as many as 60 households each week.
  • Last year, LUM’s ID Clinic helped 166 individuals to cut through the government red tape associated with re-establishing their legal identity and securing a photo ID.

Each of the Lafayette Urban Ministry’s 15 programs is designed to strengthen low-income families or to support and educate at-risk children.  In partnership with 42 local church congregations, LUM helps to restore the hope and future that is all too often absent among those who live in poverty.

In other words, our work at LUM really is a game changer for those we serve.

That’s why I hope you will join me in making a generous gift to support LUM’s programs.

Your gift of $50, $100, $250, $500 or $1,000 will support our efforts and make sure our doors are always open to those in our community who need us.

Anne Pellegrino, through her work as a LUM tax preparer, has a special vantage point from which she is able to see and understand the realities faced by the working poor in our community.  She knows that most are just a paycheck away from crisis.  And she knows how important LUM’s programs are to her client’s’ economic well-being.

But more importantly, because of LUM, Anne is able to share her talents and have a positive impact in the lives of others.  And that really makes her smile!

Please, won’t you make a generous gift today to the programs of the Lafayette Urban Ministry?

There are several ways you can give.  You can place your gift in the mail today.  Or you can visit our website at www.lumserve.org to learn more about our programs and to make your donation online.


Greetings,

PS   On behalf of all those whose lives will be touched by your generosity, please accept my sincere and heartfelt thanks.

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Filed under After School Program, Case Management, Giving, Good Samaritan Fund, Homeless Shelter, ID Clinic, Immigration Clinic, Income Tax Assistance, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM, Volunteer

Client Corner – LUM Good Samaritan Program – Meet Gregory Gillard


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Meet Gregory Gillard from Lafayette. He is a client of LUM Case Management, a former guest of the LUM Emergency Shelter and a recipient of the LUM Good Samaritan Fund.

Gregory was unemployed and needed to find a job close to his aunt who has recently taken ill. He moved to Lafayette to look for work and needed to stay as a guest in the LUM Emergency Shelter—and he took full advantage of LUM Case Management.

Within a matter of a few weeks, he landed a job at downtown restaurant and signed a lease. During this transition into his new home and his new job, Gregory needed some emergency financial assistance from the LUM Good Samaritan Fund.

He simply needed “non-skid” shoes for work, some assistance with his security deposit and one or two pieces of modest furniture like a dresser.

Gregory appreciates LUM for giving him the support he needed to get a job and find a home — which gives him the stability and security to allow him to visit his family often, especially his aunt — just in time for the holidays.

If you wish to donate to the LUM Good Samaritan Fund, LUM Emergency Shelter and LUM Case Management program, click HERE.



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Filed under Case Management, Giving, Homeless Shelter, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM, Mission Moment

LUM Board and Mayor Discuss Homeless Services

mayorroswarskiThe 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.

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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.



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Filed under Board of Directors, Case Management, Homeless Shelter

LUM Position Announcement — Case Management Contractor


Lafayette Urban Ministry — Position Announcement — Case Management Contractor



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Hours and Service: 22 hours per week: October 2014 – June 2015; $1,558 per month

Objective:  To assist homeless shelter guests in moving out of the shelter into housing.

Case Management Contractors reports to LUM Shelter Coordinator.

Duties:

  • Contact family members and arrange for housing and transportation
  • Assist shelter guests in locating affordable housing
  • Follow case management procedures
  • Complete all required documentation
  • Access needs and required services
  • Set weekly goals and follow up with shelter guests
  • Learn local resources and qualifications for services
  • Assist shelter guests in setting appointments with service providers
  • Assist shelter guests with transportation to limited areas of service

Successful applicant will have the ability to:

  • Maintain client confidentiality
  • Treat shelter guests with respect and dignity
  • Acknowledge shelter guests’ victories large and small

Send to Joyce Fasani at jfasani@lumserve.org. Resumes will be accepted until 7 a.m. on Tuesday, September 23, 2014.


Please share with interested and qualified individuals.



