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Our Stories

News and insights from The Night Ministry community.

Lighting Up the Night 2023

On June 7, 2023, more than 300 of our friends gathered with us for Lighting Up the Night: An Evening to Benefit The Night Ministry. During the event, members of The Night Ministry staff spoke about our the agency helps clients find a home. Thanks to the generosity of supporters, we raised more than $350,000 in support of our mission ...

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Annual Health Outreach Bus Survey Uncovers a Deeper Picture of Those Served

Staff from The Night Ministry's Learning and Impact and Outreach and Health Ministry departments interview clients at the Roseland stop on Chicago's South Side for this year's Health Outreach Bus survey.

On a warm Monday afternoon, The Night Ministry's Health Outreach Bus pulled up to a corner in the Roseland neighborhood, just as it does twice a week. But this day was a bit different. In addition to Bus staff providing their usual meals and supportive services to community members who were unhoused or experiencing poverty, team members from the ag...

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Racial Disparities in Education Tied to Homelessness

A disproportionate percentage of Black students in the Chicago Public Schools experience homelessness.

Black students enrolled in Chicago Public Schools are at greater risk of being unhoused than their white and Hispanic classmates, with a one in four chance of experiencing homelessness during their time in the school system.[1] Students who are unhoused and identify as Black face an intersecting web of barriers that make it especially hard to get a...

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Partnership with Loyola University Medical Center Brings Dentists to CTA Outreach Program

Dentists Dr. Martin Hogan, Dr. Tommy Scarafone, and Dr. Taimoor Rahman (pictured left to right) join The Night Ministry’s CTA Outreach at the Forest Park ‘L’ station.

Oral health issues are common among unhoused people and can lead to serious health consequences, such as exacerbating diabetes symptoms or negatively affecting heart health. Unfortunately, with its high cost and frequent need for multiple treatments, accessing dentistry is a struggle for many experiencing homelessness. To help address these concern...

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Youth Leaders Spotlighted in National Art Exhibition

Youth leaders Sharday (left) and Kiesha (right) display their copies of the exhibition catalog at the opening of the ‘Unaccompanied’ exhibition.

Young people served by The Night Ministry are represented in "Unaccompanied," an art exhibition and audio installation that captures the faces and voices of unhoused youth through large-scale portrait paintings and sound recordings. The show's artists, Kate Capshaw and Joshua-Michéle Ross, collaborated with The Night Ministry and other organization...

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In My Own Words: The Night Ministry Was That Helping Hand

Darrick, a client of The Night Ministry, spoke to attendees at Lighting Up the Night, our Annual Awards Dinner & Auction, in 2018.

By Darrick S. After a successful career as a celebrity photojournalist, I retired and started my own limousine company. Business was thriving when, in November of 2011, I got a phone call that something was wrong with my mother. On investigating, I found that she'd been living in the dark for nine days in our family home. We soon learned that she h...

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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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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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Dear Chicago

Julie, Tone, and Rich read Youth 4 Truth’s “Dear Chicago” letter at Night Lights, The Annual Gala of The Night Ministry’s Associate Board, held in October.

Members of Youth 4 Truth, The Night Ministry's leadership development program for young adults, have written an open letter to Chicago about how our city inspires them and what they would change about it. When we think of Chicago, we think of "hustle." All over the city, people are coming up and doing their thing. Up north, the sidewalks are filled...

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Solving the City’s Housing Crisis Will Protect the Lives of Unhoused Chicagoans

An encampment on Chicago's Lower West Side. Protecting the safety of our unhoused neighbors requires us to expand access to housing and widen the range of supportive service options available to the population.

All of us at The Night Ministry were deeply saddened to hear of the tragic loss of Kevin Powell last month. We mourn with his family and others who knew and cared for him. Mr. Powell, who was killed while utilizing Chicago's public transit system, was one of the more than 65,000 Chicago residents who experience homelessness every year.[1]...

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Job Fair at The Crib Brings Opportunities Directly to Unhoused Young People

An employer talks with a young person about career opportunities at The Night Ministry's first job fair.

People experiencing homelessness, unhoused youth included, often face significant challenges when it comes to finding employment such as lack of access to transportation to and from interviews, no permanent address to write on applications, no funds for interview attire, possible prejudice from employers, and more. To support their ability to obtai...

