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Our Stories

News and insights from The Night Ministry community.

First Virtual Night Lights a Success

Night Lights, the Annual Gala of The Night Ministry's Associate Board, went online this year.

By Alyssa Cullinan, Night Lights Chair It goes without saying that 2020 was a remarkable year; and like most everyone else,The Night Ministry's Associate Board was required to adapt in new ways. Our full calendar of service, advocacy, and fundraising events was truncated, and meetings moved online. The human connection we've all expe...

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The Night Ministry in 2021: A Q/A with President & CEO, Paul W. Hamann

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What's new and on the horizon at The Night Ministry? Our President & CEO, Paul W. Hamann, sat down with Nieal Marie Ross, Manager of Youth Supportive Services, to talk about new programs and initiatives at the agency in 2021. 

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The Night Ministry Expands the Scale and Scope of Outreach on Public Transit

An individual receives a sack supper from Kyanna Johnson, Public Ally at The Night Ministry, at a CTA Blue Line station.

Overall ridership is down because of the pandemic, but for some members of the community, public transit offers more than just a way to commute. Many people experiencing homelessness ride trains and buses for shelter and safety. That is why The Night Ministry is now offering health care and outreach services at two CTA train stations two nights a w...

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COVID-19 Creates Barriers for Securing IDs and Benefits

First-time applicants for an Illinois State ID Card must present several documents to prove their identity.

An ID card is required to obtain housing, employment, or benefits such as Medicaid. But many individuals experiencing homelessness don't have an ID, and now the coronavirus is making it harder to get one. For months, the Illinois Secretary of State facility in downtown Chicago, where individuals can apply for a first-time or replacement state ID ca...

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Masks Without Borders Provides Face Masks for The Night Ministry’s Clients

The face masks donated by Masks Without Borders to The Night Ministry are handmade by women receiving on-the-job training and a livable wage in Delhi, India.

Mask-wearing continues to be an essential tool in preventing the spread of the coronavirus. That's why The Night Ministry provides face masks to the individuals experiencing homelessness and poverty it serves through its Youth Housing Programs and Outreach & Health Ministry Programs, who are most likely unable to procure masks on their own. Our...

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The Night Ministry Adapts Holiday Celebrations During the Pandemic

The Night Ministry will distribute 900 holiday stockings to the individuals it serves through its Health Outreach Program and Youth Programs this year, because of the generosity of its donors.

The coronavirus is making this a holiday season like no other, with so many of us adjusting our plans in order to protect the health and safety of our loved ones and those around us. At The Night Ministry, we are also adapting our annual holiday celebrations to align with recommended COVID-19 procedures, while still sharing the magic of the season ...

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ER Doc Brings Medical Experience to Board of Directors

Dr. Claudia Beals, a board-certified emergency room physician, joined The Night Ministry's Board of Directors in 2020.

As an emergency room physician, Dr. Claudia Beals has firsthand knowledge of the intersection between homelessness and the health care system. Dr. Beals, who joined The Night Ministry's Board of Directors this year, trained in emergency medicine in the South Bronx, where she encountered individuals experiencing homelessness who came into the hospit...

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Flexible Housing Program Aims to Stabilize Homeless Youth in the Community

Brooke Thomas, Housing Case Manager at The Night Ministry, provides support to young people participating in the Flexible Housing Pool, helping them stabilize in their apartments.

Young adults struggling with homelessness in Chicago now have more permanent housing options available to them, under a new partnership involving The Night Ministry and several other local agencies. The Flexible Housing Pool for Youth provides subsidies for market-rate rental apartments across the city, along with case management services, to help ...

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Getting Real with Harm Reduction

Scroll down to watch the replay of our conversation about harm reduction

Harm reduction is an evidence-based public health model designed to reduce the adverse effects of potentially risky behaviors such as drug use and sexual activity. Noam Greene and Andrew Wojda of The Night Ministry's Street Medicine Team discussed how The Night Ministry utilizes harm reduction to save lives and October 29.

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Coronavirus Impacts Supply of Essential Hygiene Items

Resource Coordinator, Miranda Dean, holds up a hygiene kit that will be distributed to a client of The Night Ministry. The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in a decrease in some essential hygiene items.

Every year, The Night Ministry distributes thousands of hygiene kits to the individuals it serves on the streets of Chicago. The kits are filled with travel- or sample-size toiletry items such as deodorant, shampoo, conditioner, and soap to help clients maintain their personal hygiene, and the agency relies on the generosity of its supporters to pr...

