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Our Stories

News and insights from The Night Ministry community.

Our Mission Remains the Same

December 1, 2022 Dear Friends, Last month, we shared news with you about a leadership transition at The Night Ministry. I am following up on that announcement to reconfirm the agency's commitment to its mission. Just as we have done for decades, The Night Ministry will continue to provide human connection, housing support and health care to those w...

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The Night Ministry Community Comes Together to Celebrate the Holidays

Stephen Dougherty, Flexible Housing Pool Program Manager, loads up a van with holiday gifts for young adults and their families served by The Night Ministry.

The holidays are an important and busy time at The Night Ministry. Every year, staff, clients, donors, and volunteers join in seasonal traditions of giving and celebrations that elicit joy, provide comfort, and strengthen connections. "The fact that we're able to do this for people means something," said Stephanie Cascio, Resource Coordinator at Th...

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Leadership Transition at The Night Ministry

A message from Kiantae Bowles, Chair of the Board of Directors | November 10, 2022 Dear Friend, It is with mixed emotions that I announce the departure of our President & CEO, Paul W. Hamann. After more than twenty years of service to The Night Ministry, Paul has decided that this is the most advantageous time to step away from the Organiz...

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Community Spotlight: Pilsen

The Night Ministry's Health Outreach Bus stops in Pilsen, where staff and volunteers offer resources like free food and medical care to locals who are unhoused or facing poverty.

The Lower West Side neighborhood of Pilsen has long been a hub of Mexican and Latino culture in Chicago. Today it's also well-known for its restaurants, historic buildings, and vibrant arts scene. Yet, many of its residents struggle with homelessness and poverty. The Night Ministry's Health Outreach Bus stops in Pilsen twice a week, offering them f...

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High Rental Costs May Push Low-Income Households into Homelessness

The Street Medicine Team visits an encampment in Chicago. The increasing cost of housing is putting more community members at risk of losing their homes.

With skyrocketing rents and high inflation rates, many low-income earners can no longer afford housing and therefore risk facing homelessness. According to data from the real estate marketplace Zillow, the median national rent rose by 15.9% across a one-year period ending in May 2022, far outpacing wage growth and leaving many struggling to stay ho...

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Partnership with UI Health Brings Treatment for Substance Use Disorder to the Streets

Individuals can use a mobile phone to access appointments with UI Health doctors for substance abuse treatment.

As opioid-related overdoses and deaths increase by alarming rates in Chicago this year, The Night Ministry has partnered with the University of Illinois (UI) to expand access to treatment for substance use disorder among Chicago's homeless population. Through an innovative telemedicine program, the Street Medicine Team is connecting indiv...

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Survey Confirms Health Outreach Bus Visitors Face Housing, Food Insecurity, and Health Care Challenges

Outreach Professional Lavelle Horne provides a meal at the Health Outreach Bus. A new survey indicates that nearly three out of four visitors to the Bus rely on the program for at least some of their daily food intake.

Unstable housing, food insecurity, and limited access to health care remain widespread among visitors to The Night Ministry's Health Outreach Bus. That's according to the 2022 Outreach and Health Ministry Bus survey, conducted by The Night Ministry's Learning and Impact department. The survey also finds that the Bus provides an important source of ...

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Overdose Reversal Drug Is a Key Tool in Saving Lives

Substance Use Specialist Yoela Tepper assembles a harm reduction kit, which includes the overdose reversal drug Narcan.

Deaths from drug-related overdoses have soared in recent years in the United States. With opioid use common among a segment of the population The Night Ministry serves, the agency is often on the front lines in efforts to save lives by preventing overdose deaths among Chicagoans who are unhoused. Naloxone, a non-addictive medication that can revers...

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High Rates of Homelessness in the Black Community are Tied to Racial Bias in the Justice System

Black Americans who have been incarcerated experience higher rates of homelessness than formerly incarcerated white Americans. Data source: Prison Policy Initiative, 'Nowhere to Go: Homelessness Among Formerly Incarcerated People,' 2018.

Racial discrimination in the American justice system is nothing new. For centuries, Black Americans have faced an ideology that placed whiteness at the top and them at the bottom of a racial hierarchy, with unequal treatment under the law among its manifestations. According to the Equal Justice Initiative, Black people in America experience more un...

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Revised Mission Statement Recognizes Primacy of Human Connection and Dignity of Clients

Princess (right), a resident of the Pathways Transitional Living Program, speaks with Program Specialist Tracy Walker.

