fbpx

Our Stories

News and insights from The Night Ministry community.

Advocacy Efforts to Support Homeless Population Rewarded as Key Legal Measures Pass in Springfield

The 2022 Illinois state budget includes an increase in funding for homeless youth programs.

The Night Ministry and partner organizations have been busy urging state lawmakers to back funding and legislation supporting Illinois residents experiencing homelessness and poverty. These efforts have paid off with Governor Pritzker signing a budget for the fiscal year 2022 that includes over $1 billion for housing assistance and homele...

Continue reading
  2018 Hits

Students at Jonathan Burr Elementary Give Back by Supporting The Night Ministry

Members of the National Junior Honor Society at Bucktown's Jonathan Burr Elementary School organize drives to support The Night Ministry.

When The Night Ministry relocated its headquarters to Bucktown in summer 2020, the agency gained a generous neighbor in the Jonathan Burr Elementary School, whose students have made a habit of giving back. "Last year we were able to do a whole school food drive to help support The Night Ministry in the spring," said Middle School teacher Sarah Craw...

Continue reading
  1479 Hits

Varying Definitions of Homelessness Impact Access to Services

The definition of homelessness utilized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development precludes many from qualifying for vital services and resources.

Who is identified as experiencing homelessness and who is not varies under federal definitions, and when interpretations of the term are strict, individuals and communities may be unable to access the resources they need. According to a recent report from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH), the vast majority of those experiencing homeless...

Continue reading
  2326 Hits

Youth Programs to Offer More Flexible Long-Term Housing Solutions

Terrell Carter, Program Specialist (left), talks with two residents of the new Pathways Transitional Living Program.

The Night Ministry is restructuring aspects of its Youth Programs to offer more flexible long-term housing and deepen the impact of its services to young people experiencing homelessness. "We are making these changes in response to the evolving challenges faced by the population and to reflect demographic shifts among the youth we se...

Continue reading
  2238 Hits

Straight Outta Quarantine

Straight Outta Quarantine” presenters, clockwise from the upper left: Malika, Persie, Maria, and Julie. Scoll down to watch the video.

The adversities brought by the COVID-19 pandemic have been met with persistence and matched by progress. That is the message underlying "Straight Outta Quarantine," a creative video presentation by members of Youth 4 Truth, The Night Ministry's leadership development program for young people who have experienced homelessness. The video premiered at...

Continue reading
  1013 Hits

Homeless Count in Chicago May Have Dropped, but Are More People Exiting Homelessness?

Nearly 60,000 Chicagoans experienced homelessness in 2019.

Data indicate that Chicago's homeless population has fallen over the last several years. But that doesn't mean the challenge of homelessness is going away. In a new study, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) reports that 58,723 Chicagoans experienced homelessness in 2019, down 16% from the year prior. The decline is part of a trend seen du...

Continue reading
  11128 Hits

Celebrating 45 Years: The Night Ministry Pioneers Mobile Health Care on Chicago's Streets

The Rev. Peter Brick (left) speaks with a client outside the Health Outreach Program’s first vehicle, a converted RV.

For the first fourteen years of the agency's history, The Night Ministry staff conducted outreach on their feet, supporting the community members they encountered while walking the nighttime streets of Chicago. Realizing that many of those individuals had unaddressed health challenges, in 1990 The Night Ministry added a mobile health care component...

Continue reading
  1273 Hits

Celebrating 45 Years: The Foundations of The Night Ministry

The Rev. Tom Behrens (right), is The Night Ministry’s Founding President & Former CEO.

By Paul W. Hamann, MA, MNAPresident & CEO The Night Ministry was formed 45 years ago when a diverse coalition of Chicago-based congregations hired the Rev. Tom Behrens to reach out to individuals struggling with homelessness, isolation, and despair during the lonely overnight hours. Tom was a minister of the United Church of Christ. But as he t...

Continue reading
  2717 Hits

Celebrating 45 Years: The Night Ministry Launches Chicago's First Street Medicine Program

The Night Ministry’s Street Medicine Team assisting clients along Lower Wacker Drive. Photo by Lloyd DeGrane.

By 2015, The Night Ministry's Health Outreach Bus had been on the road for 25 years, providing free health care to Chicagoans experiencing poverty or homelessness, but the agency sensed it could be making a wider impact on the streets. "There was this inkling that we could reach more people who were really falling between the cracks if we were a li...

Continue reading
  1295 Hits

Celebrating 45 Years: The Crib Turns Homeless Advocates' Vision into Reality

Youth from H.E.L.L.O. and members of The Night Ministry staff with former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley at City Hall in August 2009.

The Crib, The Night Ministry's overnight shelter for young adults experiencing homelessness, owes much to a group of young change makers called Homeless Experts Living Life's Obstacles (H.E.L.L.O.). For years, H.E.L.L.O. members would meet weekly to discuss their experiences and insights as young Chicagoans struggling with homelessness. Their big b...

