The Night Ministry tackles poverty and homelessness in Chicago


The Night Ministry, our third-quarter Challenge the Gap beneficiary, provides housing, health care and support to Chicago community members struggling with poverty and homelessness. The Night Ministry was founded in 1976 by a diverse group of congregations and synagogues. Thirty-eight years later, it has grown into a large, secular organization with multiple programs designed to help adults, teens, pregnant teens, and new mothers with nowhere else to go.

Among their outreach services, The Night Ministry operates a Health Outreach Bus that works in six neighborhoods, four nights per week. The Health Outreach Bus “offers medical exams, treatment and HIV testing as well as coffee, conversation and a sense of community.” Their Youth Outreach team operates two nights per week in one neighborhood to offer support, food, and self-care supplies to homeless and LGBT youth.

The Night Ministry also offers a youth housing programthrough the Open Door Youth Shelter–West Town. For immediate housing needs, there is the Crib. At this overnight youth shelter, guests have access to meals, showers, laundry, and a bed. For longer-term housing and social services, homeless youth can enter The Night Ministry’s 120-day interim program. Each year, nearly 200 individuals participate in this program. One of The Night Ministry’s more recent endeavors, STEPS, seeks to transition older teens who are no longer wards of the state from homelessness to independent living.

For pregnant or new mothers, The Night Ministry has their Response-Ability Pregnant and Parenting Program (RAPPP). The program includes a small interim shelter and supportive services program, and potential clients are served on a first-come, first-served basis. When a teenage mother enters the shelter, she’ll meet with a case manage. During an initial assessment, the two of them will work together to create a case plan that supports the client’s strength and identifies her areas of need. The teen mother will also be connected by staff to prenatal, post-delivery, and baby-care health services. Among RAPPP’s goals are to strengthen the resources in the client’s family/support systems, reduce incidence of homelessness for the client, support the client to delay subsequent pregnancies, and enhance the well-being of the teen family.

Foundation Beyond Belief is proud to support The Night Ministry as they work to alleviate homelessness and poverty in their community.

You can learn more about The Night Ministry’s programs through Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube.