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4 minutes reading time (710 words)

Fulfilling Our Mission during the COVID-19 Pandemic

bus-for-facebook The Night Ministry's Health Outreach Bus continues to visit underserved neighborhoods in Chicago six days a week..

​A letter from Paul W. Hamann, President & CEO of The Night Ministry

(Please note some conditions have changed since this letter was originally published)

March 16, 2020

Dear Friends,

On behalf of the thousands whom The Night Ministry serves, thank you for your support of our mission to provide housing, health care, and human connection to the poor and homeless here in Chicago.

As you are well aware, these are confusing and anxiety-filled times for all of us. Information about the Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19)is changing day-by-day, if not minute-by-minute. Sources of information on which we might traditionally rely for support are themselves struggling to keep up with the spread of the virus.

Facing adversity and meeting the needs of our clients in an ever-changing environment is not new for The Night Ministry. Thus, despite the many challenges and the unknown brought on by COVID-19, coupled with increasingly unsettling economic news, we are committed to continue meeting the needs of our community members who need us most and to providing housing, health care, and human connection to those who have no one else to whom they can turn for help.

We will not and cannot forget about those whom we are called to serve, because they may be at higher risk of contracting the virus. I would like to tell you how, using guidance from The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), we are working to keep our staff, clients, and volunteers as safe as possible. Some of the measures we have enacted include the following:

  • We are widely distributing COVID-19 information, hand sanitizer, and soap among clients.
  • We are increasing cleaning and sanitization practices at all of our facilities, on our vehicles, and among staff and asking all members of our community to practice social distancing as recommended by the CDC.
  • Placement of informational signs regarding the coronavirus in all facilities and vehicles.
  • Suspension of client services such as health care and case management on board the Health Outreach Bus and Street Medicine Van; services will still be provided outside of the vehicles.
  • Temporary suspension of HIV/STI testing, as it requires the tester and client to be in close proximity in an enclosed space for an extended period of time.
  • Additional intake questions for clients admitted to our Youth Housing Programsand served by our Health Outreach Program to assess for symptoms, with referrals and isolation protocols if symptoms are observed or reported.
  • Cancellation at our housing programs of outside program activities, including home visits, limiting attendance at internal group activities, and reducing the use of common spaces, where possible.
  • Sharing best practices with partner organizations and advocating on behalf of our clients with city, state, and national government agencies and officials.
  • Ongoing development of protocol to respond to potential changes in the virus's presence in the community, and if it happens, among The Night Ministry's staff, volunteers, and clients.

We are and will be incurring significant additional costs, not anticipated when our current budget was developed nine months ago. These costs include everything from cleaning supplies to staff overtime. We appreciate your consideration of making an additional gift to us during this time of need. You can do so online at here.

We are committed to continuing to serve Chicago's most vulnerable residents during this period.We are doing so without letting panic enter into our decisions and ensuring that we are making decisions based on fact, not rumor,which will allow us to continue our services in an uninterrupted manner. We will inform you about any potential changes to our operations brought about by this rapidly evolving situation. I encourage you to visit our website at https://www.thenightministry.org/covid19 for the latest information.

As a supporter of our mission, you join The Night Ministry in recognizing the dignity of those whom we serve, who often become more marginalized in crises such as the one we are living through now. I take comfort in knowing that you stand with us in protecting the health and safety of all members of our community.

Best,

Paul W. Hamann
President & CEO
The Night Ministry


Our Mission Will Not Change
Advocacy Alert: COVID-19 Emergency Federal Funding

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1735 North Ashland Avenue, Suite 2000, Chicago, IL 60622 |
Phone: 773-784-9000