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2 minutes reading time (361 words)

Looking Back on 25 Years of Service

David-with-Slideshow Outreach and Health Ministry Director David Wywialowski shared photos and reflections during his 25th anniversary celebration at our Bucktown headquarters.

I started at The Night Ministry in 1998 as an intern, and I never left. And though I have been here for a quarter century now, it feels like time has flown by. 

Over these past 25 years, I have witnessed how, at The Night Ministry, we continue to find new ways to fulfill our mission to provide human connection, housing support, and health care to our unhoused neighbors. And I have been touched time and again by the relationships I have built here with clients, coworkers, supporters, and volunteers, as we have shared the joys and griefs of our lives together. 

Over the years, I have held many roles at the agency. I worked as an Outreach Minister, providing hospitality and a listening ear to visitors of our Health Outreach Bus, which brings free medical care and supportive services directly to neighborhoods across Chicago. Then I worked as our HIV Testing Coordinator, providing free HIV testing and education. And in 2014, I became Director of our Outreach and Health Ministry Program, a role I continue to hold today. 

There have been so many incredible experiences over the years and too many stories to share. Through it all, what has made the work so rewarding has been The Night Ministry's terrific community: our staff, supporters, and volunteers. I have witnessed countless times how we have come together to help our clients. 

In my time as Director, my team and I expanded the services of the Health Outreach Bus to new days, times, and neighborhoods. We also launched Street Medicine, which provides health care, support, and more to individuals living in encampments, growing the program from a few hours of outreach a week to multiple days a week. 

Side by side we also started health outreach on public transit, at first bringing backpacks full of medical and survival supplies directly onto trains. Today, CTA Outreach is a successful program, bringing medical care and more to unhoused riders weekly at two end-of-the-line subway stations. 

This work continues to be so very meaningful. I hope for all of us in The Night Ministry community that we continue to find inspiration in each other.  

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