Our Stories

News and insights from The Night Ministry community.

Criminalization Perpetuates the Cycle of Homelessness

Laws criminalizing homelessness, including ordinances banning camping in public places, have increased by more than 40% in major American cities over the last decade, according to The National Law Center on Homelessness & Poverty.

Homelessness is not a crime, but in municipalities across the country, more and more individuals experiencing homelessness face jail time or fines for sleeping on the sidewalk or in a car, camping in a public place, panhandling, or engaging in other activities they must do to simply survive on the streets. "It's a vicious cycle," said Sylvia Hibbar...

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The Associate Board Rededicates to Service and Partnership Building

Members of The Night Ministry’s Associate Board at last year’s Night Lights, their annual gala.

By Benita Natalini and Chintan Mehta, Co-Presidents, The Associate Board At this year's Lighting Up the Night, The Night Ministry's Annual Awards Dinner & Auction, President & CEO, Paul W. Hamann, Associate Board member Sam Ritchey, and other speakers provided reflections on the importance of human connection to the mission of The Night Min...

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Dr. Jim Withers, Street Medicine Pioneer, Visits The Night Ministry

Dr. Jim Withers (second from the right) and Dr. Denise Kohl, Street Medicine Institute Fellow (second from the left), with The Night Ministry's Street Medicine staff.

In the early 1990s, Dr. Jim Withers, a teaching physician at a Pittsburgh hospital, found himself frustrated by attitudes among the medical community that were antithetical to the goals of the profession. "When people come for health care, they're forced into boxes that we created for them," Withers said. "I suddenly put these glasses on and realiz...

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Street Medicine: A New Frontier in Homeless Outreach Services

The Night Ministry's Street Medicine Program brings health care and supportive services directly to Chicago's unsheltered homeless population. Photo by Lloyd DeGrane.

On Friday, September 13, 2019, The Night Ministry's President & CEO, Paul W. Hamann, spoke to medical professionals and supporters of The Night Ministry's mission in a special event with Dr. Jim Withers, Medical Director of Operation Safety Net at Pittsburgh Mercy Health System and a pioneer in the field of street medicine. Below you'll fi...

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Practicing on the Streets Is a Good Fit for Nurse Practitioner Stephan Koruba

Senior Nurse Practitioner, Stephan Koruba, consults with a patient about foot care in the Street Medicine Van.

Having made house calls while working for a safety net clinic in suburban Aurora, The Night Ministry's Senior Nurse Practitioner, Stephan Koruba, has experience bringing health care directly to people where they live. He's still doing that today as a member of the Street Medicine Team, but most of the patients he sees these days don't have a perman...

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The Associate Board Gets Ready for Night Lights 2019

Night Lights in the Annual Gala of The Associate Board, which supports the mission of The Night Ministry through volunteering, fundraising, and advocacy opportunities targeted towards young professionals.

The Night Ministry's Associate Board is once again preparing for the annual Night Lights Gala, our biggest event of the year, which raises funds in support of The Night Ministry's work providing housing, health care, critical outreach, and other social services to Chicago's most vulnerable populations. This year, we're setting our most ambitious fu...

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Construction Work Begins at 1735 North Ashland

We have begun construction work inside 1735 North Ashland, the new home of The Night Ministry's central office, Health Outreach Bus Program, and our overnight shelter for young adults, The Crib. The first step was gutting the second and third floors of the building so we could build out our open office plan. The first floor, where The Cri...

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Heat-Related Illness a Danger for Homeless

High blood pressure can be exacerbated by hot weather. Photo by Lloyd DeGrane.

While winter weather poses dangers for individuals experiencing homelessness, living on the streets during the summer can create its own set of challenges. Staff members with The Night Ministry's Health Outreach Bus and Street Medicine programs educate their clients about potential heat-related health conditions such as heat exhaustion and stroke, ...

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Celebrating Human Connection

During Lighting Up the Night, our Annual Awards Dinner & Auction, The Night Ministry took a look at the third aspect of its mission---human connection. Our President & CEO, Paul W. Hamann, spoke about how human connection is at the root of the services we provide. Read his remarks below. The Night Ministry has cultivated a data-driven cultu...

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Lighting Up the Night 2019

On June 11, 2019, The Night Ministry held Lighting Up the Night, its Annual Awards Dinner & Auction, emceed by WTTW host and producer, Geoffrey Baer. Thanks to event sponsors and attendees, we raised nearly $500,000 in support of our mission to provide housing, health care, and human connection to our community members experiencing ho...

