Category Archives: Immigration Clinic

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 to learn more about our programs and to make your donation online.


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

Ivy Tech Professional Internships at LUM

ivytechintern Samantha Hardebeck is the new LUM After School Program Intern with responsibilities for assisting the program director with the implementation of the program.

Samantha is from Frankfort, Indiana. She is a student at Ivy Tech Community College in the School of Liberal Arts & Sciences. Samantha is in the Human Services program focusing on child psychology.

After graduation, Samantha  plans on being pre-school teacher.


ivytechintern2Vivian Kuo is the new LUM Immigration Clinic Intern with additional responsibility with the Tax Assistance and Good Samaritan Programs.

She was born in Taiwan and is from Seattle, Washington. Vivian is a psychology major at Purdue University and taking classes at Ivy Tech Community College in the Human Services program.

After graduation from Purdue, Vivian plans on pursuing a doctorate in clinical psychology and a career in family and relationship therapy.


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Filed under After School Program, Good Samaritan Fund, Immigration Clinic, Income Tax Assistance, Interns, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM

Join the LUM Conversational Spanish Tables


  • Dates: Wednesdays from February 11 – April  22, 2015
  • Time: 12:15 – 1:15 p.m.
  • Place: LUM Ray Ewry Youth Center, 525 N  4th Street, Lafayette
  • Cost: FREE
  • Sponsors:  LUM & Ayuda Y Aprende at Purdue

The LUM Immigration Clinic and Ayuda Y Aprende, the Spanish Language Service Learning Program at Purdue, have teamed up to offer weekly Spanish Conversation Tables. The program is free and open to the public — with the hope that staff, volunteers and congregants from member churches will take advantage of these sessions. Each conversation table will focus on a different topic such as shopping, communicating with a doctor, dining out, obtaining directions, etc.

The LUM Conversational Spanish Tables will start on Wednesday, February 11, 2015 and will meet each Wednesday in the LUM Ray Ewry Youth Center from 12:15 to 1:15 p.m. The series lasts 11 weeks, concluding on Wednesday, April 22, 2015.

These sessions offer a wonderful opportunity for individuals wishing to connect with their Spanish speaking neighbors. Participants do NOT need to have any Spanish language skills.  It is ideal for both beginners as well as those wanting to refresh their knowledge in a relaxed, casual atmosphere. You may attend all of the sessions or just one. Participants are welcome to bring along a friend and a brown bag lunch.

For more information, email or call Susan Brouillette ( | 765.423.2691). Please note — this opportunity is limited to 30 people.

Esperamos verle allí.

If you wish to make a donation to the LUM Immigration Clinic’s Conversational Spanish Tables, click…

Make a Donation Button

Immigration Clinic


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Filed under Immigration Clinic, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM, Volunteer

A Promise as Enduring as America

Joe Micon

Joe Micon

By Joe Micon, LUM executive director

Have you heard the one about the busload filled with homeless families from Chicago that pulled up in front of LUM because our social services are so great???

While you may not have heard that exact story, I have no doubt you have heard some variation of it, offered as an (untrue) explanation for why so many children and families from Chicago, Lake County, Indiana and Indianapolis have moved to our community in recent years.

As someone who has gotten to know many of our new neighbors, here’s what they tell me when I ask why they have come to Lafayette…

  • There are jobs to be had in Greater Lafayette
  • Our community has safe streets
  • Our public schools do a great job of teaching children

Just take a look the next time you use a fast food drive-up window. Make sure to notice who is filling our hospital housekeeping, home health care or Purdue food service jobs. These are not the “takers” who come to our community in search of social services. They are women and men in search of a promise as enduring as America itself – in search of a place where they can work, learn and grow to the utmost of their God-given potential. And it is right here in Lafayette where they have chosen to try to fulfill that promise. Compared to where they have come from, our community is a shining beacon on a hill – a promised land, void of gun violence, filled with opportunity for their children.

I think the “taker” mentality grows from a place of fear and shouldn’t be nurtured. Instead, now is the time for our community’s wonderful churches to reach out in fellowship and support of our new neighbors. Now is certainly the time to adequately resource our public schools and teachers to help them meet the challenges facing their new students. It’s time for employers to make sure that hard work is rewarded with fair pay and good benefits.

More than anything, it is time for us to confront the false stereotypes and more fully understand what it is that has brought so many new neighbors to our community. That’s what I think – I’d love to hear from you! Email me at

Join LUM online and help us serve children and families even better.



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Filed under Board of Directors, Campaign for Hoosier Families, Giving, Homeless Shelter, Immigration Clinic, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM, LUM Forum

Grand Opening – LUM Immigration Clinic

Lafayette, IN – Lafayette Urban Ministry will be holding a Grand Opening of its new Immigration Clinic on Tuesday from 2-3 p.m. at the LUM office.

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LUM Immigration Clinic Grand Opening details are as follows:

  • LUM Immigration Clinic – Grand Opening
  • Date: Tuesday, August 19, 2014
  • Time: 2 -3 p.m.
  • Place: LUM Office (420 N 4th Street, Lafayette)

 The LUM immigration clinic is accredited by the Board of Immigration Appeals and is a member of the Catholic Legal Immigration Network (CLINIC).   The purpose of the event will be to familiarize the Lafayette community with the services provided by the clinic which include assessing client eligibility for immigration benefits, answering questions regarding the application process, completing/filing applications, tracking pending applications and advocating on behalf clients, and connecting clients with other services related to the application process.

There will be a brief program beginning at 2 p.m.  Speakers will include the following:

  • Timothy Doherty, Bishop, Lafayette-in-Indiana Diocese
  • Jeffrey Newell, President, Tippecanoe Bar Association
  • Sisters Joan Scheller and Karen Sue Durliat, Guadalupe Center in Huntingburg
  • Pastor Zach Szmara, Director of the Immigration Clinic, Bridge Christian Church, Logansport
  • Trish Maxwell, Executive Director, Lafayette Area Reading Academy

There will also be a special unveiling of the logo for the clinic designed by Devon Wolfe who is studying Publication Design and Illustration at Lafayette Jefferson High School.  There will be a reception with light refreshments at the conclusion of the program.

Susan Brouillette, the LUM Immigration Clinic program director, is also available for individual interviews and consultation upon request.


Joe Micon
Executive Director
Lafayette Urban Ministry
(765) 423.2691

Susan Brouillette
Public Policy Director
Lafayette Urban Ministry
(765) 714-7622


Join LUM online and help us serve children and families even better.



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Filed under Immigration Clinic, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM, Uncategorized