Our Stories

News and insights from The Night Ministry community.

Physician Brings Decades of Hospital Experience to the Streets of Chicago

Ralph-min Dr. Ralph Ryan consults with a patient on a chilly Saturday while making the rounds with the Street Medicine Team. Photo by Lloyd DeGrane.
After 35 years as an interventional cardiologist in Michigan, Dr. Ralph Ryan is now practicing on the streets of Chicago. Ryan provides free health care to individuals who are experiencing homelessness, as a volunteer physician with The Night Ministry's Outreach and Health Ministry Program, most often on the Street Medicine Team. Being part of a te...
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54 Hits

Phoenix Hall Expands Its Mission to Serve a Wider Base of Students and Their Families

phoenix-hall-min Residents prepare dinner at Phoenix Hall, The Night Ministry's housing program for high school students experiencing homelessness.
As the school year comes to a close at Chicago Public Schools, six residents of Phoenix Hall are preparing to don the cap and gown for their graduation ceremonies. Located in Chicago's West Lawndale neighborhood, Phoenix Hall is The Night Ministry's residence for high schoolers experiencing housing instability. It's named after the mascot of North ...
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262 Hits

In My Own Words: For My Daughter - 04/18/2019

tiana-min For My Daughter - 04/18/2019
A poem by Tiana Johnson The world I wish to give to you. Though you are my world at the age of two. Growing and changing with phases of the sun. Seems that just yesterday you were only 1. Waking every morning with a smile that is true. I can only hope to be as patient as you. Forgiveness is in you, and love radiates from. For 777 days I have b...
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155 Hits

In My Own Words: Music Saved My Life

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By Daniel Barber Writing and performing music saved my life. When you're locked up, there's not much to do. I'd always loved poetry, so I spent my time reading, writing, and focusing on my vocabulary. Life doesn't always go your way, and to snap out of my depressive state, I had to put my thoughts into words on paper. Being homeless is tough. But I...
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248 Hits

No Clear Path to Housing for Many Who Experience Homelessness

housin_20190503-191719_1 Individuals experiencing homelessness often face multiple hurdles as they pursue permanent housing.
The process of renting an apartment or buying a home can be difficult enough. But individuals experiencing homelessness face an array of challenges when trying to find stable housing. "There are some very common situations among the homeless population such as little or no income, a low credit score, an arrest record, or a history of evictions that...
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273 Hits

Youth Aftercare Services Support Transitions

Bridget Bridget Thomas is responsible for supporting former residents of The Night Ministry’s Youth Housing Programs.
​ The relationship with The Night Ministry doesn't end when residents move on from the agency's Youth Housing Programs. "The Night Ministry provides comprehensive case management for young people who have been discharged from our housing programs," said Bridget Thomas, Housing Stabilization Specialist. "We want to help them maintain their stability...
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209 Hits

The Night Ministry Makes a Big Move to Enhance Services

outside-again-min The Night Ministry is moving The Crib along with Health Outreach and administrative staff to a new location in Bucktown.
Its iconic water tower, decorated with the blue stripes and red stars of the flag of Chicago, is a landmark of the city's skyline. And soon the four-story building at 1735 North Ashland will house one of Chicago's most iconic organizations. The Night Ministry is moving key portions of its operations to the red-brick building, located just north of ...
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1507 Hits

Reap the Rewards 2019

David-podiu_20190405-183144_1 David Wywiaolowski, Director of Outreach & Health Ministry, is celebrating 20 years with The Night Ministry.
​On April 4, 2019, The Night Ministry honored 11 employees at our Annual Reap the Rewards of Service Luncheon. Their colleagues, family members, friends, and members of  The Night Ministry's Board of Directors gathered to celebrate their multiple years with the organization. Honorees were presented with awards by Paul W. Ha...
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832 Hits

Surveys at Youth Housing Programs Help The Night Ministry Better Understand the Needs of Clients

171107-NightMinistry-STEPS-1060 Short term shelter, securing employment, and food are the top three pressing needs reported by residents of The Night Ministry's Youth Housing Programs.
Four times a year, The Night Ministry's Mission Fulfillment Department visits the organization's Youth Housing Programs to learn about the young people The Night Ministry serves and to find out how they feel their needs are being met. The results of the anonymous surveys conducted by Mission Fulfillment contribute to a data-driven culture of learni...
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The Night Ministry in the News During the Polar Vortex

The Night Ministry's work serving Chicago's homeless population during the dangerously cold weather of January 2019 was highlighted by several media organizations. Below you will find links to a number of the stories. WGN-TV Colder Temperatures Mean Increased Risk for Chicago's Homeless Population WBBM Newsradio Mobile Assistance Unit Helps Homeles...
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1169 Hits

