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Our Stories

News and insights from The Night Ministry community.

A Stable Home and Advocacy Work Empower Youth Leader Adalina

Youth 4 Truth member Adalina obtained an apartment through a Rapid Rehousing event.

Adalina now has a home of her own. But the 20-year-old knows what it is like to experience housing instability. In recent months, she has stayed temporarily with family and friends and in shelters and housing programs, including at The Crib, The Night Ministry's emergency overnight shelter for young people, as well as its short-term youth housing p...

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One Decision Can Change a Life

Carol J. Sharp is the President & CEO of The Night Ministry

By Carol J. Sharp, President & CEO One decision. One decision has the power to shift the trajectory of your life. When I was two years old, I experienced housing insecurity. For approximately five years, my sister and I navigated Chicago, traveling from a foster home located on the South Side in the Englewood neighborhood to visit my biological...

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Night Lights 2023

On October 5, 2023, we gathered together for Night Lights, the annual gala hosted by The Night Ministry's Associate Board, at Marshall's Landing in Merchandise Mart. Thanks to the generosity of our supporters, the event raised more than $90,000 for two of our shelter programs: Interim Housing, which offers short-term housing for young people, ...

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New Client Advisory Board Gives Platform to Those Served by Health Outreach Program

Outreach and Health Ministry Program Client Advisory Board members attend a meeting at The Night Ministry’s headquarters.

This summer, The Night Ministry launched a Client Advisory Board for those served by its Outreach and Health Ministry Program, which brings health care, supportive services, and resources directly to people who are unhoused. Client Advisory Board members are recipients of the program's services who wish to provide feedback and gather information on...

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Alternative High School and Daycare Program Meets Needs of Young Mothers of Parenting with Purpose

Parenting with Purpose Alum Constance and her daughter celebrate their graduation from the Assocation House program.

The residents of Parenting with Purpose, The Night Ministry's housing program for young mothers and their kids, have long benefited from the agency's partnership with the Association House High School, a free, non–traditional education program based in Humboldt Park. The school provides a path to graduation for 16- to 21-year-olds facing educationa...

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Health Outreach Programs Serve Populations with Distinct Housing and Health Challenges

How and if Health Outreach clients access health care services varies across the CTA Outreach, Street Medicine, and Health Outreach Bus programs.

By Damian Nelson, Director, Learning and Impact The strength of The Night Ministry's three Outreach and Health Ministry Programs is their ability to tailor their approaches to better help Chicago residents who are unhoused or experiencing poverty. The Health Outreach Bus, Street Medicine Team, and CTA Outreach Program each serve unique populations ...

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Health Outreach Bus Survey Shows Clients Face Housing and Income Instability

A client receives a cup of coffee at the Humboldt Park stop of the Health Outreach Bus.

Finding a stable place to live, getting enough to eat, and receiving health care when they need it – these are the everyday concerns of many of the community members who visit The Night Ministry's Health Outreach Bus, according to a recent survey from the agency's Learning and Impact department. The Bus travels to Chicago neighborhoods with disprop...

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Pathways Is a Place to Make a Soft Landing

Henry Merrill is the Supervisor of the Pathways Transitional Living Program.

By Henry Merrill, Pathways Transitional Living Program Supervisor At The Night Ministry's Youth Housing Programs, we are in the unique position of helping young people who are unhoused find a home with us, while we support them in finding a more permanent home of their own. The program I supervise, Pathways Transitional Living, provides up to two y...

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Flexible Housing Pool Case Managers Support Stability and Growth

Housing Case Manager Maya Rudder delivers necessities to the home of a Flexible Housing Pool for Youth participant.

Since launching in 2020, the Flexible Housing Pool for Youth, a collaboration between the Center for Housing and Health and other Chicago nonprofits, has helped 325 unhoused young adults access permanent housing through rent subsidies and supportive services. The Night Ministry plays a key role in the program by offering ongoing case management to ...

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Remembering Barbara Bolsen

Barbara Bolsen was a longtime and beloved employee of The Night Ministry.

It is with deep sadness that we inform you that Barbara (Barb) Bolsen, The Night Ministry's former Vice President of Strategic Partnerships and Community Engagement, passed away on Wednesday, August 16. Barb joined The Night Ministry in 1997 after leaving a 20-year career in journalism and graduating from Chicago Theological Seminary. Barb once tol...

