LUM Seasonal Programs Prevail in 2021
Wes's Weekly Wrap Up - Celebrating Services
In this edition of Wes's Weekly Wrap Up, Wes Tillett, LUM executive director, celebrates two "seasonal" LUM programs which are ending today for the "season," Tax Assistance & Winter Warming Station. Please take 57 seconds to watch the video and SHARE with others. Read more about each program below.
Meet Doris Miner Hanstra - Unsung "Shero"
A Story of the Beginning of LUM in 1957
Doris Miner (1910 - 2003) was born in Cass County, Indiana, and attended Lucerne Schools. She married Peter Hanstra in 1933. Their children are Miner Hanstra of Lafayette, Marta Flaherty of Peoria, Jeanne Van Horn of Lafayette, Gretchen Paprocki of Lafayette & Rachel Bahrenburg of Bismarck, ND. Doris played the piano & organ and was music director in several churches, and won awards for her porcelain painting.

Her husband, the Rev. Peter Hanstra became the pastor of Hope Chapel Presbyterian Church in 1957. Doris noticed immediately that there was a need to support the families and children in their new church neighborhood in downtown Lafayette. Doris and her team of volunteers planned a series of programs & events which included arts & crafts projects in the afternoons and movie nights with popcorn. These programs were successful, had a positive impact, and grew quickly, drawing the attention of Purdue University and other churches. She accomplished all of this while supporting her husband as pastor, playing organ at services, and raising her five children, one of whom was adopted.

Partnering with a student from Purdue, Doris and a small group of volunteers from a variety of churches started the Neighborhood Development Project in 1962. Doris inspired a movement that led to the formation of the NDP advisory board in 1966 by Hope Chapel. The board approved a budget of $5,000 for three programs: afternoon “craft programs” for children in kindergarten through 3rd grade, evening craft programs for 4th through 6th grade children, and a summer camp.

The Hanstras retired in 1966 but not before presenting a plan to hire a new pastor who would continue to be active with the Neighborhood Development Project. The search resulted in the hiring of the Rev. Ron Elly. The Rev. Elly built on this simple idea, and Lafayette Urban Ministry was incorporated in 1972.
LUM Winter Warming Station & Annex Prevail
A Journey of Compassion & Adaptability
No one in our community should have to spend the night outdoors in the harsh weather of the winter months — especially during a global pandemic. LUM Winter Warming Station, located in the LUM Office building, was open from midnight to 7 a.m. and allowed individuals to be in a safe indoor warm space. Since November 15, 2020, the LUM Winter Warming Station has served more than 205 individuals were guests for 1110 bed-nights, and 321 guests were new to LUM.

Serving individuals experiencing homelessness during COVID-19 took detailed planning and additional staffing. The first time the local day shelter had to lockdown because of a "positive COVID-19" tested individual, LUM collaborated with other local agencies to offer shelter for new individuals. The LUM Winter Warming Station became the place for these individuals at night, and "the Annex," a new temporary day shelter was the place during the daytime hours. Since last December, the Annex was open for 84 days and visited by guests 452 times. This winter also brought an arctic blast and more than 15 days of dangerously cold temperatures in February. LUM provided buses from the day shelter to the LUM Emergency Shelter and Winter Warming Station and opened three hours early each of those nights.

Now that the spring season has arrived the LUM Winter Warming Station is closed until it is needed again in mid-November. LUM prevailed despite all of the many challenges presented by the harsh weather and the COVID-19 pandemic. Thanks to each volunteer as well as the families, groups, individuals and churches who provided meals for the Emergency Shelter, Winter Warming Station & Annex.
Reflections from the LUM Shelter Director
"Winter in the Midwest is an exceptionally difficult time to experience homelessness, but there should not be a single individual who experiences a cold night on the street. On a particularly perilous night, ice storms made many roads impassable. To compound the situation, the night was bitterly cold. Our dedicated shelter staff slowly made their way to the Emergency Shelter and provided another night of warmth and safety for our guests. Similarly, the Winter Warming Station operated without fail, providing a safe place for our guests to escape the cold of winter. Because of the continuation of the pandemic, this winter was especially difficult for many of us; but the team of staff and volunteers at LUM continue to provide vital resources, warmth and compassion for our community throughout the cold months."

Briton Weise, Director, Emergency Shelter
LUM Tax Assistance Program Prevails in 2021
A Journey of Determination & Success
"It is clear that despite COVID-19 our program has been a success," stated Josh Prokopy, the LUM Tax Assistance Program director.

Each year, LUM offers FREE Income Tax Preparation Assistance for eligible, low-income households and individuals who reside in Tippecanoe County. LUM is proud of the Tax Assistance Program team for making it possible to continue offering this service during the pandemic. Some interesting statistics about this year’s LUM Tax Assistance Program are as follows:
  • 242 – Income Tax Returns filed
  • $338,856 – Federal Refunds
  • $34,320 – State Refunds
  • $373,176 – Total Refunds
  • $21,176 – Average Adjusted Gross Income
  • $68,016 – Federal - Earned Income Credit
  • $5,048 – State - Earned Income Credit
  • $73,064 – Total in Earned Income Credit
Why is the LUM Tax Assistance Program so important?
  • Lower wage workers can't afford to have their tax returns prepared professionally – or have limited access to technology to prepare their own
  • Federal & state support for working families is often offered through tax code
  • If individuals don’t file, significant tax credits and the Economic Impact Payments (AKA stimulus money) will be left unclaimed
  • Refunds & stimulus money boost our local economy by increasing sales and creating jobs in retail

Josh also shared, "It’s taken extra work, but our 17 volunteers were up to the challenge, and worked very hard under difficult conditions." This year the volunteers were James Binkley, Connie Decker, Kathy Hicks, Ai Ai Lau, Joan Marshall, Karen Marty, Nina Morgan, Patti O'Callaghan, Rob Patrick, Margaret Prokopy, Bharathi Raghothama, Carol Robicheaux, Andrea Schmidt, Tricia Sembroski, Barbara Sharkey, and Ron Smith. Join us in THANKING these volunteers.