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Kellogg Board Fellows Serve and Learn at The Night Ministry

Kellogg MBA candidate Dan Kish is finishing up his term as a Board Fellow on The Night Ministry's Board of Directors.

Every year, a select group of students from Northwestern University's Kellogg School of Management join the boards of Chicago-area nonprofits as ex-officio members, tackling strategic projects while gaining valuable experience in board governance. The Night Ministry has been one of those organizations for more than a decade, one of the reasons Kell...

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Physician Brings Decades of Hospital Experience to the Streets of Chicago

Dr. Ralph Ryan consults with a patient on a chilly Saturday while making the rounds with the Street Medicine Team. Photo by Lloyd DeGrane.

After 35 years as an interventional cardiologist in Michigan, Dr. Ralph Ryan is now practicing on the streets of Chicago. Ryan provides free health care to individuals who are experiencing homelessness, as a volunteer physician with The Night Ministry's Outreach and Health Ministry Program, most often on the Street Medicine Team. Being part of a te...

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Phoenix Hall Expands Its Mission to Serve a Wider Base of Students and Their Families

Residents prepare dinner at Phoenix Hall, The Night Ministry's housing program for high school students experiencing homelessness.

It's been a year of milestones at Phoenix Hall, capped off by six of the program's residents graduating from high school. Located in Chicago's West Lawndale neighborhood, Phoenix Hall is The Night Ministry's residence for high schoolers experiencing housing instability. It's named after the mascot of North Lawndale College Prep High School, which, ...

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In My Own Words: For My Daughter - 04/18/2019

For My Daughter - 04/18/2019

A poem by Tiana Johnson The world I wish to give to you. Though you are my world at the age of two. Growing and changing with phases of the sun. Seems that just yesterday you were only 1. Waking every morning with a smile that is true. I can only hope to be as patient as you. Forgiveness is in you, and love radiates from. For 777 days I have b...

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In My Own Words: Music Saved My Life

By Daniel Barber Writing and performing music saved my life. When you're locked up, there's not much to do. I'd always loved poetry, so I spent my time reading, writing, and focusing on my vocabulary. Life doesn't always go your way, and to snap out of my depressive state, I had to put my thoughts into words on paper. Being homeless is tough. But I...

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No Clear Path to Housing for Many Who Experience Homelessness

Individuals experiencing homelessness often face multiple hurdles as they pursue permanent housing.

The process of renting an apartment or buying a home can be difficult enough. But individuals experiencing homelessness face an array of challenges when trying to find stable housing. "There are some very common situations among the homeless population such as little or no income, a low credit score, an arrest record, or a history of evictions that...

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Youth Aftercare Services Support Transitions

Bridget Thomas is responsible for supporting former residents of The Night Ministry’s Youth Housing Programs.

​The relationship with The Night Ministry doesn't end when residents move on from the agency's Youth Housing Programs. "The Night Ministry provides comprehensive case management for young people who have been discharged from our housing programs," said Bridget Thomas, Housing Stabilization Specialist. "We want to help them maintain their stability ...

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The Night Ministry Makes a Big Move to Enhance Services

The Night Ministry is moving The Crib along with Health Outreach and administrative staff to a new location in Bucktown.

Its iconic water tower, decorated with the blue stripes and red stars of the flag of Chicago, is a landmark of the city's skyline. And soon the four-story building at 1735 North Ashland will house one of Chicago's most iconic organizations. The Night Ministry is moving key portions of its operations to the red-brick building, located just north of ...

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Reap the Rewards 2019

David Wywiaolowski, Director of Outreach & Health Ministry, is celebrating 20 years with The Night Ministry.

​On April 4, 2019, The Night Ministry honored 11 employees at our Annual Reap the Rewards of Service Luncheon. Their colleagues, family members, friends, and members of  The Night Ministry's Board of Directors gathered to celebrate their multiple years with the organization. Honorees were presented with awards by Paul W. Ha...

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Surveys at Youth Housing Programs Help The Night Ministry Better Understand the Needs of Clients

Short term shelter, securing employment, and food are the top three pressing needs reported by residents of The Night Ministry's Youth Housing Programs.

Four times a year, The Night Ministry's Mission Fulfillment Department visits the organization's Youth Housing Programs to learn about the young people The Night Ministry serves and to find out how they feel their needs are being met. The results of the anonymous surveys conducted by Mission Fulfillment contribute to a data-driven culture of learni...

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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.