The Night Ministry has revised its mission statement, as it continues to pursue innovative solutions to the challenges of homelessness and poverty in Chicago while remaining true to its core beliefs.
"We are not changing our mission," said Paul W. Hamann, President & CEO of The Night Ministry. "Rather, we have updated our mission statement to more accurately reflect the range of the services we provide to our neighbors who are without housing or experiencing poverty. We have also adapted language regarding our clients in a way that greater recognizes their dignity and autonomy."
In the revised statement, the term "human connection" is now placed first among the three "h's" that are at the core of The Night Ministry's mission.
"Human connection is the thread that runs through all of what we do at The Night Ministry, from our Health Outreach Program to our Youth Programs," said Hamann. "Prioritizing the placement of human connection in our mission statement reflects its primacy in our work."
As a result of the agency's recent growth, the term "housing" has also been expanded to "housing support" in the mission statement. This change serves to better reflect the extent of The Night Ministry's housing services, including assistance with housing needs beyond the walls of its shelter programs. For example, the work staff undertake to help connect clients with more stable housing, as well as the stabilization support provided to those who have obtained permanent housing after a period of being unhoused.
The Night Ministry's previous mission statement referred to those whom we serve as "experiencing homelessness." The word "homelessness" has been deliberately replaced with "unhoused," as the former often has derogatory connotations. The term "unhoused" also puts the focus on the fact that a person lacks what is a basic human right—housing.
In addition, the terms "alongside" and "advocate" have been added to the portion of the mission statement that speaks to how we provide services. These terms describe how The Night Ministry's services are client-centered, a process that respects clients' autonomy, personal agency, and right to make decisions for themselves.
The Night Ministry's new mission statement is as follows:
The Night Ministry is a Chicago-based organization whose mission is to provide human connection, housing support, and health care to those who are unhoused or experiencing poverty. With an open heart, we compassionately accept each individual as they are and work alongside them to advocate for their immediate physical, emotional, and social needs while affirming our shared humanity.
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