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Our Stories

News and insights from The Night Ministry community.

The Night Ministry is Like Family for Street Medicine Client Jason

Street Medicine client Jason is now stably housed after close to two decades living unsheltered.

Jason struggled with homelessness and addiction on Chicago's streets for nearly two decades. Today, with help from The Night Ministry and a substance use treatment program, he has found permanent housing, stability, and hope. "It means everything to me, having a place. I have the basic necessities. When you're homeless, you don't have a bathroom or...

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Looking Back on 25 Years of Service

Outreach and Health Ministry Director David Wywialowski shared photos and reflections during his 25th anniversary celebration at our Bucktown headquarters.

I started at The Night Ministry in 1998 as an intern, and I never left. And though I have been here for a quarter century now, it feels like time has flown by.  Over these past 25 years, I have witnessed how, at The Night Ministry, we continue to find new ways to fulfill our mission to provide human connection, housing support, and health care...

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Youth Leader Speaks Out for Unhoused Mothers in New Documentary Series

Kimberly, a member of The Night Ministry’s Youth 4 Truth program, is the subject of a documentary now streaming at wttw.com/firsthand. Photo by Lloyd DeGrane for WTTW.

Last fall, Kimberly opened her life up to a video crew from WTTW, Chicago's PBS station, for a documentary series about homelessness told through the lives of those who are experiencing it. She is well poised to do so. As a member of Youth 4 Truth, The Night Ministry's leadership program for young people, Kimberly has a passion for advocacy and is ...

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New Client Advisory Board Gives Platform to Those Served by Health Outreach Program

Outreach and Health Ministry Program Client Advisory Board members attend a meeting at The Night Ministry’s headquarters.

This summer, The Night Ministry launched a Client Advisory Board for those served by its Outreach and Health Ministry Program, which brings health care, supportive services, and resources directly to people who are unhoused. Client Advisory Board members are recipients of the program's services who wish to provide feedback and gather information on...

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Alternative High School and Daycare Program Meets Needs of Young Mothers of Parenting with Purpose

Parenting with Purpose Alum Constance and her daughter celebrate their graduation from the Assocation House program.

The residents of Parenting with Purpose, The Night Ministry's housing program for young mothers and their kids, have long benefited from the agency's partnership with the Association House High School, a free, non–traditional education program based in Humboldt Park. The school provides a path to graduation for 16- to 21-year-olds facing educationa...

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Night Lights 2023

On October 5, 2023, we gathered together for Night Lights, the annual gala hosted by The Night Ministry's Associate Board, at Marshall's Landing in Merchandise Mart. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, the event raised more than $90,000 for two of our shelter programs: Interim Housing, which offers short-term housing for young people, ...

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Health Outreach Programs Serve Populations with Distinct Housing and Health Challenges

How and if Health Outreach clients access health care services varies across the CTA Outreach, Street Medicine, and Health Outreach Bus programs.

By Damian Nelson, Director, Learning and Impact The strength of The Night Ministry's three Outreach and Health Ministry Programs is their ability to tailor their approaches to better help Chicago residents who are unhoused or experiencing poverty. The Health Outreach Bus, Street Medicine Team, and CTA Outreach Program each serve unique populations ...

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Pathways Is a Place to Make a Soft Landing

Henry Merrill is the Supervisor of the Pathways Transitional Living Program.

By Henry Merrill, Pathways Transitional Living Program Supervisor At The Night Ministry's Youth Housing Programs, we are in the unique position of helping young people who are unhoused find a home with us, while we support them in finding a more permanent home of their own. The program I supervise, Pathways Transitional Living, provides up to two y...

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Flexible Housing Pool Case Managers Support Stability and Growth

Housing Case Manager Maya Rudder delivers necessities to the home of a Flexible Housing Pool for Youth participant.

Since launching in 2020, the Flexible Housing Pool for Youth, a collaboration between the Center for Housing and Health and other Chicago nonprofits, has helped 325 unhoused young adults access permanent housing through rent subsidies and supportive services. The Night Ministry plays a key role in the program by offering ongoing case management to ...

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Health Outreach Bus Survey Shows Clients Face Housing and Income Instability

A client receives a cup of coffee at the Humboldt Park stop of the Health Outreach Bus.

Finding a stable place to live, getting enough to eat, and receiving health care when they need it – these are the everyday concerns of many of the community members who visit The Night Ministry's Health Outreach Bus, according to a recent survey from the agency's Learning and Impact department. The Bus travels to Chicago neighborhoods with disprop...

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Annual Health Outreach Bus Survey Uncovers a Deeper Picture of Those Served

Staff from The Night Ministry's Learning and Impact and Outreach and Health Ministry departments interview clients at the Roseland stop on Chicago's South Side for this year's Health Outreach Bus survey.

