Helping the Homeless in Chicago at the Night Ministry
Homelessness and poverty in the Windy City is a devastation that over 125,000 individuals are currently facing, due to lack of affordable housing in conjunction with low wages in the state of Illinois, according to Chicago Coalition for the Homeless. As we approach the winter months, Chicago is becoming a colder, darker place for those without homes, food or clean water. Compared to the national average, Chicago’s homeless population includes a greater number of women and families with young and teenage children.
One of the solutions to helping these individuals and families get back on their feet are temporary and transitional housing through non-profit organizations. Because Chicago is home to many of us here at Disque Foundation, we feel a call in our hearts to provide support to homeless Chicagoans.
What can we do? With the help of the Night Ministry, one of the most impactful temporary housing organizations in the area, we were able to provide off-site donation kits to the individuals and families receiving help directly from the ministry.
The Night Ministry offers housing, healthcare and human connection to members of the Chicago area struggling with poverty or homelessness. They do not discriminate, and accept individuals coming from any background. The ministry offers short-term housing, outreach services, parenting and pregnancy programs, and transitional living housing programs. They continually grow in their response to what they have learned since the foundation of the ministry decades ago.
Megan Hoxhalli of the ministry came to Ronald McDonald House in Chicago to discuss what the Night Ministry does, and had us astonished at the life-altering impact the ministry has had on the city since the 1970s. At the Ronald McDonald House, the Empowerment Team for the Disque Foundation were able to join hands to create three types of kits: hygiene, cookie and snack mix kits.
The hygiene kits included basic toiletries such as toothpaste, soap, razors, chapstick and deodorant to improve the comfort of those living without basic hygiene products. The cookie kits were homemade at the RMH kitchen, and the snack mix bags were packaged on site.
“ It’s always great visiting Ronald McDonald House, but it was also nice to learn more about the Night Ministry and the impact they’re making in the Chicago area.” – Andrew Howard of the Empowerment Team
The Empowerment Team has continued to focus on helping the impoverished around the Chicago area, also creating these types of donation bags at other non-profit organizations such as Charis House and Wheeler Mission Ministries. The Night Ministry and these other organizations fully align with our mission statement to empower others, so the opportunity to serve with the ministry was gratifying.