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Carol Sharp Joins The Night Ministry as President & CEO

Carol J. Sharp joins The Night Ministry as President & CEO.

After a national search, human services leader Carol J. Sharp has been named President & Chief Executive Officer (CEO) of The Night Ministry. Sharp assumed her responsibilities on August 14, 2023. A Chicago native, Sharp brings a deep passion for serving marginalized communities. Throughout her career, she has been dedicated to enhancing t...

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Reap the Rewards

This summer, staff, guests and members of The Night Ministry's Board of Directors gathered for our annual Reap the Rewards lunch honoring employees who have demonstrated their dedication to our mission with 5, 10, 15 and 20 years of service. Pictured (from back and left) are honorees Phyllis Murphy (Program Support Coordinator, 15 years); Chri...

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Lighting Up the Night 2023

On June 7, 2023, more than 300 of our friends gathered with us for Lighting Up the Night: An Evening to Benefit The Night Ministry. During the event, members of The Night Ministry staff spoke about our the agency helps clients find a home. Thanks to the generosity of supporters, we raised more than $350,000 in support of our mission ...

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Annual Health Outreach Bus Survey Uncovers a Deeper Picture of Those Served

Staff from The Night Ministry's Learning and Impact and Outreach and Health Ministry departments interview clients at the Roseland stop on Chicago's South Side for this year's Health Outreach Bus survey.

On a warm Monday afternoon, The Night Ministry's Health Outreach Bus pulled up to a corner in the Roseland neighborhood, just as it does twice a week. But this day was a bit different. In addition to Bus staff providing their usual meals and supportive services to community members who were unhoused or experiencing poverty, team members from the ag...

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Racial Disparities in Education Tied to Homelessness

A disproportionate percentage of Black students in the Chicago Public Schools experience homelessness.

Black students enrolled in Chicago Public Schools are at greater risk of being unhoused than their white and Hispanic classmates, with a one in four chance of experiencing homelessness during their time in the school system.[1] Students who are unhoused and identify as Black face an intersecting web of barriers that make it especially hard to get a...

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Partnership with Loyola University Medical Center Brings Dentists to CTA Outreach Program

Dentists Dr. Martin Hogan, Dr. Tommy Scarafone, and Dr. Taimoor Rahman (pictured left to right) join The Night Ministry’s CTA Outreach at the Forest Park ‘L’ station.

Oral health issues are common among unhoused people and can lead to serious health consequences, such as exacerbating diabetes symptoms or negatively affecting heart health. Unfortunately, with its high cost and frequent need for multiple treatments, accessing dentistry is a struggle for many experiencing homelessness. To help address these concern...

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Youth Leaders Spotlighted in National Art Exhibition

Youth leaders Sharday (left) and Kiesha (right) display their copies of the exhibition catalog at the opening of the ‘Unaccompanied’ exhibition.

Young people served by The Night Ministry are represented in "Unaccompanied," an art exhibition and audio installation that captures the faces and voices of unhoused youth through large-scale portrait paintings and sound recordings. The show's artists, Kate Capshaw and Joshua-Michéle Ross, collaborated with The Night Ministry and other organization...

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In My Own Words: The Night Ministry Was That Helping Hand

Darrick, a client of The Night Ministry, spoke to attendees at Lighting Up the Night, our Annual Awards Dinner & Auction, in 2018.

By Darrick S. After a successful career as a celebrity photojournalist, I retired and started my own limousine company. Business was thriving when, in November of 2011, I got a phone call that something was wrong with my mother. On investigating, I found that she'd been living in the dark for nine days in our family home. We soon learned that she h...

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In My Own Words: Music Saved My Life

By Daniel Barber Writing and performing music saved my life. When you're locked up, there's not much to do. I'd always loved poetry, so I spent my time reading, writing, and focusing on my vocabulary. Life doesn't always go your way, and to snap out of my depressive state, I had to put my thoughts into words on paper. Being homeless is tough. But I...

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In My Own Words: For My Daughter - 04/18/2019

For My Daughter - 04/18/2019

A poem by Tiana Johnson The world I wish to give to you. Though you are my world at the age of two. Growing and changing with phases of the sun. Seems that just yesterday you were only 1. Waking every morning with a smile that is true. I can only hope to be as patient as you. Forgiveness is in you, and love radiates from. For 777 days I have b...

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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.