– Inspirations –

"Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It's not."

- Dr. Seuss


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.


The Night Ministry serves youth and adults who face multiple complex challenges on a daily basis, including homelessness, poverty, abuse, loneliness, and neglect. Many of us who are not on the streets take for granted a lifetime of “helping hands” from family and friends. The people we serve often have not had this help.

Outreach Services: The Night Ministry operates on the ground in Chicago neighborhoods to build relationships and provide immediate, practical resources. Our Health Outreach Bus offers medical exams, treatment and HIV testing, as well as coffee, conversation and a sense of community. The Youth Outreach teams reach out to homeless and LGBT youth in Lakeview to offer non-judgmental support, guidance, food and self-care supplies.

Short-Term Housing: Our youth housing programs provide structured, safe and supportive living situations to youth from all backgrounds who face multiple, difficult challenges. The Crib is an overnight youth shelter for people age 18-24 that addresses immediate housing needs. Our 120-Day Interim program offers longer-term, housing and social services for homeless youth.

Pregnant and Parenting Program: The Night Ministry’s Open Door program is the only shelter in Chicago that will work with pregnant or parenting teens as young as 14. We operate a 120-day interim housing program dedicated to serving pregnant or parenting runaway, throw away, or homeless youth and their children.

Transitional Living Program: STEPS aims to transition teens age 18-21 from homeless to independent living within two years.

Opportunities Available with The Night Ministry

Individual Volunteers at The Crib, Open Door Shelter-West Town, and the Health Outreach Bus

The Night Ministry needs individual volunteers to serve at two of our shelters and on our Health Outreach Bus. Volunteers must go through a one-time, 6 hour training and complete…


Small Groups to Prepare and Serve Meals alongside The Night Ministry’s Health Outreach Bus

We are in need of groups of 4-6 people to prepare and serve food at our Health Outreach Bus stops.  Our Health Outreach Bus is out Sunday-Thursday each week, providing…


Ongoing Opportunities:

Direct Service

Small groups of adult volunteers donate, prepare and serve meals at program site locations:

Health Outreach Bus
Small groups provide meals and serve them alongside the Health Outreach Bus. Meals vary depending on the season. The Night Ministry provides condiments and utensils. At our largest stop, we ask groups to bring meals for 200 people. At our smallest stop, only 45 meals are needed.

Youth Outreach Van
Small groups of 4-6 volunteer adults (age 21 and older) will learn, then practice, outreach to homeless, runaway, and at-risk youth while offering hospitality and referrals from our Youth Outreach Van parked in Lakeview. This program gives your group the opportunity to be a compassionate presence on the street for the youth and young adults we meet. New volunteers come early for an orientation session with our Youth Outreach staff.

The Crib
Help bring nourishment to the young people at The Crib! Volunteers are needed to provide meals on weekends (Saturday and Sunday, breakfast and dinner) and breakfasts during the week. 1-2 volunteers needed for breakfast, 2-4 volunteers for dinner. Meals are for 25-30 people and are served family style. Time commitment: 8:30-10:30 p.m. for dinner, 7-9 a.m. for breakfast.

Individuals help us build caring relationships with the people we serve. Individual volunteers provide critical assistance through direct service, support opportunities, or office help.