Our Stories

News and insights from The Night Ministry community.

2 minutes reading time (476 words)

The Night Ministry is Like Family for Street Medicine Client Jason

Jason Street Medicine client Jason is now stably housed after close to two decades living unsheltered.

Jason struggled with homelessness and addiction on Chicago's streets for nearly two decades. Today, with help from The Night Ministry and a substance use treatment program, he has found permanent housing, stability, and hope.

"It means everything to me, having a place. I have the basic necessities. When you're homeless, you don't have a bathroom or a refrigerator. You can't lay down on your couch, or turn the fan on, or wash your clothes. Now I have that. This is a new start for me," he said.

Jason moved to Chicago from Louisiana to be with family in the wake of the devastation brought by Hurricane Katrina but soon found himself without a stable place to call home. For years, he lived among encampments on Lower Wacker, one of many locations regularly visited by the agency's Street Medicine team, which provides medical care, survival and harm reduction supplies, food, and more to individuals living without shelter.

"The Night Ministry looked out for and cared about us. They were the only people who would come around when it was zero below," he said.

Receiving treatment for his addiction helped Jason stabilize. But before that point, the harm reduction supplies like sterile syringes offered by The Night Ministry helped him and others who used drugs stay as healthy as possible.

"When they started with harm reduction, you didn't have people sharing needles anymore. You don't see as many infections from what I see now and what it used to be years ago."

Street Medicine, like the agency's other health outreach programs, is well-known across Chicago's unsheltered population for their reliability and forthrightness, something Jason values deeply.

"If they didn't have what we needed, they'd tell us exactly when they'd return and that they'd bring it for us — and they always did."

Jason especially values his relationship with staff members Stephan Koruba, Clinical Supervisor, and Sylvia Hibbard, Street Medicine Case Manager, who helped him get back to stability and continue to provide support.

"Sylvia got me my insurance and my Link card, which allows me to access food assistance. Stephan picked me up and took me to most of my doctor appointments," he said. "The Night Ministry supports me like a family. They didn't give up on me."

Want to read more stories like this? Be sure to join our email community! 


* indicates required
Scenes from Lighting Up the Night 2024
The Legacy of Tom Behrens

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.