Tag Archives: ID Clinic

Mary Anderson celebrates 20 Years with LUM


2014-10-01 MaryAnderson20th 003 (3)Twenty years ago this month, Rev. Carl Malmgren saw something special in Mary Anderson and recommended that she be offered the three-month, part-time position with LUM to coordinate Jubilee Christmas 1994. Malmgren was a member of the LUM Board of Directors and was the chair of the search committee for this position. Joe Micon, executive director, was pleased with Mary’s work with Jubilee Christmas and invited her back in the Spring of 1995 to be the co-director of LUM Camp – another three-month, part-time position. Opportunities like this continued for Mary and in the next few years she served as the Shelter Director, the director of the Summer Lunch program and the St. John’s/LUM Food Pantry Director.

In 1998, Mary found her niche when she became the director of the LUM Advocate Program, now known as the LUM Good Samaritan Fund Program. During these early years, Mary was also the director of the Summer Lunch Program and Jubilee Christmas. The LUM Board of Directors demonstrated their confidence in Mary’s work and ability when they asked her to serve as the interim LUM executive director from 2004-2008 (during Joe Micon’s leave of absence to serve as the Indiana State Representative for the 26th District). This was an important time for LUM because they were beginning a capital campaign which would enable LUM to initiate new programs and move into a new office building.

During her tenure with LUM, moving was nothing new. In 1994, Mary started her work with LUM on 8th Street; she served as the director of the food pantry out of a storefront on Main Street; and in 1995 moved to 525 N 4th Street, a new building that would serve as the LUM emergency shelter, youth programs center, and administrative offices. Her final move was in 2010 to her current office in the new administrative building at 420 N 4th Street.2014-10-01 MaryAnderson20th 010 (2)

Today, Mary Anderson could not be more perfectly suited for her role at LUM. Mary directs one program which she founded and another which she has enhanced and modified over the years – the ID Clinic and the Good Samaritan Fund Program, respectively. Reflecting on her 20 years of service to the LUM clients and families, Mary is confounded by how much has changed as well as how many things have not.

Mary looks to two pivotal points in our country’s history as catalysts for change in her work with low income families: the terrorist attacks of September 11, 2001 and the recent recession. After 9/11, our country implemented laws and practices that greatly affected the poor and the homeless. Caring for the “least of us” is no longer a priority in our nation – as it was during the Great Depression and again in the 1960’s – and it may never be again. We must accept this and continue to do the best we can within those parameters. This has made Mary a strong advocate for eliminating the Voter ID law – which makes it very difficult for the homeless and low-income individuals to obtain picture ID and to vote. She is proud that her deposition was included in the US Supreme Court case brought against the Indiana Voter ID law.


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Mary enjoys getting to know those she serves. It gives her joy and hope to work face-to-face with individuals looking for a little bit of assistance to get past a difficult time. These interactions sometimes also give her some sad moments – especially when she sees poverty passed from one generation to the next. Before this recent recession, Mary saw mostly individuals who were “generationally” poor or “gradually” poor. Recently though there have been more and more individuals who are “suddenly” poor and in need of assistance for the first time in their lives. Individuals who used to help others are suddenly asking for help. Upon reflection, Mary shares that she couldn’t do this work if there wasn’t a social justice component at LUM. She is hopeful and see better days in the future only if there is a focus on changing our laws and priorities to serve each and every one of our neighbors.


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Through all of this, Mary still feels like she has the greatest job around. She emphasizes that one must be realistic on how much one’s able to offer – and must find ways to keep your perspective. Mary proudly proclaims that she has a life outside of the walls of LUM – and engages in some meaningful activities with her church. She also gives her family much of the credit for keeping her grounded. Originally from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, Mary met her husband while attending Purdue and has been here since. Today, Mary and Mike have three sons and four (of the world’s best) grandchildren.

Twenty years have flown by for Mary Anderson. But for this community, for LUM, for the families and individuals served by LUM – we are so much better off for Mary’s years of service – and her vision for what could be done at LUM which has served as a road map to a better future for all.

