Our Stories

News and insights from The Night Ministry community.

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Lighting Up the Night 2024 Honoress

It was our privilege to honor those who have made a lasting contribution to the mission of The Night Ministry and our community at our annual Gala on May 23.

Lamplighter Award

Chicago Transit Authority

The Lamplighter Award symbolizes an unwavering commitment to our mission and to those we serve. Since the fall of 2020, the recipient of the Lamplighter award—the Chicago Transit Authority—has collaborated with The Night Ministry and the City of Chicago to bring human connection, housing support, and health care to unhoused individuals sheltering on the Red and Blue line trains.

The CTA's support allows The Night Ministry and our partner organizations to connect with our vulnerable neighbors at public transit stations, helping them address their basic needs for health care, food, and clothing, and assisting them in obtaining stable housing. The CTA Outreach Program makes a very real impact on the lives of many Chicagoans. Since its inception, we have distributed more than 50,000 meals to unhoused individuals and prevented more than a thousand trips to the emergency room. 

Award accepted by CTA President Dorval Carter, Jr., 

Beacon Award 

Alicia Pond

The Beacon Award is a symbol of extraordinary generosity and dedication to The Night Ministry's mission. It is with great honor that we bestow this award to our friend, Alicia Pond.

Alicia has demonstrated her deep commitment to the community by providing exceptional leadership and unwavering support for The Night Ministry. Through her many years of service on our Board of Directors, including several as Board Chair, and as a steadfast ambassador of our mission, Alicia has advanced the agency's critical work, underpinning our ability to connect with our vulnerable neighbors and help them improve their lives.

During her tenure as Board Chair, Alicia played a pivotal role in the success of an $8.7 million capital campaign that laid the foundation for the expansion of services The Night Ministry has implemented in recent years. This transformational campaign facilitated the relocation of the agency's headquarters and The Crib overnight shelter to our Bucktown facility, driving growth in our programs and enabling us to deepen and broaden our impact in the community.

Legacy of Light Award

Rev. Barbara Bolsen

The Legacy of Light award honors the memory of our dear colleague, Rev. Barbara Bolsen and her impact on The Night Ministry, those whom we serve, and the City of Chicago.

Barb was one of The Night Ministry's earliest Youth Outreach Workers and helped launch weekly street outreach events for young people in Lakeview. Often dressed in a clergy collar, Barb was a fixture on the nighttime streets and quickly became a trusted advocate for unhoused young people, many of whom identified as LGBTQ+.

During her 23-year career at The Night Ministry, in each of her roles, Barb stood with the communities she served, moving elected officials and leaders to address the challenges our vulnerable neighbors faced. Barb worked to end hate crimes in Lakeview, urge the City of Chicago to investigate police misconduct against young gay and transgender youth, and preserve Single Room Occupancy (SRO) buildings as affordable housing opportunities.

Barb's legacy is richly woven into the programs and the culture of The Night Ministry and her kindness, compassion, and service have brightened the lives of those whom we serve. 

Award accepted by Bill Bolsen.

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