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Our Stories

News and insights from The Night Ministry community.

paul Paul W. Hamann is the President & CEO of The Night Ministry
The Promise of a New Year: A New Year's Reflection by Our President & CEO
burke@thenightministry.org
Announcements
December 31, 2021Dear Friend,Call me a sentimental optimist, but I still believe in the promise inherent in a new year. When hanging up a new wall calendar and swiping into the next year on my phone, I am excited by the opportunities 12 fresh months and 365 brand new days can bring. That sense of excitement is palpable here at The Night Ministry as...
Burr-Student_20211217-155722_1 Members of the National Junior Honor Society at Bucktown's Jonathan Burr Elementary School organize drives to support The Night Ministry.
Students at Jonathan Burr Elementary Give Back by Supporting The Night Ministry
April Behnke
Announcements
When The Night Ministry relocated its headquarters to Bucktown in summer 2020, the agency gained a generous neighbor in the Jonathan Burr Elementary School, whose students have made a habit of giving back. "Last year we were able to do a whole school food drive to help support The Night Ministry in the spring," said Middle School teacher Sarah Craw...
definitions_small The definition of homelessness utilized by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development precludes many from qualifying for vital services and resources.
Varying Definitions of Homelessness Impact Access to Services
April Behnke
Announcements
Who is identified as experiencing homelessness and who is not varies under federal definitions, and when interpretations of the term are strict, individuals and communities may be unable to access the resources they need. According to a recent report from the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH), the vast majority of those experiencing homeless...
pathwaysweb Terrell Carter, Program Specialist (left), talks with two residents of the new Pathways Transitional Living Program.
Youth Programs to Offer More Flexible Long-Term Housing Solutions
burke@thenightministry.org
Announcements
The Night Ministry is restructuring aspects of its Youth Programs to offer more flexible long-term housing and deepen the impact of its services to young people experiencing homelessness. "We are making these changes in response to the evolving challenges faced by the population and to reflect demographic shifts among the youth we se...
straight Straight Outta Quarantine” presenters, clockwise from the upper left: Malika, Persie, Maria, and Julie. Scoll down to watch the video.
Straight Outta Quarantine
burke@thenightministry.org
Announcements
The adversities brought by the COVID-19 pandemic have been met with persistence and matched by progress. That is the message underlying "Straight Outta Quarantine," a creative video presentation by members of Youth 4 Truth, The Night Ministry's leadership development program for young people who have experienced homelessness. The video premiered at...
190420-NightMinistry-street-team-1231-1 Nearly 60,000 Chicagoans experienced homelessness in 2019.
Homeless Count in Chicago May Have Dropped, but Are More People Exiting Homelessness?
burke@thenightministry.org
Announcements
Data indicate that Chicago's homeless population has fallen over the last several years. But that doesn't mean the challenge of homelessness is going away. In a new study, the Chicago Coalition for the Homeless (CCH) reports that 58,723 Chicagoans experienced homelessness in 2019, down 16% from the year prior. The decline is part of a trend seen du...
tom-min The Rev. Tom Behrens (right), is The Night Ministry’s Founding President & Former CEO.
Celebrating 45 Years: The Foundations of The Night Ministry
burke@thenightministry.org
Announcements
By Paul W. Hamann, MA, MNAPresident & CEO The Night Ministry was formed 45 years ago when a diverse coalition of Chicago-based congregations hired the Rev. Tom Behrens to reach out to individuals struggling with homelessness, isolation, and despair during the lonely overnight hours. Tom was a minister of the United Church of Christ. But as he t...
bus-story-min The Rev. Peter Brick (left) speaks with a client outside the Health Outreach Program’s first vehicle, a converted RV.
Celebrating 45 Years: The Night Ministry Pioneers Mobile Health Care on Chicago's Streets
burke@thenightministry.org
Announcements
For the first fourteen years of the agency's history, The Night Ministry staff conducted outreach on their feet, supporting the community members they encountered while walking the nighttime streets of Chicago. Realizing that many of those individuals had unaddressed health challenges, in 1990 The Night Ministry added a mobile health care component...
lakeview-story-min Residents and staff enjoy a meal together at The Night Ministry’s first youth shelter in Lakeview.
Celebrating 45 Years: The Night Ministry Opens Its First Youth Shelter in a Time of Dire Need
burke@thenightministry.org
Announcements
By the close of the 1980s, Chicago's population of unsheltered young people had reached an estimated 10,000 individuals per year. State law prohibited nonprofits from operating group shelters for them, leaving youth experiencing homelessness with few, if any, options for a safe place to spend the night. "At the time, if you were a young person, you...
west-town-min Program Specialist Henry Merrill (right) speaks to a resident of the Interim Housing Program at the Open Door Shelter—West Town facility.
Celebrating 45 Years: West Town Facility Enhances and Expands Services for Homeless Youth
burke@thenightministry.org
Announcements
On August 3, 2006, the residents of The Night Ministry's Open Door Shelter–Lakeview packed up their belongings and made the journey, along with the shelter's staff, to a newly rehabbed facility in Chicago's West Town neighborhood. The move came nearly 14 years after the Interim Housing Program, providing up to four months of supportive shelter to y...
crib-min Youth from H.E.L.L.O. and members of The Night Ministry staff with former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley at City Hall in August 2009.
Celebrating 45 Years: The Crib Turns Homeless Advocates' Vision into Reality
burke@thenightministry.org
Announcements
The Crib, The Night Ministry's overnight shelter for young adults experiencing homelessness, owes much to a group of young change makers called Homeless Experts Living Life's Obstacles (H.E.L.L.O.). For years, H.E.L.L.O. members would meet weekly to discuss their experiences and insights as young Chicagoans struggling with homelessness. Their big b...
street-medicine-min The Night Ministry’s Street Medicine Team assisting clients along Lower Wacker Drive. Photo by Lloyd DeGrane.
Celebrating 45 Years: The Night Ministry Launches Chicago's First Street Medicine Program
burke@thenightministry.org
Announcements
By 2015, The Night Ministry's Health Outreach Bus had been on the road for 25 years, providing free health care to Chicagoans experiencing poverty or homelessness, but the agency sensed it could be making a wider impact on the streets. "There was this inkling that we could reach more people who were really falling between the cracks if we were a li...

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