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Barbara Bolsen Looks Back on Two Decades with The Night Ministry

Barbara Bolsen, The Night Ministry's Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement, is retiring after more than 20 years at the agency.

This month, The Night Ministry says goodbye to a beloved and long-serving leader and colleague. After more than two decades at the agency, Barbara Bolsen, our Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement, is retiring. Bolsen leaves behind a legacy of service, compassion, and innovation at The Night Ministry, all aimed toward th...

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The Night Ministry Opposes Change to Shelter Equal Access Rule

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development is seeking to remove protections for transgender individuals seeking services at homeless shelters.

On July 1, 2020, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) announced a rule that would modify the Equal Access Rule, stripping transgender people of fundamental protections that ensure the safety of anyone in need of HUD-funded programs. The proposed rule would allow local shelter providers decision-making authority around a transg...

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The Crib Overnight Shelter Has a New Home

Michelle Thomas, Youth Outreach Case Manager (left), shows guests of The Crib the dorm room at the shelter's new home.

Nine years after it began operations in the basement of Lakeview Lutheran Church, The Night Ministry's overnight shelter for young adults has reopened in a larger, enhanced space on the first floor of The Night Ministry's new headquarters in Bucktown. Guests of The Crib woke up at the old location for the last time Monday morning and were then welc...

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Advocacy Alert: Emergency Housing Resources

The U.S. Senate is back in Washington this week with plans to move on a COVID-19 spending package by the end of July. Last month, the House of Representatives prioritized emergency protection for renters and homeowners in both the CARES Act and the Emergency Rental Assistance and Rental Market Stabilization Act. Across our country, Betwee...

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Youth 4 Truth Elevates Youth Voices at The Night Ministry and Beyond

Members of the most recent Youth 4 Truth cohort devoted discussions to food insecurity and the importance of elections. (Photo taken pre-COVID19 pandemic).

Youth Development Specialist Candace Musick and Youth Outreach Team Case Manager Michelle Thomas have run Youth 4 Truth, The Night Ministry's leadership development program for young people served by the agency, for the past few years. But lately they've been able to step back as program participants have taken charge.  "There used to be a lot...

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Looking Forward with Hope: A Fiscal New Year's Reflection from The Night Ministry's President & CEO

Paul W. Hamann is The Night Ministry's President & CEO.

Dear Friends, The end of the year is always a reflective time for me. It is one of my traditions to take December 31 as my last personal day of the year, so I can spend time in reflection, as the holidays come to a close. I find a quiet space within my heart to reflect on the challenges of the year that is passing, what have been my personal and pr...

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The Night Ministry Is a Good Neighbor in the Communities It Serves

The Night Ministry's Community Engagement Manager, Jenny Merritt (right), speaks with Tracie Worthy, Vice President of I AM ABLE Center for Family Development, during a meeting of TR4IM.

Human connection is an essential part of The Night Ministry's mission. And while it's often spoken about in terms of how the agency works with those whom it serves, it extends to communities as well. That means building and sustaining relationships with residents, businesses, and leaders in the neighborhoods in which it operates. Over the past few ...

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Health Outreach Program Offers Services on Mass Transit

Nurse Practitioner Chandra Matteson hands out food and beverages while inquiring about a client's well being on a CTA Blue Line car at the Forest Park Blue stop.

For the past several weeks, staff with The Night Ministry's Outreach & Health Ministry (OHM) Program have been hitting the rails to reach individuals struggling with homelessness. During the winter, Peer Advocate Professional, Keith Belton, suggested to his colleagues on the Street Medicine Team that they try conducting outreach on the CTA. Bec...

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New Board Chair Values Strong Relationships and Diversity

Kiantae Bowles joined The Night Ministry’s Board of Directors in 2012.

Kiantae Bowles has played multiple roles on The Night Ministry's Board of Directors, from Secretary to serving on the Finance Committee. Bowles, who is Manager of Informational Technology Procurement with BMO Financial Group, said the varied experience has prepared him for his latest position, that of Board Chair. "Over the last eight years, I've d...

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Addressing the Roots of this Crisis

Our city and our country are in crisis. But what we are living through today in the wake of the killings of George Floyd and Breonna Taylor and countless others is the result of not only centuries of racism but decades of collective failure to address its corrupting influence in the foundations of our society. As a nonprofit organization assisting ...

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The Night Ministry is a 501(c)3 charitable organization. Our Federal Tax ID (EIN) is 36-3145764.