The Night Ministry has revised its mission statement, as it continues to pursue innovative solutions to the challenges of homelessness and poverty in Chicago while remaining true to its core beliefs. "We are not changing our mission," said Paul W. Hamann, President & CEO of The Night Ministry. "Rather, we have updated our mission statement...

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Meet Terri Sharpp, Vice President of Operations

Terri Sharpp joined The Night Ministry as Vice President of Operations, a new position for the agency, in 2021.

Terri Sharpp brings a wealth of experience in finance, human resources, and strategic planning to her role as Vice President of Operations at The Night Ministry. We asked her to share about her background and her role at the agency. Please tell us about your professional background. My professional background includes diverse experience in governme...

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Local Baker Sells Sweets to Support The Night Ministry

Betsy Peska, a local baker, sells her creations to fundraise for The Night Ministry.

The Night Ministry is lucky to have a community of generous supporters, many of whom have found creative ways to show their dedication to our mission. Among them is Betsy Peska, a long-time supporter and a talented baker who's found a way to use her skill with sweets to help those we serve: individuals and families who are unhoused or experiencing ...

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Community Spotlight: Humboldt Park

The Night Ministry's Health Outreach Bus parks beneath one of Humboldt Park's iconic steel flags.

Known for its lush, spacious park and its tight knit Puerto Rican community, Humboldt Park is a beloved green space and a culturally rich neighborhood. But its attractions haven't kept challenges at bay – and in recent years, they've led to a wave of gentrification that's displacing longtime residents. The Night Ministry is a frequent vis...

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Reap the Rewards

The Night Ministry community recently gathered to celebrate milestones of service among our passionate and dedicated staff. Our Reap the Rewards luncheon, the first held since the pandemic, honored employees with 15, 10 and 5 years of service with The Night Ministry. Please join us in recognizing the following:  15 Years 10 Years 5 Years Yasmi...

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Young People Learn Life Skills through Fun and Engaging Workshops

Program Specialist Ivory Hopkins (left) and Lead Case Manager Vichelle Frazier lead a workshop about technology and professional communication.

The Night Ministry's Youth Programs have launched a series of in-person workshops designed to teach a range of life skills to the young people the agency serves. Held at The Night Ministry's Bucktown headquarters, the workshops cover topics ranging from budgeting and apartment living to professional communication and technology. Instructors in...

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The Night Ministry and Rush University’s Health Fair for Youth Fosters Education and Enjoyment

Youth Programs participants join in the fun at the Health Fair, an event hosted by The Night Ministry and Rush University medical students.

Learning and fun went hand in hand this past June at The Night Ministry's Health Fair for Youth Programs participants, an educational event centered on sharing information about important health topics. The fair, which took place just outside the agency's Bucktown headquarters, was a joint effort cohosted with medical students from Rush Univer...

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Paralegal with Lived Experience Helps Improve Client Access to Public Benefits

Beth Warner (left), a paralegal with Legal Aid Chicago, joins the Street Medicine Team every week to help connect clients to public benefits such as food assistance.

Every Monday, paralegal Beth Warner joins The Night Ministry's Street Medicine Team as it takes free medical care, survival supplies, and more to those living on Chicago's streets. Working alongside the team, Warner helps clients enroll for public benefits such as Medicaid and food and cash assistance. Warner works for Legal Aid Chicago, a local or...

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Good Neighbor Guide Provides Suggestions for Engaging with Unhoused Community Members

Should I give money to people who are panhandling? Why do some people experiencing homelessness stay on the streets instead of going to a shelter? What causes homelessness in the first place? If you have ever asked these questions, The Night Ministry now has a Good Neighbor Guide on our website that provides some answers. "A lot of our support...

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Lighting Up the Night 2022

On June 13, 2022, nearly 300 of our friends gathered with our staff and Board of Directors for Lighting Up the Night: An Evening to Benefit The Night Ministry. During our first in-person benefit since 2019, we raised more than $370,000 in support of our mission to provide human connection, housing support, and health care to members ...

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Meet Lead Outreach Minister Juan Roca

Lead Outreach Minister Juan Roca provides coffee to a Health Outreach Bus visitor in Chicago's South Side neighborhood.

Lead Outreach Minister Juan Roca's passion for his work is palpable. He joined The Night Ministry in the fall of 2019, and since then has become an invaluable part of the agency's Outreach and Health Ministry Program. Roca works on the Health Outreach Bus, a custom-built vehicle that visits neighborhoods across Chicago with high concentrations of p...

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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.