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Free Haircut – Reflections from a LUM Volunteer


Free Haircut Day at LUM


Today, as I sit at the front desk, I can see and hear some small miracles going on in the hallway.

A woman has come to give free haircuts. We have had eight 2013-02-21 LUM haircuts 008 (2)men so far, who have come in looking the very best they can in their circumstances, and leave with a brand new look.

They touch their hair and lift up their heads. When I tell them how good they look, they smile broadly. They have already ducked into the restroom to take a look, and they know they look good.

However, this is less a ministry of haircutting and hygiene, and much more a ministry of touch, of kindness, of normalcy, of conversation, of humanity. I hear the voices down in that hall. They are calm and stress-free.

Someone is touching those men, standing close to them as people who work on hair do. I wonder when that has happened last for them. There is a little bit of laughter now then; the seriousness of their day relieved for 20 minutes. They are doing what most of us do; this is one of those every-day-life sorts of things that we say is necessary and makes us feel good. Twenty minutes of normalcy.

The woman speaks with interest in their lives, and she always ends by saying she will pray for them. That is what is going on down the hall. I am so blessed to be here to see it.


Donna Enersen
volunteer receptionist
September 11, 2014

 



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Filed under Case Management, Giving, Homeless Shelter, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM, Mission Moment, Volunteer

Thank You — Congratulations — Farewell (to the LUM Interns)

LUM Intern Farewell Reception


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L to R – Standing: Ron Smith, Joe Micon, Katie Brandes, ‘Shay Johnson-Martin, Mary Anderson, Cindy Haley, Amanda Bajzatt, Joyce Fasani; Seated: Susan Brouillette, Rebekah Niedner


It is with mixed emotions that the LUM staff says “farewell” and “well done” to our fabulously talented and hardworking interns – Amanda Bajzatt, Katherine Brandes, Evan Guse, Jashay Johnson-Martin, Rebekah Niedner, & Brittany Rooze. LUM has truly been blessed to have 6 interns working with various programs since January 2013. As many can relate, the time with our interns has flown by.

Evan Guse

Evan Guse

Brittany Rooze

Brittany Rooze

To celebrate the LUM interns were invited to an appreciation party hosted by all of the LUM staff — and cake. All interns will be graduating soon and LUM wishes them very well. Each of them used their unique talents to make LUM better.

So – Thank you, Congratulations, and Farewell (for now) – to Amanda, Katie, Evan, ‘Shay, Rebekah, and Brittany.

To read more about our interns, click HERE.



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Filed under After School Program, Case Management, Good Samaritan Fund, Homeless Shelter, Interns, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM

Mission Moment — Rex Fuller’s Journey to Recognition


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Just the mention of Rex Fuller’s name around any of the LUM staff elicits a smile. Currently Rex Fuller is the “go to” volunteer at the St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry because he is reliable, flexible, and hardworking. Rex has a genuine desire to serve his community through the food pantry. It is this record of service to the community that was recently recognized with a prestigious award presented to him by both Mayor Roswarski and Mayor Dennis at an appreciation luncheon. Rex Fuller’s journey to a volunteer has not been easy though.

Born in Jasper County and raised in Newton County on the border of Goodland and Kentland, Rex was married and divorced twice and suffered a serious injury while working on a farm in Illinois in the mid-1970’s. In addition to the physical trauma from the accident Rex suffers from seizures since 1985. Since then, his disability has made it difficult to pursue a career of any kind. From 1986 through 2003, Rex applied for disability benefits from Social Security three times, was denied three times, appealed three times, and was denied his appeal three times. In 2003, he hired another attorney, applied and was granted disability. Unfortunately during this time, Rex was not able to pay his rent and needed to take advantage of the LUM emergency shelter.

Rex was a guest of the LUM emergency shelter for eight months. During that time, Rex eagerly volunteered for kitchen duty. He assisted with meals, washed dishes, and scrubbed pots. Eventually he began to volunteer to do more. Rex also enjoyed and took advantage of his case management meetings. It was during this time that he was reminded of his favorite motto –

“God helps those who help themselves.”

