Our Stories

News and insights from The Night Ministry community.

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A Stable Home and Advocacy Work Empower Youth Leader Adalina

adalina Youth 4 Truth member Adalina obtained an apartment through a Rapid Rehousing event.

Adalina now has a home of her own. But the 20-year-old knows what it is like to experience housing instability.

In recent months, she has stayed temporarily with family and friends and in shelters and housing programs, including at The Crib, The Night Ministry's emergency overnight shelter for young people, as well as its short-term youth housing program, Interim.

"The transition between all these situations was challenging. It was an eye-opening experience," she said.

Adalina now lives in a studio apartment in the South Side, which she gained through her participation in a Rapid Rehousing event, an intervention designed to quickly move individuals out of homelessness, hosted and co-organized by The Night Ministry and social services organization All Chicago.

Despite the challenges of living on her own, she has found it rewarding.

"Being housed alone gives me more opportunity to be self-reliant. I'm finding that I can handle adult responsibilities," she said.

During her time with The Night Ministry, Adalina found a sense of stability in the staff members she relied on, and that helped her grow into greater independence. "What's most important to me are the connections I made here and the self-discovery that I had. I gained so much knowledge from speaking to all these people, and it makes me feel privileged. They make me feel optimistic about being of service to others."

And that optimism has inspired her continued service in Youth 4 Truth, The Night Ministry's leadership program for young people. Now participating in her second session, Adalina has presented in meetings with the Board of Directors, helping provide youth feedback at the highest levels of the agency.

Her experience of homelessness has stressed upon her the importance of speaking out. "It drives me to do stuff like Youth 4 Truth and community organizing, even though the experience is hard to talk about. It challenges me to do things that I wouldn't expect myself to do, and I think that's a challenge that I like taking on," she said. 

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