This wonderful organization won my heart and the hearts of my family many years ago. It provides services that otherwise would be completely unavailable to an underserved population that desperately needs help --mobile health services, warm meals and companionship, offered on the streets, in the places where the homeless and needy tend to gather. The Night Ministry goes to the population it serves... bringing compassion, conversation, a listening ear, a helping hand and a caring heart. In addition, The Night Ministry provides a range of services, including shelters, to youth on the street. Wonderful staff, amazing administration, incredible volunteers, and critical mission.
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 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.
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/
Review from Guidestar