Rex eventually qualified for housing through Transitional Housing, was awarded disability benefits, and found his own apartment in downtown Lafayette. All of his perseverance and hard work was finally paying off and his life was beginning to stabilize.

2013-04-25 RexFuller 017 (2)Today, Rex is a big fan of LUM. He knows firsthand why LUM’s services are needed in this community and how helpful they are to getting people back on track. Rex stated that “if people need help, I feel if they go to LUM, the staff will either give them help or find someone to help them. If someone is about to get evicted – LUM will take them in or find them a place – but they have to be willing to do their part.” Rex thinks this is a vital part of the LUM expectations. Again – “God helps those who help themselves.”

Rex also shared that he was raised mostly by his grandparents; and his father lost his leg due to an accident and complications after surgery. He credits his compassion and empathy for the elderly and individuals with disabilities to these life experiences. Rex believes everyone should be treated with dignity and made to feel valued. He also believes that we all deserve to smile and laugh every day. He practices this in his work with the St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry. His grandmother would often tell him that

“if you try to help someone you will be blessed for it.”

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Rex takes pride in the fact that he is known as reliable and hardworking with the supervisors at the food pantry. Rex only has one scheduled shift a month but he works often because he fills in when volunteers don’t show up or can’t make it in. Rex also feels good that his work is needed and appreciated, he is good at working at the food pantry, and it is something about which he is passionate. From his own personal experience he knows that not having enough money to buy food can happen to any of us. When you can’t work, don’t have enough money, and are on a limited budget – the food pantry is there to help – it’s a grocery store alternative. Rex stated that he is “helping the St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry do God’s work by volunteering.” When he works a volunteer shift, he is constantly looking for things to do. He uses his storytelling skills and good humor to make the clients feel welcome, comfortable and happy. He makes sure that he serves each client well and particularly enjoys helping people load their food into their cars. Rex is willing to do whatever it takes to make their day and to meet their needs.2013-04-25 RexFuller 015 (2)

Rex has turned his life around and is now truly paying it forward. He is a great example for all of us and a testament to the impact of the mission of the Lafayette Urban Ministry. A special thank you to Rex for his 20+ years of service to the food pantry and sincere congratulations on his recent and well deserved community service award.



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Filed under Case Management, Homeless Shelter, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM, Mission Moment, St. John's/LUM Food Pantry, Volunteer

Meet the LUM Interns — Rebekah Niedner

Meet the LUM Interns — Rebekah Niedner


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Rebekah Niedner is from Valparaiso  Indiana and is a student in the Graduate School of Social Work at Indiana University – Indianapolis pursuing a Master of Social Work degree with a concentration in Leadership. Rebekah has a BSW in Social Work and BA in Spanish from Indiana University – Bloomington.

As a LUM Intern, Rebekah is working as an advocate and counselor with the Good Samaritan Program, ID Clinic, and Case Management; and is assisting with the LUM Good Samaritan Fund Follies program. In addition to her studies at IU and internship with LUM, Rebekah works as a paraprofessional at a local public middle school.  Rebekah also enjoys staying in shape doing Zumba and cooking and eating healthy.

After graduation from IU in May 2014, Rebekah will be pursuing a career in social work. Rebekah someday wishes to be involved in community development working in a school environment educating students and families and collaborating with community agencies to develop strong individuals, strong families and a strong community.


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Filed under Case Management, Good Samaritan Fund, ID Clinic, Interns, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM

Meet the LUM Interns — Jashay Johnson-Martin

Meet the LUM Interns — Jashay Johnson-Martin


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Jashay Johnson-Martin is from South Bend, Indiana and is a Purdue undergraduate majoring in Human Services with a duel minor in Sociology and Organizational Leadership & Supervision.

As a LUM Intern, Jashay is working with Case Management, the Tax Assistance Program, and Achieve! Program. In addition to her studies at Purdue and internship with LUM, Jashay works as a youth program assistant at a local youth center.

After graduation in May 2013, Jashay will be attending graduate school to pursue a Master of Social Work (MSW), a master’s degree in the field of social work.


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Filed under Achieve!, Case Management, Income Tax Assistance, Interns, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM