For our first 10 years, Tom Behrens was The Night Ministry’s sole employee.
Tom walked the streets of Lakeview and Lincoln Park at night, visiting with
lonely and downtrodden people. Tom met folks in all-night laundromats, cafes,
bars, and street corners, listening to the needs of those he met, offering
a consoling presence and helping when he could.
He learned first-hand about the issues facing people at night. He brought
those concerns back to the Board of Directors.
These concerns still form the focus of The Night Ministry today:
- youth and adults on the nighttime streets
- the existence of the homeless youth population and their complex needs, including
- the lack of access to primary healthcare services faced by those living on
Congregations funded the first two years of The Night Ministry's work. After
that time, Tom was required to begin fund-raising efforts to sustain his initiatives.
Currently, congregations are still active but our funding now comes
from a wide range of sources including corporations, foundations, government agencies, and individuals, and congregations/denominations.
Seven years after The Night Ministry was founded, Tom had his first intern
join him in street outreach.
Tom was beginning to build the foundation for how The Night Ministry would