 



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Filed under Board of Directors, Good Samaritan Fund, Homeless Shelter, ID Clinic, Jubilee Christmas, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM, LUM Camp, LUM Staff, St. John's/LUM Food Pantry, Uncategorized

Mission Moment — The Shelter’s Rebekah Miller


2013-02-05 LUM Emergency Shelter 029 (2) Dusk has fallen and most of our community is cleaning up after dinner and settling in for the evening with their families. But for Rebekah Miller, her work is just beginning. Rebekah Miller oversees the LUM emergency shelter as the Live-in Shelter Coordinator. Rebekah’s official residence is Greenwood, but she has lived in North Carolina and Texas and has spent summers as a youth in New Orleans with her family. Rebekah is a 2nd-year, scholarship student studying civil engineering at Purdue University.

Last fall (2012) Rebekah was looking for a job. Like most students she turned to the student employment website to see what was available. The LUM posting for a part-time, overnight position at the emergency shelter stood out and intrigued Rebekah. Since her youth, Rebekah has been attracted to “mission-type” work.

A once aspiring missionary, Rebekah has hoped for many years to travel the world and offer her expertise to make life better for villages and communities. So when Rebekah informed her family that she accepted a position at the LUM emergency homeless shelter not one of her friends or family members were surprised.

Rebekah was part-time in the fall and was offered the full-time position at the LUM shelter in January 2013.

Each night, shelter guests begin lining up around 9 p.m. and Rebekah with her volunteer crew is ready to greet each guest. The check-in process is detailed and specific and the expectations of the guests are firm. Rebekah moves the process along efficiently and with the warmth of a good friend.

Her nightly goal is to create a safe environment where guests respect each other as well as feel valued and comfortable. Rebekah 2013-02-05 LUM Emergency Shelter 036 (2)accomplishes this by balancing being a servant with reinforcing rules and giving structure. Her demeanor is calming and her attitude is uplifting. She has gotten better at listening, being non-judgmental, and outwardly portraying a positive attitude.

Rebekah freely offers that this experience has had more of an impact on her than the shelter guests. She learns something new about herself each night. Rebekah shared that this opportunity for her is guided by God as is the rest of her life.

Working at the shelter from 8 p.m. to 7 a.m. allows her to spend her days focused on her academic pursuits. For Rebekah the LUM shelter position is perfect because the hours don’t interfere with her school work and she’s passionate about serving others.

Rebekah knows that after graduation she wants to work oversees with a not-for-profit, non-governmental agency that utilizes her engineering expertise. Rebekah shared that her dream job would involve “digging wells in Africa” for safe drinking water and doing disaster relief construction work.

In addition to her studies and work with LUM, Rebekah is a leadership team assistant with the Women in Engineering Program teaching, mentoring, and tutoring local middle school students.

Joyce Fasani, the LUM emergency shelter program director, thinks very highly of Rebekah and her work with the shelter thus far.

Joyce stated that “Rebekah adds the ideal combination of professionalism and compassion. She has a way of commanding respect and gaining trust quickly with our guests. We are fortunate to have her on our team.”

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

Mission Moment — The Story of Michael’s I.D.

When Mary Anderson, LUM’s Director of Assistance, met with a client during the LUM ID Clinic drop-in hours recently, she could not have predicted that a week later she would be facilitating a family reunion between the client and his estranged mother. We will call this client, Michael.

Like many in our community who are taking that first step in a long journey back on track, Michael hit a road block – he needed an official ID. Michael was recently released from prison after being incarcerated for more than eight years. He was released without an ID, without a job, and without a home. Michael made several poor choices in the past which led to his imprisonment as well as destroying his relationship with his mother.

Today Michael is focused on becoming self-sufficient. Unfortunately Michael soon realized that you simply cannot do much without an official ID. His dilemma is that he needs a birth certificate to get an ID; and needs an ID to get his own birth certificate. This process is complex and became more so post-9/11. Although he is NOT able to get his own birth certificate on his own, his mother may. This is what led Mary and Michael to have a conversation about re-connecting with his mother who lives right here in town. It appeared to be the only option for Michael so he mustered the courage to call her. Michael’s mother quickly agreed to help Michael get his birth certificate by filling out the application and having it sent to her home address.

Michael is doing everything he can to keep his life moving forward. This vital service at LUM is getting him one step closer to being successful. And hopefully Michael and his mom have now begun to reestablish a positive relationship as well.



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Filed under ID Clinic, Lafayette Urban Ministry, LUM, Mission Moment