On a warm Monday afternoon, The Night Ministry's Health Outreach Bus pulled up to a corner in the Roseland neighborhood, just as it does twice a week. But this day was a bit different. In addition to Bus staff providing their usual meals and supportive services to community members who were unhoused or experiencing poverty, team members from the ag...

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Racial Disparities in Education Tied to Homelessness

A disproportionate percentage of Black students in the Chicago Public Schools experience homelessness.

Black students enrolled in Chicago Public Schools are at greater risk of being unhoused than their white and Hispanic classmates, with a one in four chance of experiencing homelessness during their time in the school system.[1] Students who are unhoused and identify as Black face an intersecting web of barriers that make it especially hard to get a...

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Partnership with Loyola University Medical Center Brings Dentists to CTA Outreach Program

Dentists Dr. Martin Hogan, Dr. Tommy Scarafone, and Dr. Taimoor Rahman (pictured left to right) join The Night Ministry’s CTA Outreach at the Forest Park ‘L’ station.

Oral health issues are common among unhoused people and can lead to serious health consequences, such as exacerbating diabetes symptoms or negatively affecting heart health. Unfortunately, with its high cost and frequent need for multiple treatments, accessing dentistry is a struggle for many experiencing homelessness. To help address these concern...

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Youth Leaders Spotlighted in National Art Exhibition

Youth leaders Sharday (left) and Kiesha (right) display their copies of the exhibition catalog at the opening of the ‘Unaccompanied’ exhibition.

Young people served by The Night Ministry are represented in "Unaccompanied," an art exhibition and audio installation that captures the faces and voices of unhoused youth through large-scale portrait paintings and sound recordings. The show's artists, Kate Capshaw and Joshua-Michéle Ross, collaborated with The Night Ministry and other organization...

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Job Fair at The Crib Brings Opportunities Directly to Unhoused Young People

An employer talks with a young person about career opportunities at The Night Ministry's first job fair.

People experiencing homelessness, unhoused youth included, often face significant challenges when it comes to finding employment such as lack of access to transportation to and from interviews, no permanent address to write on applications, no funds for interview attire, possible prejudice from employers, and more. To support their ability to obtai...

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Racial Health Disparities Contribute to Housing Loss Among Black Americans

Measures include health coverage, access, and use; health status, outcomes, and behaviors; and social determinants of health. Data Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, Key Facts on Health and Health Care by Race and Ethnicity, 2022.

In the U.S., health disparities run along racial lines, with Black Americans continuing to experience poorer health outcomes than white Americans overall.[1] Poor health can negatively affect many areas of life, including by contributing to financial instability that may lead to housing loss. In this article, the fourth in our series exploring...

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The Human Cost of Encampment Sweeps

Article authors Yoela Tepper (left) and Kyanna Johnson (right) with the Street Medicine Van

By Kyanna Johnson, Lead Street Medicine Outreach Professional, and Yoela Tepper, Substance Use Specialist As members of The Night Ministry's Street Medicine Team, we see firsthand the damage to human lives caused by encampment sweeps—the removal by municipal authorities of personal property from an outdoor space where unsheltered individuals have g...

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The Night Ministry’s New Health Outreach Bus Hits the Streets

Lead Outreach Minister Juan Roca (left) and Nurse Practitioner Summer Kee showcase The Night Ministry's new Health Outreach Bus.

In the first week of 2023, The Night Ministry debuted its brand-new Health Outreach Bus on Chicago's streets, bringing free health care, food, and other resources to neighborhoods with high rates of homelessness and poverty. The new vehicle includes helpful features such as exterior illumination and secure and refrigerated storage for medicati...

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Parenting with Purpose Program Enjoys Renovations on Open Door - West Town’s Fourth Floor

Parenting with Purpose Program Supervisor La Donna Peppers in the program's newly renovated common area.

When you picture a shelter, you likely do not imagine a modern space with an open concept, a view of Chicago's skyline, a spacious kitchen, and plenty of natural light. But, after several months of renovations, The Night Ministry's Parenting with Purpose program, which provides up to 21 months of housing for pregnant and parenting young mothers and...

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Meetings at Downtown Library Help Case Managers Connect Clients to Housing and More

Youth Outreach Case Manager Zama Buthelezi (left) and Lead Case Manager Mirella Rodriguez (center) meet with a client at the Harold Washington Library.

During the pandemic, Case Managers from The Night Ministry's Health Outreach Program had few options for locations where they could meet clients to fill out applications for housing, public benefits, and identification cards. That is, until May 2021 when the agency began providing case management to clients once a week at the Chicago Public Library...

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1735 North Ashland Avenue, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60622 | 773-784-9000
The Night Ministry is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Our Federal Tax ID (EIN) is 36-3145764.