The Night Ministry

Rating: 5 stars   12 reviews

Issues: Children & Youth, Homeless & Housing

Location: 4711 North Ravenswood Avenue Chicago IL 60640 USA

Mission: The Night Ministry is a Chicago-based organization that works to provide housing, health care and human connection to members of our community struggling with poverty or homelessness. With an open heart and an open mind, we accept people as they are and work to address their immediate physical, emotional and social needs while affirming their sense of humanity. Through The Night Ministry's Health Outreach Bus, Youth Outreach Van and Youth Shelter Network, we work on the ground in Chicago neighborhoods to reach adults, teens, pregnant and new moms who have nowhere else to go.
Results: The Night Ministry’s programs served over 5,000 individuals: our Outreach and Health Ministry Program provided vital health care and support services to 4,610 individuals of all ages, and our four Youth Shelter Programs provide shelter and support services to 450 youth and 44 of their children.
Target demographics: homeless, precariously housed and vulnerable youth and adults.
Direct beneficiaries per year: more than 5,000 unduplicated over the past year.
Geographic areas served: Chicago
Programs: Three housing programs in two youth shelters, where young people without a home can also bring their children. A specially outfitted Health Outreach Bus that makes scheduled stops to six Chicago neighborhoods, rain or shine. A Youth Outreach Team that visits two neighborhoods, providing food, hygiene kits, and referrals.
2011 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Community Reviews

Rating: 5 stars  

I first came to The Night Ministry as a communications staff person. I worked there for about 8 years. I saw so much caring help and compassion from program staff and volunteers while providing free health care on Chicago's nighttime street from a specially outfitted bus. Everyone needs to feel they belong somewhere and when I would go out with the Bus, it always amazed me the way the bus visitors always called it "their bus" and they looked out for staff. It was like a little sanctuary around the bus - with laughing and companionship.

Program staff and volunteers helped homeless youth on the streets, in afternoon drop-in programs, and at their shelters in Chicago for homeless youth who are not wards of the state. Homeless youth are not always angels, but they are always in need of listening, guidance, food, help with practical matters and shelter. Homeless youth with children of their own need even more. Staff and volunteers provide that with a sense of humor and kindness.

I no longer work at The Night Ministry, but I am a donor now. They do critical, important, very human work and I am proud to have played a tiny part. Staff and volunteers show the proverbial "Holiday spirit" all year round with caring and assistance for those who have so very little. The other thing I love about The Night Ministry is that there isn't any judgment for those they serve and no proselytizing.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

As a staff person I would go with journalists to The Night Ministry's programs. I would see program staff & volunteers in action. I also want to say in getting information to the press, our policy was to always, always ask permission first and protect the privacy of clients. If someone didn't want to participate, they didn't have to. I was always careful to make sure bus visitors and youth knew that they didn't have to talk to the press in order to get services.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Somehow get more money for daytime service providers for bus visitors. I actually just got their latest newsletter and saw they'll be sharing a staff person with Streetwise newspaper. The Night Ministry is good about creating alliances with other service providers, which is great. But I do wish they had enough money to have a few full-time people of their own in that area without sacrificing other services.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

What specific problem, purpose, priority, or project prompted your gift?

homelessness is so very awful. all year long and no matter who you are.

Why did you make your donation at this time?

Because I had a little extra.

What would you tell others about this organization?

What I shared with you already.

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

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Rating: 5 stars  

I began my relationship with The Night Ministry as a donor, but have worked here since 1997. I began my work here as an outreach worker with youth on the street and in one of our short-term housing programs, and I can truly say that we changed lives ... by providing safe space, opportunities for self-development, and skills leading to self-sufficiency.

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

I began my relationship with The Night Ministry as a donor, but have worked here since 1997. I began my work here as an outreach worker with youth on the street and in one of our short-term housing programs, and I can truly say that we changed lives ... by providing safe space, opportunities for self-development, and skills leading to self-sufficiency.

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

Provide it with more resources so it could continue and expand its work.

Was your donation impactful?

Definitely

How likely is it that you would recommend that a friend donate to this group?

Definitely

How likely are you to donate to this group again?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2011

Was this review helpful? 
Rating: 5 stars  

1 person found this review helpful

This is a hugely valuable organization with several missions -- including a "Health Bus" that goes to underserved areas in Chicago and reaches people in need of, but without access to, health services. Truly remarkable. http://www.thenightministry.org/001_programs/030_ohm/002_services/001_health_services/

I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...

see above

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2010-1-01

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Review from Guidestar