Fulfilling Our Mission during the COVID-19 Pandemic

“During these challenging times, The Night Ministry’s mission has not and will not change. Our organization is called to provide housing, health care, and human connection to the poor and homeless. That is it. Period. We will not waver from this mission.”

Paul W. Hamann
President & CEO
The Night Ministry

Why Our Work Is Important Now

The young people, adults, and families that The Night Ministry serve are particularly vulnerable at this time. Those living on the streets may be at higher risk of contracting the coronavirus. It is difficult to practice health and hygiene practices, and many have compromised immune systems or underlaying health concerns.

Those whom we serve are also hit hard by the pandemic’s impact on our economy and society, with some social services they rely upon scaled back or not operating. Meanwhile, with many businesses shuttered or running at reduced capacity, individuals and families living paycheck to paycheck find themselves scrambling to pay for housing, medicine, food, and other essentials. Those who have lost their jobs may also no longer have health care coverage.

How You Can Help

Make a Financial Contribution

The Night Ministry is incurring additional costs during this period for such items as food for our programs and emergency safety equipment as well as staff overtime and supplemental compensation to acknowledge essential employees who are required to work under challenging times.

You can support our mission during this challenging time by making a donation online or by calling 773-784-9000.

Make an In-Kind Donation

The Night Ministry is in need of the following items to help us continue serving our clients.

  • Cloth face masks (store-bought or handmade)
  • Surgical and N95 respirator masks
  • Hand sanitizer
  • Disinfectant wipes
  • Jewel-Osco gift cards

Please contact Miranda Dean, Resource Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 773-506-6022 to make arrangments to donate these items.

Support Our Meal Programs

We continue to seek assistance with providing meals for our clients. We are collecting sack suppers for our Health Outreach Programs, accepting dropped-off meals for our Health Outreach Bus, and seeking hot meal deliveries for The Crib overnight shelter.

Sack suppers should include a sandwich (meat and cheese only, no condiments), fruit cup, a snack, and a bottle of water.

We are accepting prepared meals to serve 60 to 200 people at our Health Outreach Bus, depending on the stop. Meals may be dropped off at our administrative office or at the stop, but should be scheduled in advance.

At The Crib, we are accepting breakfast or dinner on the weekend for 25 people. Meals may be dropped off or sent by delivery, but must be scheduled in advance.

Please visit this link to see available dates to provide meals for the Health Outreach Bus or The Crib.

Please contact Andrew Hart, Volunteer Coordinator, at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or 773-506-6033 for more information about providing sack suppers or meals.

Updates on Our Services

Volunteer Shifts Temporarily Suspended

With the recent spike in coronavirus cases in the Chicago-area, we have cancelled onsite volunteer opportunities as of Friday, October 23, 2020. We care deeply about the health and safety of our clients, staff, and volunteers and hope to welcome back our amazing volunteers once cases return to more manageable levels.

For more information, please email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

The Night Ministry in the News

The work of The Night Ministry and its dedicated staff during the pandemic have been featured in many recent news stories. Here are links to a few of them.

Providers Hope Telehealth Becomes the Norm After COVID-19. WTTW Chicago Tonight, December 31, 2020

Chicago’s homeless and area service providers prepare for 1st full pandemic winter: ‘What we have right now is this really unique opportunity.’ Chicago Tribune, December 11, 2020

There’s an Uptick in Street Overdoses During the Pandemic. Southside Weekly, December 9, 2020

Delivering free Thanksgiving meals amid pandemic offers glimpse of ‘what hardship looks like.’ Chicago SunTimes, November 25, 2020

The Night Ministry Serving Chicagoans Impacted by Homelessness but with Modified Outreach Practices. CBS Chicago, May 29, 2020

How the Pandemic Is Impacting Childhood Homelessness. WGN-TV News, May 19, 2020

Homeless Chicagoans Could Face "Major Fallout" from COVID-19. Belt Magazine. May 8, 2020

Nearly Empty of Regular Commuters, CTA Trains Are now Carrying Essential Workers and the Homeless. Chicago Tribune, April 23, 2020

For Chicago Homeless Students, School Provided more than an Education. Here's How They Are Coping. Chalkbeat, April 21, 2020

Chicago's Night Ministry Turns Overnight Shelter into 24/7 Home. WBBM Newsradio, April 15, 2020

Homeless during a Pandemic. Chicago Reader, April 14, 2020

Public Health Groups Strengthen Support for HomelessNewsy, April 14, 2020

COVID-19 Across Chicago: Boystown. WTTW Chicago Tonight, April 9, 2020

"It Hurts"—Food pantries shut down, shelters try to cope amid coronavirus crisis. Chicago SunTimes, March 25, 2020

Street Medicine: Treating Chicago’s Homeless During the Coronavirus Outbreak. WTTW Chicago Tonight, March 20, 2020

"I'm Still in Shock"—How Chicagoans, from Creatives to Nonprofit Staff, Are Being Affected by the Novel Coronavirus—and What We Can All Do to Help. Chicago Reader, March 19, 2020

Homeless Shelters Brace for Coronavirus Outbreak among Closures, Larger Prevention Efforts. Chicago Tribune, March 17, 2020

Outbreak Voices: How Coronavirus Has Changed a Chicago Nurse's Work with Homeless. NPR, March 14, 2020

Chicago Coronavirus "Could Spread Like Wildfire" among Homeless without Proper Precautions, Advocates Say. ABC7 Chicago, March 12, 2020


Important Links

As collective knowledge about the coronavirus evolves, we are providing the following links to government websites where you may find updates on the pandemic, tips on how to protect yourself from the virus, what to do if you experience symptoms, and other important information.

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention COVID-19 website

Illinois Department of Public Health COVID-19 website

Chicago Department of Public Health COVID-19 website

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