A Valpo Life in the Spotlight: Jessica Luth

A Valpo Life in the Spotlight: Jessica Luth

Not all folks doing tremendous work in the Valparaiso community today were born and raised locally. That includes Jessica Luth, who comes from Kansas City, Missouri. She’s lived in various places, having spent a fair amount of years right outside of Seattle, Washington. Her husband, whose home state is Nebraska, was offered an opportunity a handful of years back to come on as a faculty member at Valparaiso University, which brought her to where she is currently in the Region. 

Luth started about a year and a half ago as the director of client services at The Caring Place, a social-service organization based nearby that serves the needs of victims of domestic violence and sexual assault. Her degree is in social work, and she’s worked in non-profits for over 20 years now. Luth has implemented countless helpful programs since her arrival and still strives to provide the utmost assistance to those struggling with happenings of their pasts. 

“We work in crisis care, so we take in anyone who is in immediate danger and bring them to safety. I’ve been creating programs for those in distress. If somebody comes in to ask for any kind of help, we assist them with not having to return to dangerous situations, and together we figure out how to best help them,” she said. “We constantly try to build up relationships that people are in need of.”

Specifically serving the counties of Lake, Porter and Starke, Luth’s services are available to all, and anyone can call in or come in. Nothing is exclusive to Hoosiers, and those simply passing through or visiting the area will find that these resources are ready to be taken advantage of by them. 

Because of the abundant number of people seeking support, Luth can by no means function effectively all on her own. She’s backed by compassionate individuals dedicated to the mission of trying to address violence, and they all collaborate to meet clients exactly where they are. She loves those with whom she works. Sometimes, however, attempting to alleviate the pain of others gets to be tricky and challenging, but it’s nothing Luth can’t handle with the help of those around her.

“As a team, we take care of each other. One of our slogans here is ‘Start talking right,’ and this organization has done a great job at getting that cycle going. The hardest thing about this job is seeing people hurt; it takes effort to calm somebody else. But being there emotionally is our thing, and so making changes in lives is something I’m lucky to be a part of,” she said.

One thing that keeps Luth excited about the future of The Caring Place is the focus the team has recently been putting on working with partners within the community to aid families in finding homes. Last year alone, she was able to house 23 families in permanent housing away from previous abuse. This spring, she hosted an Easter egg hunt that brought back eight clients and their children, creating a sense of belonging and offering a safe space for joy to be felt. 

Having been a social worker for the majority of her life, Luth’s committed herself to performing selfless services. Her own mother was philanthropic throughout her lifetime, so that is one reason she fights the good fight for those of any age. 

Though she’s a busy person, Luth does devote herself to the family of her own. A mother to two active teenage boys, she spends much time from the sidelines watching them compete in soccer matches. If a client reaches out during those moments, though, she won’t hesitate to answer her phone. She’s there for all, whether family members or not, at all times. 

In her free time, Luth travels to Missouri every now and then to visit with family in the area, something she always enjoys. 

Luth has resided in the Region for eight years. In that time, she’s discovered that there are passionate people here pursuing all kinds of honorable things, and enjoys being around like-minded people. Each person she’s met has welcomed her, and she notices frequently that everybody here seems to strive for the establishment of better things. 

“Everybody has been so welcoming and friendly in Valparaiso. Our partnerships make me feel connected to this place. The schools and the hospitals are amazing, and all of that has made Valpo seem like home to me, and I’m very proud to be here,” she said.