Continue reading
  1358 Hits

Celebrating 45 Years: West Town Facility Enhances and Expands Services for Homeless Youth

Program Specialist Henry Merrill (right) speaks to a resident of the Interim Housing Program at the Open Door Shelter—West Town facility.

On August 3, 2006, the residents of The Night Ministry's Open Door Shelter–Lakeview packed up their belongings and made the journey, along with the shelter's staff, to a newly rehabbed facility in Chicago's West Town neighborhood. The move came nearly 14 years after the Interim Housing Program, providing up to four months of supportive shelter to y...

Continue reading
  1545 Hits

Celebrating 45 Years: The Night Ministry Opens Its First Youth Shelter in a Time of Dire Need

Residents and staff enjoy a meal together at The Night Ministry’s first youth shelter in Lakeview.

By the close of the 1980s, Chicago's population of unsheltered young people had reached an estimated 10,000 individuals per year. State law prohibited nonprofits from operating group shelters for them, leaving youth experiencing homelessness with few, if any, options for a safe place to spend the night. "At the time, if you were a young person, you...

Continue reading
  1295 Hits

Street Medicine Volunteer Physician Dr. Aaron Brinkman is Dedicated to Service

Dr. Aaron Brinkman (left), a volunteer physician, treats a Street Medicine patient.

Even before Dr. Aaron Brinkman joined The Night Ministry's Street Medicine team as a Volunteer Physician, he sought ways to provide medical care to those living on the streets. Though Brinkman had a busy professional life as a primary care physician and a National Guard Commander, a television show featuring Pittsburgh's pioneering street medicine ...

Continue reading
  1825 Hits

Webinar: Chicago's Homeless & The Night Ministry During COVID-19

Watch the replay of this webinar below

How are the coronavirus and its impact on our economy and society affecting young people, adults, and families experiencing homelessness and poverty? What adjustments has The Night Ministry made so it can continue to serve during these challenging times? What can you do to help support our work and to help make sure the needs of Chicago's homeless ...

Continue reading
  2607 Hits

Youth Struggling with Homelessness Have Varied Experiences of the Pandemic

College and high school students served by The Night Ministry adjusted to online learning during the COVID-19 pandemic, as students around the world did.

Young people served by The Night Ministry have faced a variety of disruptions and challenges during the COVID-19 pandemic. According to interviews conducted with several clients of the organization's Youth Programs, their experiences of the changes, adversities, and opportunities brought by the pandemic, while sharing some commonalities, have also ...

Continue reading
  2698 Hits

Health Outreach Offers Support to Spanish Speakers Experiencing Homelessness

The Health Outreach Bus in Pilsen, a Chicago neighborhood where The Night Ministry serves many clients for whom Spanish is the primary language.

The sounds of Spanish are often heard along the routes of the Health Outreach Bus and the Street Medicine Team, The Night Ministry's Health Outreach programs that bring free health care and other essential resources into communities across Chicago. "Staff are out speaking Spanish with people every day," said Stephan Koruba, Senior Nurse Practitione...

Continue reading
  1764 Hits

The Night Ministry Welcomes Volunteers Back to Programs

Louise Goodman (left) provides sack suppers to visitors of the Health Outreach Bus in the South Shore neighborhood.

Volunteers play an essential role in The Night Ministry's ability to effectively fulfill its mission. Out of caution, the agency suspended volunteer shifts at its Health Outreach and in its Youth Housing Programs when the pandemic began. However, with cases trending downward and vaccination access expanding, The Night Ministry began to bring volunt...

Continue reading
  1631 Hits

Why We're Really All in This Together: A Fiscal Year-End Reflection by Our President & CEO

Paul Hamann is the President & CEO of The Night Ministry.

Dear Friend, There are phrases that have been spoken and written so many times over the last year or so that they have nearly lost their meaning. "Getting used to the new normal." "We are living in unprecedented times." "We're all in this together." I'm sure you can think of others. Frankly, I'd be happy to never hear or read them again. Yet a...

Continue reading
  1376 Hits

Street Medicine Offers Medical Residents an Eye-Opening Perspective on Health Care

Dr. Nathan Lin (right), a medical resident, prepares to provide a COVID-19 vaccine to a Street Medicine patient.

For more than a year, The Night Ministry's Street Medicine Program has been welcoming medical residents—physicians who are receiving their post-graduate training—to join staff in providing health care and supportive services to Chicago's unsheltered homeless population. The residents gain valuable hands-on experience while assisting the Street Medi...

Continue reading
  2557 Hits

Board Member’s Work in Affordable Housing Connects to Service with The Night Ministry

Board Member Bennett Applegate, Jr., seen here speaking at the 2019 Lighting Up the Night benefit, is an attorney specializing in the development of affordable housing.

Serving on The Night Ministry's Board of Directors is an extension of the professional life of Bennett Applegate, Jr. Applegate is an attorney whose legal practice focuses on the financing and development of affordable housing. "If you look at the spectrum of housing solutions, I'm involved in the area of permanent housing, whereas The Night Minist...

Continue reading
  1808 Hits

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.