Our Stories

News and insights from The Night Ministry community.

How We Are Assisting Residents of the Desplaines Encampment

The Night Ministry Street Medicine Van in downtown Chicago. Team members have been assisting residents of an encampment closed by the City of Chicago on July 17.

July 17, 2024 The Night Ministry is among the Chicago organizations that have been conducting outreach with the residents of the tent encampment at Roosevelt and Desplaines that the City of Chicago closed on July 17, 2024. The City requested our help with this process as The Night Ministry has established relationships with many of the encampment r...

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How You Can Support Our Unhoused Neighbors After Supreme Court Ruling Criminalizing Street Homelessness

By Carol J. Sharp, MPAPresident & CEO Last month, the U.S. Supreme Court decided that laws criminalizing sleeping in public spaces do not violate the U.S. Constitution, even when individuals are unhoused and their communities do not have sufficient shelter capacity. The Court announced this decision less than 10 days after the City of Chicago r...

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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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Lighting Up the Night 2024 Honoress

It was our privilege to honor those who have made a lasting contribution to the mission of The Night Ministry and our community at our annual Gala on May 23. Lamplighter Award Chicago Transit Authority The Lamplighter Award symbolizes an unwavering commitment to our mission and to those we serve. Since the fall of 2020, the recipient of the Lamplig...

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Video: Illuminating a Path to a Better Tomorrow

Experience The Night Ministry's impact on the lives of our unhoused neighbors.  The Night Ministry is a beacon of hope for Chicago's most vulnerable residents. Experience how our staff, volunteers, and supporters come together to provide human connection, housing support, and health care to members of our community who are unhoused or exp...

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Scenes from Lighting Up the Night 2024

Thank you to all of our friends who joined us on May 23 at Lighting Up the Night! Because of you, we raised $347,000 in support of our mission to provide human connection, housing support, and health care to those who are unhoused or experiencing poverty. We are closing in on our $100,000 Paddle Raise Goal. Please consider a donation to help us get...

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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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The Legacy of Tom Behrens

The Rev. Tom Behrens, The Night Ministry's Founding President & Former CEO, on the Health Outreach Bus.

It is with a heavy heart that we share the news of the passing of Rev. Tom Behrens, the Founding President and Former CEO of The Night Ministry. Tom's vision, dedication, and unwavering commitment to serving our community's most vulnerable members left an indelible mark on our organization and the city of Chicago. As we mourn the loss of Tom and ke...

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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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A Stable Home and Advocacy Work Empower Youth Leader Adalina

Youth 4 Truth member Adalina obtained an apartment through a Rapid Rehousing event.

Adalina now has a home of her own. But the 20-year-old knows what it is like to experience housing instability. In recent months, she has stayed temporarily with family and friends and in shelters and housing programs, including at The Crib, The Night Ministry's emergency overnight shelter for young people, as well as its short-term youth housing p...

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One Decision Can Change a Life

Carol J. Sharp is the President & CEO of The Night Ministry

By Carol J. Sharp, President & CEO One decision. One decision has the power to shift the trajectory of your life. When I was two years old, I experienced housing insecurity. For approximately five years, my sister and I navigated Chicago, traveling from a foster home located on the South Side in the Englewood neighborhood to visit my biological...

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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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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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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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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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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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Remembering Barbara Bolsen

Barbara Bolsen was a longtime and beloved employee of The Night Ministry.

It is with deep sadness that we inform you that Barbara (Barb) Bolsen, The Night Ministry's former Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement, passed away on Wednesday, August 16. Barb joined The Night Ministry in 1997 after leaving a 20-year career in journalism and graduating from Chicago Theological Seminary. Barb once tol...

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Carol Sharp Joins The Night Ministry as President & CEO

Carol J. Sharp joins The Night Ministry as President & CEO.

After a national search, human services leader Carol J. Sharp has been named President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The Night Ministry. Sharp assumed her responsibilities on August 14, 2023. A Chicago native, Sharp brings a deep passion for serving marginalized communities. Throughout her career, she has been dedicated to enhancing t...

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The Night Ministry is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Our Federal Tax ID (EIN) is 36-3145764.