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Racial Health Disparities Contribute to Housing Loss Among Black Americans

Measures include health coverage, access, and use; health status, outcomes, and behaviors; and social determinants of health. Data Source: Kaiser Family Foundation, Key Facts on Health and Health Care by Race and Ethnicity, 2022.

In the U.S., health disparities run along racial lines, with Black Americans continuing to experience poorer health outcomes than white Americans overall.[1] Poor health can negatively affect many areas of life, including by contributing to financial instability that may lead to housing loss. In this article, the fourth in our series exploring...

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Parenting with Purpose Program Enjoys Renovations on Open Door - West Town’s Fourth Floor

Parenting with Purpose Program Supervisor La Donna Peppers in the program's newly renovated common area.

When you picture a shelter, you likely do not imagine a modern space with an open concept, a view of Chicago's skyline, a spacious kitchen, and plenty of natural light. But, after several months of renovations, The Night Ministry's Parenting with Purpose program, which provides up to 21 months of housing for pregnant and parenting young mothers and...

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The Human Cost of Encampment Sweeps

Article authors Yoela Tepper (left) and Kyanna Johnson (right) with the Street Medicine Van

By Kyanna Johnson, Lead Street Medicine Outreach Professional, and Yoela Tepper, Substance Use Specialist As members of The Night Ministry's Street Medicine Team, we see firsthand the damage to human lives caused by encampment sweeps—the removal by municipal authorities of personal property from an outdoor space where unsheltered individuals have g...

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The Night Ministry’s New Health Outreach Bus Hits the Streets

Lead Outreach Minister Juan Roca (left) and Nurse Practitioner Summer Kee showcase The Night Ministry's new Health Outreach Bus.

In the first week of 2023, The Night Ministry debuted its brand-new Health Outreach Bus on Chicago's streets, bringing free health care, food, and other resources to neighborhoods with high rates of homelessness and poverty. The new vehicle includes helpful features such as exterior illumination and secure and refrigerated storage for medicati...

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The Night Ministry in the News

The Night Ministry's mission to serve unhoused members of our community has been featured in many news stories recently. Chicago's Night Ministry Plows Ahead, Despite Expected Blizzard | WBBM Newsradio | 12/20/22 As Possible Blizzardlike Conditions Barrel toward Chicago, Advocates for Homeless Work to Provide Shelter, Save Lives | Chicago Tribune |...

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Street Medicine Survey Sheds Light on Experiences of Unsheltered Chicagoans

Senior Nurse Practitioner Stephan Koruba consults with a patient. A new survey provides insight into the challenges faced by unhoused Chicago residents.

The Night Ministry's Street Medicine Program provides free health care, food, survival supplies, and supportive services to unsheltered individuals across the city. To stay informed on the program's progress and about its clients, the agency's Learning and Impact Department conducts an annual Street Medicine Survey. The survey aims to identify who ...

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2022 in Review

As the year comes to a close, we are looking back at memorable milestones and accomplishments at The Night Ministry in 2022.  Parenting with Purpose Settles into Its New Home Parenting with Purpose provides long-term, supportive housing for up to eight pregnant and parenting young mothers and their children. The private bedrooms for each resid...

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Remembering Those We've Lost

As we prepare for the longest night of the year, we remember our unhoused community members who lost their lives in 2022.

The Night Ministry staff gathered today to remember and honor those who have died this year while living on the streets. Below are the remarks delivered by our staff on this solemn occasion. Every year since 1990, on December 21, the longest night of the year, a National Homeless Persons' Memorial is held to bring attention to the tragedy of homele...

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Meetings at Downtown Library Help Case Managers Connect Clients to Housing and More

Youth Outreach Case Manager Zama Buthelezi (left) and Lead Case Manager Mirella Rodriguez (center) meet with a client at the Harold Washington Library.

During the pandemic, Case Managers from The Night Ministry's Health Outreach Program had few options for locations where they could meet clients to fill out applications for housing, public benefits, and identification cards. That is, until May 2021 when the agency began providing case management to clients once a week at the Chicago Public Library...

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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.