Winter Poses Unique Challenges for The Night Ministry’s Clients and Staff

Matthew-Sorenson Matthew Sorenson (left), Medical Director of the Outreach and Health Ministry Program, consults with a patient.
Making it through a winter season of snow and extreme cold can be difficult for all of us. But winter conditions can pose extra challenges for individuals experiencing homelessness as well as The Night Ministry staff members who provide mobile outreach services. "The conditions of homelessness make recovery from some of the more common winter ailme...
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1923 Hits

Mission Fulfillment Takes Survey Results Back to the Source

survey-back-to-clients-min Bringing survey results back to clients ensures that guests of The Crib and The Night Ministry’s other Youth Housing Programs are given a forum to express their opinions.
Serving in the Next Decade , The Night Ministry's current strategic plan, calls for growing and sustaining a data-driven culture of learning. Surveying clients across the organization is an important avenue for achieving that goal. Over the last few years, The Night Ministry began sharing survey results with its clients. Gregory Gross, Director of ...
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910 Hits

Volunteering with The Night Ministry Is Personal

Volunteer-story Miriam Thompson says she was drawn to volunteering with The Night Ministry because she could relate to some of the challenges our clients face.
Every year, hundreds of volunteers contribute their time, energy, and passion to The Night Ministry's mission. Many inspired to give back by personal experiences. Miriam Thompson, who greets clients on the Health Outreach Bus while serving meals and coffee, was drawn to The Night Ministry because she had experienced a period of homelessness. "I loo...
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5664 Hits

Nurse's Corner: Caring for Patients Is a Privilege for Bethany Hess

Bethany-story Nurse Practitioner Bethany Hess gets ready to check a patient’s blood pressure on the Health Outreach Bus.
Nurse Practitioner Bethany Hess's philosophy of patient care is rooted in respect for others and acceptance of each person's unique experience of life. "I believe in client-centered care. This requires understanding the needs of the people whom we serve, their circumstances, and the challenges they may be facing," said Hess, who provides free basic...
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920 Hits

A Look Back at 2018 Holiday Celebrations

Every year, the generosity of our supporters allows us to celebrate the holidays with the young people and adults we serve across the city. We hold a holiday party for clients of our Youth Programs, which includes a sit-down meal, games, and wrapped presents. Meanwhile clients of our Health Outreach Bus are also treated to holiday celebrations...
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1129 Hits

Stocking Stuffing Is a Seasonal Tradition for Supporters

stockings-story-min A client of The Night Ministry holds up a gift stocking. The generosity of our supporters allows us to give stockings during the holiday season.
Every year, The Night Ministry's generous supporters help make the holiday season a little brighter for the children, youth, and adults we serve by contributing to the celebrations we hold across all of our programs in December. One of the biggest ways our friends help is through the donation of stockings that are filled with essentials like socks,...
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963 Hits

Who Are We Serving at the Health Outreach Bus?

Digging into the 2018 Outreach and Health Ministry Street Survey Results Creating a data-driven culture of learning is one of the goals of Serving in the Next Decade , The Night Ministry's current strategic plan. Gregory Gross, Director of Mission Fulfillment, says surveys conducted with The Night Ministry's clients play key roles in building that ...
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1737 Hits

Having Benefited from The Night Ministry, Craig Echols is Helping Other Youth Find Their Way

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By Helen Grove Craig Echols discovered The Night Ministry at a crossroads in his life. At 19 years old, he had recently been released from Cook County Jail and was living in a rehabilitation facility that brought about its own set of challenges, including hostile tenants that made the facility an unsettling place to live. Recognizing that the rehab...
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1213 Hits

In My Own Words: What Inspires You To Live Life?

light-effects-with-led-light-1564195-min What Inspires You?
​By Malika Tate, a member of Youth 4 Truth, The Night Ministry's leadership and advocacy group for young people. When I first wake up in the morning normally I do not want to get up. But reminding myself of my purpose and goals in life helps me get up every day. They inspire me to live life. As human beings, we have purposes here on earth, whether ...
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1265 Hits

Meet Board Member Suzanne Hoyes

Suzanne Hoyes was looking for a way to meaningfully participate in the Chicago community when she moved here in 2014. She found a way to do that by joining The Night Ministry's Board of Directors. We asked Hoyes, who is Vice President, Compliance for Capri Capital Partners, LLC, a real estate investment management firm, about her experience as a Bo...
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