LAFAYETTE, Ind. (WLFI) — As temperatures start to fall, Lafayette Urban Ministry is making sure everyone has a way to stay warm.
At this point, LUM is the only overnight winter warming station in Greater Lafayette.
Everyone is welcome to warm up in the lobby of LUM’s Office building, 420 N. Fourth St., from midnight to 7 a.m. The warming station, which opened Nov. 15, will remain open every night until April.
LUM executive director Joe Micon told us on News 18 at Noon the facility helps anywhere from one to six people per night.
“In the last year, we have seen 159 different people,” he said. “They stayed with us a total of 626 times.”
Micon said LUM works very closely with law enforcement and the hospitals, when people don’t have a place to go both law enforcement and the hospitals will send people their way.
“It’s very needed … and it’s an important resource not only for individuals in the community but for other helping agencies,” Micon explained about the warming stations.
According to Micon, LUM will even open doors a couple of hours early when wind chills are minus 20 degrees or less. They will also send buses to Lafayette Transitional Housing to pick people up who are outside.
“Just to make sure that people are safe from harm because when you’re out in that kind of weather, skin can freeze within 25 minutes,” said Micon.
It costs about $15,000 to run the warming shelter, but he said it’s worth it.
“Every good conscientious community needs a place like this,” Micon said. “At night when everything else is closed and the lights are turned out, the Lafayette Urban Ministry’s warming station is here and open.”
He added every bit of community support goes a long way.
“So cash is always important, but also volunteers,” Micon said. “You can go online … and you can sign up to volunteer.”
If you would like to volunteer or give a monetary donation, please visit LUM’s website. While there, visitors can check out more information on LUM’s other services, such as its Emergency Shelter.