Monday, November 21, 2005


Over the course of a year, approx 26,ooo youth in Illinois experience homelessness. Of these, 45% have chronic homeless experiences . Homeless kids come from diverse cultural, social and economic backgrounds. They are of varying age - some as young as 14. They come from all walks of life, yet homeless youth do share something in common: the majority choose to live on the street because they feel it's safer than staying in their own home. Once on the street and on their own, homeless youth are isolated. They have no money. No friends. No hope.

In Chicago, homeless children under 18 - the most vulnerable of all - are not legally allowed to be admitted to an adult shelter. A survey of homeless youth in Chicago shows that 33% have been physically attacked. These youth need a safe haven off the streets. They need an empowering environment and caring, compassionate human connections. They need help.

The Night Ministry
is dedicated to providing help to the youth in Chicago. Open Door Youth Center not only provides a safe haven to homeless youth, but also provides counseling, health care, life-building skills, caring human interaction and compassion. They operate youth outreach programs aimed at reaching youth not currently residing in their shelter and provide them with a number of the same services. Most importantly, they operate many of these outreach programs at night on the streets. They are present and available to each and every youth - 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

Their programming doesn't stop with homeless youth. The Night Ministry provides outreach and health programming to anyone in need - homeless youth and adults, pregnant and parenting teens, underinsured or uninsured individuals, the working poor, unsupervised children, the chronically lonely. Their Health and Outreach Bus travels throughout Chicago providing health care, referral services, food and compassion. No one should feel they have to find their way all alone.

Everyday, the Night Ministry reaches out to individuals across Chicago - offering hope and services to the people who need it most.