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Review for The Night Ministry, Chicago, IL, USA

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?


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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?


Role:  Donor & Communications & Public Relations.