Community service

Lafayette Urban Ministry looks back on 50 years of community service | Community

LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) – Lafayette Urban Ministry is celebrating 50 years of serving some of Greater Lafayette’s most vulnerable people. For those who know the organization best, it’s been five decades of bending the bow to justice.

The organization is well known in the community for its homeless shelter, as well as Camp LUM and Jubilee Christmas. It also offers programs such as financial planning assistance and an immigration clinic.

LUM also played an important role in public policy, helping pass laws on free textbooks for low-income public school children and implementing the federal free school breakfast program nationwide. Indiana State.

LUM executive director Wes Tillett says the nonprofit has had a tremendous impact in Tippecanoe County and beyond, but it’s not easy to put into words what that impact has. summer.

“It’s hard to measure,” Tillett said. “How do you measure the kind of positive impact you have on someone else’s life? I know for a fact that tens of thousands of people have been helped through the work of the Lafayette Urban Ministry.

Joe Micon served as Executive Director of LUM for 30 years and was active with the organization for another 10 years prior to assuming this role. He says founding the organization was key to remaining a fixture in Greater Lafayette.

“Lafayette’s urban ministry has always been denominational,” Micon said. “Our mission stems not only from the New Testament call to charity, but also from the Old Testament call to justice.”

Many of Micon’s fondest memories with LUM relate to the nonprofit’s work with children. He says there have been countless success stories of children who have gone through LUM’s programs. From a former Purdue football star and NFL player to an accountant who now helps LUM with his annual audits, Micon says LUM has touched the lives of so many young people.

“We had another individual from the LUM camp who became so accomplished in drumming that he served in the president’s old guard,” Micon said. “I remember seeing him marching in the inaugural parade.”

These are the stories that Micon’s successor hopes will continue to endure and become more frequent as LUM embarks on the next 50 years.

“I hope LUM will continue to honor human dignity,” Tillett said. “We see the beauty and value in every human life. We do what we need to do to meet the needs of this life.

LUM’s 50th anniversary celebration will take place tomorrow, April 8, at the Long Center in downtown Lafayette. A social hour begins at 6 p.m., with the official ceremony beginning at 7. Tickets to attend are $50. Proceeds go to LUM’s Samaritan Fund, which primarily provides rental and utility assistance to people in the community.